Forage we did, for a café in the suburb of Boronia that would fill our hungry tummies on a morning we found ourselves out of reach of our familiar brunch haunts. The Forage Food Store seemed an obvious choice, boasting big bright windows and busy enough to suggest a quality breakfast that was loved by the locals.
We entered excited, to find a waiter who was confused at the idea of seating guests in the restaurant upon our request. No matter though, with a little encouragement and table suggestion of our own we found a couple of tables to pull together to make space for three in the busy restaurant.
While fairly ambient and with a light breeze coming through the restaurant, the staff let this place down a considerably humorous amount. Informing the waiter we weren’t after any coffee this morning elicited an all at once blank and perplexed reaction which, to be completely honest, was really, really uncomfortable. The reaction itself was perplexing as we greeted the waiter with more energy than the staff combined. However, we all have our bad days.
The menu was surprisingly filled with plenty of brunch options, however uninspired. If brunch were a text book, the Forage Food Store menu was a copy and paste of the first chapter. Eggs benedict, veggie breakfast, big breakfast. Nothing strayed outside of the bounds of average. The menu is filled with pictures of chairs which perplexed us. Chairs are not particularly aesthetically pleasing, not do they really represent relaxing, unless they are particularly comfy looking armchairs, which were not present. In the armchairs’ place, highlighting an enormous opportunity cost, were pictures of metal stools in all their lumbar-support-less glory. Why? Truly, why?
We didn’t even mind the extra-long wait for food as they did inform us when our meals had taken a while to arrive. We’re patient. Other patrons did not share this, their ravenous hunger apparent! It was like watching a lion sit down for a three course meal and allowing a waiter to place a napkin across their lap. They could snap at any moment (literally). Brunch has never been this suspenseful! Fight or flight brunch delight.
Meals arrive! The salmon on potato rosti was surprisingly tiny and the veggie breakfast was standard aside from the intimidatingly enormous piece of toast which over shadowed its egg and tomato counterparts fourfold. It was also doused in a mysterious oil which we couldn’t quite figure out. It wasn’t butter, canola or olive oil. A combination of all three? I truly don’t know what it was, even now. The eggs benedict was covered in a hollandaise so generic it looks as though it belonged in a child’s food themed play set.
If you can, recall the way you would nod when the mechanic tells you your car needs a $1000 service. Solemn, a little painful but with stoic acceptance that this is an experience you will have to live through and anticipate better times to come. That was our breakfast. It was what it was. It was also expensive. It was also billed incorrectly which we only noticed after leaving the restaurant. We went back for our refund of the difference.
To end, Forage Food Store was overwhelmingly underwhelming, was not something I would forage to find, was hardly food and was certainly not a store.
Rating – 54%