Friday, September 21, 2012

SMALL FISH, BIG POND @ Three Bags Full

It’s funny how once you start food blogging, every social occasion becomes surrounded by food. Every catch up is another opportunity for a post, another meal with someone I love spending time with. This is the upside of writing this blog. The downside is that because I have so much on right now, I am eating and working more then blogging and thus, my little patch of internet has not been tended to for some time. I’m going to try and rectify this.

My mum and I went to brunch at Three Bags Full, which sit around that Abbotsford, Richmond area. You know how occasionally in American shows, when a place is really busy, someone will say something like 'It’s like Grand Central Station in here' ? Well, at 10AM on a Sunday, Three Bags Full is Grand Central station, for breakfast.

The vibe of the cafe was good and due the number of people inside and the levels of noise, the pace of the establishment is energetic, maybe even too energetic for a Sunday morning. It's a little dwarfing walking in It's also huge and is spread over the multiple rooms of a converted warehouse. Diners belong to no specific crowd and instead, there are just all kinds of bods, everywhere, on every table, and on every stool, eating, drinking or waiting to do both.

We arrived just- and I mean, just minutes before the cafe got seriously crowded, right on 10am.
 Not wanting to join the line for a table inside, we scooted outside in the slightly windy sunshine. At the rate Three Bags Full fills, if you find yourself in the same situation, I strongly suggest you do the same. You’ll also be able to hear your eating companion talk, which is always nice.

After a while pondering the menu, I ordered the Roasted pumpkin + sage fritters ($16) with grilled haloumi + a parsley, pinenut, parmesan + pomegranate salad, while my Mum choose the Roasted field mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, goats cheese + almond dukkah ($15)

I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy my meal as much as I thought I would. Although it looked great and was nicely arranged, it was lukewarm, and the fritters were dry. For this reason, I suspect it had been sitting on a counter somewhere for a while before it got to me. I love haloumi, I eat it like it’s a magical, wonder food, but halomui cold has the texture of rubber. That was kind of a bummer. - because if all the temperatures had been right, it could have been a great dish. Although for $16, I also expected it to be a little more substantial then it was.

My mum on the other hand, loved her choice of mushrooms. Her dish was sizable, and the mushrooms large and meaty.  You can see from the pictures that the goats cheese was also plentiful and according to her, the meal was a substantial and well cooked brunch.

I don’t quite know what to make of this eatery. The menu is fantastic- versatile, expansive, and presents lots of options for the variable modern day Melbourne eater. And, the coffee was good, but could have been hotter (I seem to be finding this a lot, is this a 'thing' now?)

But organisation seems to be a problem, and getting things from the kitchen to the table quickly was certainly an issue that Three Bags Full needs to work on, especially in the case of my meal, and the coffee we had. I know that Sundays are crazy for most businesses, and I have an inkling this is may be an issue of staffing. The waitstaff in fact, were very friendly and weren’t slacking off by any means - the problem was that there just wasn’t enough of them to go around.

I was disappointed; I've read so many great reviews, and heard so many great things about Three Bags Full that it seems my expectations had been set a little too high. I suppose the obvious answer to this is that everyone else has read these same reviews too, and perhaps peak-hour on a peak day isn't the time to really enjoy this cafe.


60 Nicholson St


Open daily: 9am- 5pm

Good for: A really great menu. Hopefully next time I visit, it will live up to its promises.
Vegetarians: Have lots of options for interesting and fulfilling meals. 
Wait time: Quite a while - I strongly advise visiting outside regular weekend brunching hours. 
Food waiting time: Quite a long time- Half an hour during peak time over the weekend. 
Cost: Including a latte, my meal sat at $19.50. Had the dish been delivered sooner, I would have considered it better value.


Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

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