Going a bit further out than the regular brunch date...all the way to Cowes! A very easy 1.5 hours drive out of Melbourne in Phillip Island there is this bustling cafe right by the beach, that's where we started our journey for our weekend away.
Pulling into this beachside cafe I first noticed how busy it was and the crowd is very much family orientated. It has a very homey and welcoming feel that is a bit different to the cool and sleek vibes of most inner suburb cafes. Matching this is the self serve aspect, collect your own water and menus and go up to the counter to order. Not fussed about this but it is a point of difference to the norm.
Getting stuck into the food, first up is the Trio of Mushrooms (seeded rye with chorizo, whipped fetta and poached eggs). Of our group, this was the most ordered dish and was by far one of the most appealing off the menu. Arriving at the table it was picture perfect with dollops of whipped fetta surrounding the main event of mushrooms on toast. It met this expectation as it was by far the standout dish at Mad Cowes. The mushrooms were juicy and succulent, working well with the poached eggs (which to be honest could've been yolkier). The main complaint of the dish though was that there were 2 pieces of chorizo...a bit too stingey in my opinion considering the size of the dish and because of this the dish definitely missed the mark on the saltiness.
Next up was the Madcowes Hash (kasundi mushrooms, house made potato croquette, fried egg). This was the dish I was most looking forward to, I'm an absolute potato fiend and will no doubt order anything with them in it. I was disappointed in this dish though. The croquette was a bit too thick and overwhelmed the crunchiness of the outside crumb. The potato filling was also quite rich, making it difficult to stomach with the fried egg on top. Overall it was just a really rich and unbalanced.
I found that there was not much to say about dessert (hotcakes stack, fruits, maple syrup, ice cream). It was your standard pancakes with the usual suspects as toppings. It was a very generous stack though, 4 pancakes but a number of them were burnt and you could definitely taste it no matter how much maple syrup I doused it in.
Overall, this is your standard breakfast cafe (not brunch cafe, there's a difference). I found the food pretty average but in its defence it is catering to different audience to that of brunch snobs such as myself. Definitely worth a stop buy if you're in need of a feed and you're in the area but I wouldn't go out of my way to get here.
Presentation (5) : 3
Taste (5) : 2
Service (5) : 2
Atmosphere (5) : 3