I can’t say with confidence that this is a fair perspective on Shoebox, so take everything from this point on with a grain of salt.
I walked in feeling fine, but only 10 minutes in and my back started playing up on me to the point that I was focusing more on my posture (extremely difficult at the tiny bench seat in the front window) than on what I was eating. I moved locations three times in search of relief, and ultimately found it at the long table in the centre of the cafe, but only with my chest thrust out like one of Bill Lawry’s prize pigeons and my best impersonation of Kim Kardashian out back!
At a glance, it would be easy to fob the breakfast menu off as dime-a-dozen. Scrambled eggs, egg and bacon pide, smoked salmon on toast, mushrooms on toast…
Look more closely though and you’ll see that while the foundation is traditional, the extras are most certainly not!
How about we reverse the presentation of each dish…?
Home made rhubarb relish with scrambled eggs ($10).
Home made beetroot marmalade and crushed walnuts with egg and bacon pide ($11.8).
Aioli, citrus lemon zest and avocado with smoked salmon on toast ($13).
Dark soy and garlic mushrooms on toast ($13).
Sound interesting? You bet!
In the end I selected an odd little dish consisting of grilled leg ham brushed with Korean bean paste, scrambled eggs, basil pesto and Ashgrove’s wasabi cheese on toast ($14). How’s that for a mouthful?!
The presentation left a little bit to be desired, with too much yellow and brown going on for my liking, but that was soon forgotten amidst much munching, sighing and lip-smacking.
Perhaps they could have dialled down the pesto and the level of oiliness to the dish, but everything else was doing wonders. The smoky ham was falling apart it was so tender, and the kick from the wasabi cheese made for a really interesting counterpoint. A unique flavour combination that I really enjoyed.
The breakfast menu pushes through until 11:30am, at which point the even more interesting lunch menu takes over. I really like the sound of their peking duck pancake and bulgogi sesame seed wrap!
For another day…
While there are some innovative little twists being applied by the lovely lasses at Shoebox, it didn’t quite come together seamlessly. I do like their menu though, and to be fair, a second visit is in order, particularly considering my state of mind when I ate there (fragile little petal that I am).
Drop by their Facebook page for some more Shoebox love – Shoebox Cafe on Facebook
Alternatively, they’ve got a schmick website here where you can find out more about their mobile food van (seen at numerous festivals and other events around the state) and the catering side of the business – Shoebox Website
It’s also worth noting that they are now open on Saturdays. Huzzah!
Flavours – 7/10
Menu – 8/10
Ambience – 7.5/10
Service – 9/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 7.5/10