Barrio 3121 Cafeteria
- Spanish Omlette
- Salmon Eggs Benedict
- Breakfast Board:
- with Zucchini & Corn Fritter, Chia Coconut & Cranberry Pod, Chilli Scrambled Eggs with Toast
- French Toast
- Turkish Eggs:
- with Croissant, Chorizo & Halloumi
- Flat White
We started off with a Flat White, brewed with beans from Proud Mary. With a bold flavour, the coffee itself was very well balanced and forward. With an exceptionally smooth and creamy froth across the board, the coffees here were definitely a solid start to breakfast and undoubtedly enjoyable.
The Turkish Eggs were perhaps the highlight of the brunch. Beautifully presented, the baked eggs were served in a cute casserole dish. Destroying this lovely presentation and digging in through the thick, plentiful house yoghurt reveals a dish generously filled with soft and tender slow cooked lamb. The lamb was exceptionally flavoursome and succulent, which was well complemented by the slight sourness of the yoghurt and the creaminess of the beautifully poached eggs.
Sandwiching this already flavourful combination into my croissant, along with the added chorizo and halloumi, made for an exceptionally tasty and palatable croissant burger of sorts.
The French Toast was also enjoyable, though less remarkable when compared to the Turkish Eggs. Beautifully presented, the French Toast itself was fluffy and spongey, though definitely lacking in egg flavour. The sweetness of the Maple Syrup was well accompanied by the flavourful and soft rhubarb compote. Completing the dish was the poached pear, which was apparently poached with staranaise, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and sugar. While the resultant pear exhibited an interesting flavour, the sweetness was not entirely pleasant nor familiar, and definitely takes a bit of getting used to.
Eggs Benedict is of course the staple of any breakfast joint, and the Salmon Eggs Benedict at Barrio did not disappoint. Clearly of high quality, the Smoked Salmon was incredibly soft and tender. The smokiness added a beautiful flavour to the rich hollandaise sauce. Served with two perfectly poached eggs and crunchy, toasted sourdough, this egg dish definitely gave other cafes a run for their money.
The Breakfast Board was unfortunately markedly mediocre. The Chilli Scrambled Eggs was pleasant, incredibly creamy and fluffy, with the light fetta crumbs on top providing a nice distinction in flavour and texture. Though, despite warnings from owner Amy about being extremely spicy, it was definitely lacking in chilli and barely registered on our taste buds. We also felt that the Gluten Free Zucchini and Corn Fritter were rather unremarkable, both in terms of flavour and creativity. Overall, the dish was rather muted and could've benefitted from greater use of spices and diversity in textures.
We didn't quite enjoy the Spanish Omelette. With potatoes embedded within the omelette itself, we found this egg dish rather dense and heavy. Without a much-needed sauce to accompany the dish, the flavours was rather monotonous and, given the starchy and mushy nature of potatoes and eggs, was not particularly palatable. A suggestion would be to embed the chorizos, which were served separately on this occasion, into the omelette itself, which would accentuate both the flavour and texture.
As a new cafe that's only weeks old, Barrio 3121 has done remarkably well thus far. While there are definitely room for improvements in terms of execution, and I would love to see more dishes that have greater uniqueness and "wow-factor", the foundation on which they have built their current menu is a solid one.
Their distinctive and delicious take on traditional Baked Eggs, as well as their solid coffees, made it overall an enjoyable brunch experience.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Perhaps. I'd be interested in a revisit once they are more established and confident in dishing out a more adventurous menu.
Penguineats would like to thank Barrio 3121 and owner Amy for inviting us to sample their newly opened cafe in Richmond.