Who knew brunch could open up so close to home? Nestled in a quiet corner of Melbourne's East this is yet another Alice in Wonderland themed cafe. Extremely busy but plenty of space to cater to masses, Down the Rabbit Hole delivers on quality Japanese fusion with the usual brunch favourites. Time to tuck in and see if the locals do it better than the city slickers.
This time we headed out with one major goal...try the famous Maxijohn (Gingerbread waffle, lemon and blueberry semifreddo, lemon curd, blueberry gel, meringue).
Lets start on the positives, the waffle is cooked to absolute crispy perfection. I was a bit apprehensive with the mention of ginger (not a fan) but the waffle was well balanced, not sweet and the taste of ginger was not overwhelming at all. The meringue was delicious too with the colour being pushed to the edge, offering a greater bitterness to the meringue that helped with its sweetness.
Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends on the Maxijohn. The parfait and lemon curd were TOO sour and overwhelmed everything else on the dish. The frozen berries in the parfait also were a bit too much for the otherwise simple parfait and added a strange texture. This was not a well balanced dish and the flavours and textures did not work well to surprise, it just became more and more sour with every mouthful.
The other dish we had was the Yuzu Benedict (Istra bacon, potato rosti, poached eggs, hollandaise, yuzu dust). Overall, I was impressed with this dish. The hash browns and bacon were cooked to perfection. The bacon was excellent and I'm really glad they invested in the quality bacon as I'm a huge fan of Istra and their small goods (a must go when you're in the Daylesford area). The hash browns had a great texture and I'm really loving this trend of no bread on eggs bennys in Melbourne. The only thing that let down the dish was the yuzu dust. I found it added a citrusy flavour to the hollandaise making it taste a bit...off.
Overall, I'd recommend a visit if you're in the area. The service is quite slow but that is to be expected considering how busy it was (Saturday morning rush). The bronuts (aka brioche x doughnuts) looked amazing so give them a shot too...even if it is just for the insta :)
Presentation (5): 4.5
Taste (5): 3
Service (5): 2
Atmosphere (5): 3.5