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A brunch spot in the inconspicuous backstreets of Bentleigh.

There is great satisfaction stumbling across District Brewer on noiseless Brewer Road. Having opened in early 2015, the brunch haven that has brought Bentleigh locals experimental yet reliable food.

Over the last decade, Bentleigh has emerged as a hospitable suburb. What used to be an area filled with dry cleaners, Asian supermarkets and real estate agents, is now full of competitive cafes and restaurants. District Brewer, adds another layer of value.

International influences have given the cafe's menu its edge. Chicken is crumbed in Panko, and mushrooms are topped with gremolata crème fraiche. The menu is also rich in interesting ingredient fusions; the eggs Benedict ($18) comes with a miso baba ghanoush and curry hollandaise. If that's not cultural integration, we're not sure what is.

The dishes appear delicate, but are unassumingly hearty. The black forest Bircher ($13) is exactly what it sounds like­: adventurous. Made up of macadamia, pistachio, cherry labneh and a chocolate soil, it's actually dessert disguised as breakfast. An avocado and feta smash with a poached egg ($17) is given a fresh twist with the addition of watercress, polenta and mint, and the option to add cured salmon. But if there's one dish the cafe should be proud of, it's the Mexican breakfast­, made up of jalapeno fritters, avocado, corn salsa, queso fresco (fresh cheese) and a fried egg. What's even more pleasing is that breakfast is served all day, everyday.

At the forefront of District Brewer sits a teal La Marzocco coffee machine, reiterating the cafe's liveliness. It also tells customers that coffee — made with beans from Canterbury's The Mailing Room here — is treated with the utmost respect.

If you're making your way via public transport, you may build up a sweat on the 15-minute walk from Bentleigh Station. Luckily, there's an outdoor courtyard planted on synthetic turf where you can relax and sip on something refreshing. Cold-pressed juices ($6) and Vietnamese iced coffees ($6) are also on the menu to revive customers during the scorching days to come.

Published on December 17, 2015 by Caterina Hrysomallis

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