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FOOD & DRINK

Otto Melbourne

A bright Bridge Road cafe serving fluffy hotcakes, a croissant croque madame and two-person breakfast platter.
By Libby Curran
January 29, 2020
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Otto Melbourne

A bright Bridge Road cafe serving fluffy hotcakes, a croissant croque madame and two-person breakfast platter.
By Libby Curran
January 29, 2020
  shares

Proof that a smart, snappy brunch menu needn't always mean going OTT, Bridge Road's Otto is heroing originality and technique, without going too nuts in the flamboyancy stakes. The space itself is a bright, minimalist edit of clean lines, strip lighting and metallic accents, inspired by the sleek fashion boutiques of New York. Taking pride of place on the counter is a state-of-the-art Slayer Espresso Steam LP coffee machine, which is serving Padre Coffee's chocolatey Daddy's Girl blend.

Meanwhile, the food offering features interesting ingredients and clever reworkings of familiar brunch classics. A croque madame swaps bread for a croissant and is loaded with smoked ham hock, fried egg, bechamel and a celeriac apple salad ($18.90), while Otto's version of smashed avo ($18.50) is brought to life with white miso, torched cucumber, freeze-dried peas and gomashio (a salty Japanese seasoning).

There's a hand-crumbed wagyu scotch fillet teamed with sauce gribiche, apple slaw and puffed wild rice ($26); a smoky dish of twice-cooked salmon with vongole and mussels in a tom yum broth ($25); a french toast with mango-soaked brioche, wine-poached peaches and frozen nougat ($18.90); and a fluffy hotcake with butterscotch sauce, blueberry gel and mascarpone ($18.50). Brought a date (or a mate)? Go for the share-friendly breakfast platter, starring a sprawling assortment of french toast, kaiserfleisch, fritters, soba noodle salad, scotch egg and mushrooms with egg custard.

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