Time Out (Melbourne) - - Food & Drink - Kelly Eng

THE STRING OF eater­ies lin­ing Do­main Road as it skirts the perime­ter of the Tan, Mel­bourne’s pre­mier walk­ing and jog­ging arena, of­fers ex­cel­lent op­tions for the fit and the fabulous to refuel. A re­cent ad­di­tion to the clus­ter is Gil­son, cour­tesy of Jamie and Loren Mcbride, who brought us cafés Mam­moth and Barry. Early Satur­day morn­ing sees the place abuzz: run­ners high on en­dor­phins rip into poached eggs while par­ents plead with tod­dlers. Older folk drain cof­fee cups and brush away crois­sant flakes while staff dodge busily about the room. This takes place in an in­te­rior that’s South Yarra bistro chic, with mar­ble ta­bles, wicker chairs and a peppy, pow­der-pink-and-white colour scheme. There’s out­side seat­ing, too, for you and your four-pawed friend to drink in the leafy park­side views. Whether you’ve thrice looped the Tan or barely man­aged the 20-me­tre stag­ger from your car, brunch here re­li­ably trig­gers its own kind of good eat­ing en­dor­phins. Gil­son’s baked eggs – a green vari­a­tion on the toma­to­based shak­shuka – is fresh and gen­er­ous. Two eggs, runny yolked and with a good wob­ble to the white, are baked into a ver­dant kale and broc­coli stew that’s pit­ted with pis­ta­chio and sesame dukkah for a spicy crunch and strewn with creamy feta. Kids might turn their noses up at fish for brekky but more fool them – the garfish on toast is a win­ner. A wood oven-toasted hunk of sour­dough wears a thick layer of silky egg­plant puree; tinned garfish (much like a tinned sar­dine) and dol­lops of aioli sit neatly on top, along­side sprigs of dill for an aniseed fresh­ness. Sweet pas­tries send se­duc­tive sig­nals to your dessert radar from the counter. Take the lac­tic acid in your thighs as a sign you earned that sugar-coated dough­nut loaded with vel­vety cus­tard and rhubarb jam (the lat­ter just a few de­grees too sweet), or a chewy cookie packed with hazel­nuts, macadamia and choco­late chunks. Bal­anced Seven Seeds cof­fee fills in the gaps as Gil­son ex­pertly shep­herds you from your AM avo toast to your PM pommes frites and steak. Stop in for a park­side Spritz in the arvo – they know how to do ‘the Turn’ here.

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