Hangout on 20 Preston

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I live north of the river while several friends live south, so it gives me an opportunity to try some venues in their neck of the woods. My friend B and I decided to meet at the Hangout on Preston St in Como for brunch. I’ve been to a few places in Preston St and it’s easy to get to via the freeway, and there’s always heaps of parking. Parking should never be over-rated. I’ve been to certain inner-city places that hold you to ransom with their parking prices, and others where I’ve had to park several blocks away just to get a spot. Yes Piccolo’s Corner, that’s you I’m talking about!

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Back to the Hangout – things were quiet on this mid-week morning and there were only a few tables occupied. There’s ample seating al fresco or indoors, and the al fresco area is pet friendly too. I started with a skinny latte and my friend with a regular pot of tea. The latte was my first caffeine fix for the day, and failed to really hit the spot. I do find this often when I order skinny lattes; it’s invariably a hit and miss affair. They either taste watery or just insipid.

The breakfast prices are reasonable for Perth. B chose an old favourite, the traditional eggs Benedict with bacon.  It arrived piping hot with a generous serve of bacon, and glistening with a golden hollandaise sauce. Even for a non-bacon eater like me, it looked inviting.

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I was tempted by the Eggs Florentine, but decided to try something new. Something a bit different. The poached eggs with smashed avocado and peas on ciabatta caught my eye, though the crepes with banana, chocolate and toffee sauce really did have me umming and aahing. Savoury wins out – again. Just couldn’t handle a whole plate of sweetness this morning, and that really did sound a sugar overload.

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B was happy with her choice of eggs Benedict, while I enjoyed my avo/pea smash. There was a smattering of tomato and red onion salsa on top which added some welcome texture. The eggs were poached hard as I like them – I know egg purists will throw their hands up in horror at the very thought of this – but hey, that’s the way I roll. I don’t do oozy eggs, no way Jose, never, ever, ever. This dish was a winning combo, and my only gripe was that the dish was served on plain white bread toasted rounds, not ciabatta as promised. I feel the ciabatta would have worked much better as the toast was hard, making it tricky to cut. I left most of my crusts (which is what I’ve done most of my life) and which is undoubtably why as my mother predicted, I didn’t end up with curly hair. I did however end up with frizzy hair, which my mum would say was a suitable punishment for not polishing off those interminable crusts.

Breakfast over and an hour later, the wait staff kept well away. I managed however, to catch the eye of a waitress clearing a nearby table to ask for another round of drinks. B was happy with her hot chocolate but my mocha was below par. Funny tasting in an indescribable way.

It was fairly warm by midday, so I imagine the afternoons would be a bit sticky with the open air set up. Overall it was a pleasant experience and I’d be happy to return. One point though; we had to ask the waitress twice for a bottle of water. This is one of my gripes with eateries – water should be placed on your table as soon as you arrive; you shouldn’t have to ask for it. It is free after all!

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