Lucky Penny

South Yarra residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to brunch. With a high quality venue on every block, how is one supposed to choose? When all else fails, just wing it!

That’s exactly what we did when we found ourselves on Chapel Street late Saturday morning. We walked by a few places, taking a quick glance at their menus (and judging their decor, of course) before we landed on Lucky Penny.

To our dismay, all tables were occupied, inside and out, but low and behold another group was preparing to leave. As we waited we were given water and the menu to browse, but what we really wanted was coffee

Thankfully our table was cleared, wiped and ready to go in five minutes, our coffee requests placed the moment we were seated.

As we wait for these to arrive, we ponder the menu and do some more decor judging. The standard brunch style guide has been applied: varnished wood, shelves with knickknacks, and large filament lamps are dotted throughout the venue. They won’t be winning awards for creativity, but it’s clean and presented nicely.

The menu has a huge range, with choices for all hunger levels. The waffles offer a large portion, whereas the more gourmet options are on the lighter side.

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Coffee (and other assorted drinks) arrive, each of excellent proportion so that none is spilled upon first sip. Flavours are good and well rounded, nothing overly special. What is not appreciated is the outrageous markup for almond milk! When soy is 50c, $1.50 for almond is akin to murder (of the almond lovers wallet).

Food arrives and the presentation is a little lacking. We agree trying to stylise waffles with two kinds of chicken and jalapeños is challenging, but surely it could look a little less like it went through a blender.

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Looks aside, the flavours are great. Rich condiments combine with meal starch to create a harmonious taste complimented with interesting textures. The portion sizes for the majority of our meals was exceptional. The salmon was the only one that felt a little lacking, offering barely enough to count as a snack. Considering this was the only dish that felt underwhelming, we felt the price was right for the rest of the meals.

We were pleased with our South Yarra find, particularly with the friendly and prompt service; the team working together seamlessly in peak brunch time. If you’re stuck for brunch ideas on Chapel St, give Lucky Penny a go.

Rating – 72%

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