The journey to our experience at Penny Drop was eventful. We rocked up one weekend and were turned away at the door, not given the option to wait or even a takeaway coffee. The silver lining was an invitation to call ahead before we visit next time to reserve a table, as bookings can be made for any number of guests. We take them up on this offer the following weekend, only to be told, Penny Drop does not take reservations. Clearly there is a miscommunication between staff around their booking policy.
Moving past our struggle to enter the venue, Penny Drop is the newest brunch haven in Box Hill. Playing off the art-deco era of Hong Kong, straight lines and circles are utilised to showcase the blend of East and West architecture. Everything is polished to a shine, giving an air of quality through cleanliness; something that can be easily forgotten in venues with an ‘industrial’ vibe.
Taking our seat (a table we reserved but not marked on the guest list), we are asked by the enthusiastic staff if we would like a drink. The answer here is obvious, but we also order some freshly squeezed orange juice to accompany our coffee. As we wait patiently for our beverages, we are asked again if we would like to order some drinks. We overlook the double up of service, but hopefully floor staff have improved on their coordination.
Drinks arrive; the juice zesty and the coffee peppy. Both are enjoyable, probably the best in the area, but no big ‘wow’ factor attached. The menu, on the other hand, offers plenty of wow. Great combinations, particularly for those with an inkling for seafood, are available for both breakfast and lunch, the brioche burger tipped as the popular choice. It doesn’t take long for our orders to take plate form, presented with simplistic style.
Ingredients are left on the chunky side, allowing them to soak up excess sauce or juice on the plate. Using this technique, every mouthful pops with flavour, the extra juices leaving a lasting impression of the meal. The portions are adequate to fill, but a little on the expensive side; something that won’t change until there is more competition in the vicinity.
Whilst our experience was dampened by the variations in service and reservation policy, we couldn’t fault the quality of the food or the friendliness of the staff once we were seated. The dinner and drinks menu, available on the website, are also appealing for those looking for something a little different when out on the town in Box Hill.
Rating – 71%