A neon CBD cafe serving up bolognese-topped panko-crumbed eggplant and eel hot dogs for breakfast.
If you're looking for a morning meal that verges away from well-worn eggs and avo on toast, head to this CBD breakfast destination stat. It shouldn't come as a surprise either — the brains behind this neon Japanese cafe are the same minds behind Prahran's adventurous all-day diner, Grand Lafayette.
Known for its OTT Japanese-inspired brunch plates, Cafe Lafayette boasts a dramatic fit out designed by award-winning firm Hassell. The cafe isn't light and airy by any means — the moody backlit walls and black tables are matched with shiny surfaces that reflect bright pink, blue and orange lights to create the effect that you're in a bar after work, not eating brunch at 10am.
To match the theatrics of the space, the food offering is filled with clever reworkings of the classics. Here you'll find some bolognese-topped panko-crumbed eggplant with a poached egg and — perhaps the most ambitious dish on the menu — the charcoal grilled eel hotdog, starring Japanese omelette, kale, picked onion and yuzu mayo, sided with crisp seaweed chips.
There's also an elegant bird's nest-inspired creation featuring Japanese okonomiyaki with bacon, tonkatsu sauce, yuzu mayo and a 62.5-degree egg, plus fried chicken served with a squid ink waffle, maple syrup, cheese sauce and wild honeycomb.
The situation gets just as wild over on the drinks list, where the signature sip is a 'technicolour latte' — essentially a full-fat white coffee jazzed up with a rainbow of colourful latte art. Elsewhere, you'll spy turmeric lattes, a series of supercharged shakes and an iced green tea latte made on top-quality Japanese matcha.
Images: Griffin Simm.