Just before Christmas I caught up for a much-needed gossip and brunch date with the lovely Roz from In Love with Brunch. This time we ventured to the east side suburb of Balwyn, an area which is quickly becoming one of Melbourne’s hottest brunch destinations with the likes of Mr Hendricks, Snow Pony and Scarvelli nearby. And One Plus Piece Cafe in the heart of Whitehorse Road was certainly full of surprises.
One Plus Piece is a bit different from your average brunch spot. Inside the unassuming shopfront is a quaint yet quirky cafe full of cartoon stickers, anime and figurines which gives it a Japanese anime feel. Even the water is served in black pirate sketched tankards. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for something a little different it’s definitely worth checking out.
On the One Plus Piece menu there’s all the usual brunch classics like eggs served all ways, eggs benedict and French toast. But what’s most impressive about the cafe is their creative take on brunch with a distinct Asian influence. Expect things like red bean paste, sriracha and roti. It’s a menu that’s not afraid to have some fun and take some risks. The drinks menu is interesting too: A rather indulgent looking nutella milkshake is teamed with giant toasted marshmallows, while on the other end of the spectrum, there’s matcha infused concoctions and prana chai.
My personal favourite is the “Mr Franky” ($18) which sees a layering of roti topped with two fried eggs. tasty cheese, smoked ham, smashed avocado, sour cream and organic tomato relish. The roti was beautifully cooked, nice and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, a nice break from the sourdough you see on most brunch menus. Finished with a handful of crispy kale, the dish was full of flavour and texture.
The Green Monster Salad ($16.80) at One Plus Piece is a great light option for breakfast. A big bowl of antioxidant rich broccolini, kale, asparagus is paired with roasted almonds and a scattering of creamy feta. A nicely poached egg rests on top of the healthy bed of green vegetables.
Another winner was the mushroom omelette from amazon lily ($18.80), stuffed with lashings of creamy goat’s cheese, shallots and hoisin mushrooms. A dash of chilli oil provided a touch of heat to the omelette while slithers of carrot, bean sprouts were a nice textural contrast to the roasted cashew nuts.
One Plus Piece’s signature dish is Sanji’s egg benedict ($13.50) served with slow braised pulled beef, poached eggs and house made hollandaise sauce. The pulled beef was beautifully cooked, falling apart with the slightest of fork nudges, but I felt its richness overpowered the eggs and the hollandaise a little.
The One Plus Piece Spider was a perfect accompaniment to the dishes on a hot summer’s day. I used to love spiders when I was a child, well at least the drink form! The sparkling grape juice was topped with soft serve and ice to prevent it from melting quickly.
Coffee is by Five Senses and didn’t disappoint.
One Plus Piece is also getting quite famous for its burgers and it’s no surprise judging by these beauties. Here’s the One Plus Piece double chilli beef with double bacon, double cheese, caramelised onion, mushrooms. lettuce and sausage followed by the tempura soft shell crab burger with secret slaw and wasabi mayo.
The Final Verdict
One Plus Piece is a nice addition to the Balwyn brunch scene, offering diners something a little different than the usual brunch offering. The decor may not to everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely one worth checking out if in the area. Next time I will be trying the sriracha and maple glazed bacon.
One Plus Piece
A 266 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103
T (03) 9830 4459
I dined as a guest of the world loves melbourne and One Plus Piece, however all views are honest and my own.