Darling is nicely named for the area, especially since it is on the street its name is derived from. Walking towards the cafe from Toorak Road you can only really see the name written in white, on black boarding, with lots of glass. Once inside you are in a room resembling the latest design used in “The Block” with a mix of Scandinavian and industrial.
The sunny, but mild, late Spring weather has rubbed off on the floorstaff and patrons alike. I noticed immediately that there is a bit of a focus on coffee when ordering my long black. I was offered to try one of the two single origins available, one an Ethiopian with acidic notes and a more robust Brazilian. I started off with the Ethiopian and finished with the Brazilian which I marginally preferred, but both were excellent. The touch of providing it half full and bringing a jug of hot water is great.
Looking at the menu it becomes evident that there is a South-East Asian leaning to some of the dishes, with a specific wok list for lunch. Given this leaning I decided I’d try something a bit different, rather than the Darling big breakfast, which was enticing. The mild chilli prawn omelette comes with piperade (a combination of tomato, onion and peppers), goats cheese, spring onions, and rocket, on a couple slices of very nice seeded bread. While it needed a good couple of sprinkles of the sea salt offered, the flavours all combined well, the prawns were fresh and generous, and the omelette itself was perfectly cooked.
Catherine had the eggs benedict with smoked salmon in place of ham which is offered for only a couple dollars more. Again, the serving was very generous, especially the amount of salmon, which was delicious with the hollandaise, seeded toast, and poached eggs. The iced tea she ordered was great too with only mild sweetness, and some body, perhaps from a touch of condensed milk.
We had walked to breakfast, and we certainly had to walk back considering the serving sizes! This was a pleasant breakfast and if that quality translates through to lunch it is also worth a visit for one of the dishes from the wok, not to mention another single origin from Brazil.