This golden oldie of the brunch scene is located just around the corner from my work and boy am I lucky to be able to indulge in the MINDBLOWING potato hash weekly…on to that later though.
Located just off busy Smith Street, Proud Mary really brings the inner city cool vibes to the otherwise quiet backstreets of Collingwood. Converted warehouse and some seriously swag staff make this place a curious example of what brunch used to be like before the cookie cutter approach of recent years.
The Potato Hash (Russet potato hash, poached eggs, thick cut bacon, kale salad, bagna cauda sauce) is possibly the greatest brunch dish I have ever tasted…hands down. The idea is so simple but executed so perfectly I can’t even put into words how much I love it, I’ve been back weekly for this ever since my first bite. The combination of textures and flavours on offer include the alternating crisp and soft layers of potato, the softly poached yet rich, creamy yolk and the crunch of the thick slab of bacon. So far it just sounds like your average brunch dish with eggs and potato but THAT SAUCE, I don’t actually know what bagna cauda is but I could drink a bowl of it straight up. To describe the taste I would say it would be a flavour enriched version of béchamel with the ideal balance of acidity. This dish….unforgettable.
Breakfast Dandan Noodles (Szechuan bacon broth, chilli pork mince, slow cooked egg, grilled greens, peanut chilli oil) were not as flavour packed as the hash but had a great spicy, peanut flavouring to it. Definitely a kick of spice so be wary if you’re going into this for breakfast, it lends itself more to a lunch dish. I had a couple of issues with this dish such as the very small pieces of meat and the over-charring of the veggies but my biggest issue was the noodles. They were quite overcooked and very soft so they weren’t the best vehicle for the deep flavour of the broth, I would’ve preferred a thicker rice noodle to really bring it home with the dish and enhance the flavour even more. Overall though, not bad for a brunch spot doing asian style noodles.
Mork Chocolate French Toast (Salted brioche, cereal milk creme pat, whipped chocolate, cornflake crunch, shaved walnuts) tasted just as amazing as it reads with a perfect lightness to it. This dish is great with all its elements combined so I highly recommend mixing everything up before taking a bite out of it. The actual french toast is dry by itself but perfect with the mousse and cream as a creamy/liquid element to it. Try and pile on as much of the mousse as you can as it is a highlight of the dish, being feather light without losing the rich chocolate in the process. I also enjoyed the unique texture rom using the cornflakes instead of the usual crumb as it also added a surprise saltiness that countered the sweetness, loving the creativity.
Straight up…the drive is worth it to just try the Potato Hash. Honestly it can’t disappoint and this is coming from someone who eats it weekly so I might be biased. On top of that the staff are super friendly and the dishes continue to remain creative which is hard to find in the brunch scene these days!
Presentation (5): 4.5
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 5
Atmosphere (5): 5