Breakfast with a twist at Magic Mountain Saloon
Bacon and eggs can be found all over the city—any way you want them. But if you’re after a unique breakfast experience, one you can bring your friends back to, then The World Loves Melbourne has got you covered.
Magic Mountain Saloon at 62 Little Collins Street was a surprise for me (Lil Williams), and opened up a whole new world of breakfast eats. Although Magic Mountain is open for lunch and dinner as well, the breakfast is something else. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience what Magic Mountain Saloon has to offer, cognisant of the outstanding pedigree of Cookie, Boney and Colonel Tans. The mastermind of Camillo Ippoliti and chef Karen Batson, Magic Mountain Saloon spans three levels and boasts a killer balcony.
To be honest, with the word ‘saloon’ in the name I was more or less expecting grits and hash brown, and a variety of egg and bacon dishes, served in simple ways. Maybe a pancake stack if I was lucky. I feel a little silly for not somehow knowing that I was walking into a Thai restaurant.
Things got exciting from there. Entering the eclectic restaurant/bar, we were struck by the amazing blend of Wild West and eastern styling, accentuated by tasteful coloured mood lighting and unique artwork. While the dark grained wooden furniture and vintage partitioning were a fun throwback to a Texan frontier bar, directly opposite the East held its own with a marble-top bar and a tiki feel with pineapples dotted along the counter amid elegantly displayed liquor bottles.
I got the lucky seat with the perfect view of a thought-provoking artwork by Musha Hollenbach while perusing the breakfast menu.
Our friendly server, Anthony, rolled out a great cappuccino and amazing freshly-squeezed OJ to get us started, followed by an Ocean Trout and Ginger Scrambled Eggs dish. While scrambled eggs may say traditional, that’s where tradition ends. Mixed into the fluffy scrambled eggs is trout, spring onion and ginger. Bird’s Eye chillies and coriander serve as a garnish that give that extra pop of flavour.
Adding to all this was the spicy condiments basket comprised of a red chilli fish sauce with a great salty flavour that builds, a powdered chilli (not for the faint of heart!), as well as white vinegar green chilli that combined acidity with spice to add another dimension to your dish.
If this all sounds a bit spicy for you, not to worry. Magic Mountain graciously offer a plate of cucumber slices to soothe your palate so that you can move to the next delicious dish.
Our next delicious dish happened to be the accurately described Silken Tofu and Shitake Mushroom Broth. The tofu, so soft it melted on your tongue, was set off by the subtle but distinct mushroom flavour of the broth. The kitchen uses a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms in this dish to create a more complex taste. It was spot on and the mushroom doesn’t overpower.
Who says you can’t have a drink with breakfast? Either way, Magic Mountain has you covered. With a great selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, you’re sure to find one that you love.
The Tom Thumb is a well-blended ‘mocktail’, combining pistachio syrup, plumb puree, and lemon juice topped with soda to produce a flavour that ironically reminded me of liquorice. Yum! A slice of orange on the side adds freshness.
Bambino Aperitivo is Lemon Lime and Bitters with a twist, mixing bitters syrup and orange juice topped with tonic. A sprig of rosemary adds sophistication and creates a duel-level flavour.
If you’re having a mocktail for breakfast, why not go the whole nine yards and order dessert too? Treat yourself! Again, I was unsure what to expect when offered rice for dessert, but Magic Mountain’s Black Sticky Rice is something else. While it has a wonderful variety of flavours, the hero of this dish for me was the diversity of textures, from silky banana on a soft bed of black rice and coconut cream to fresh strawberries cutting through the richness of the dish. We revelled in delightfully chewy dried mango strips, while the assortment of seeds scattered on top gave it a great crunch (while adding nutritious value, of course).
Magic Mountain Saloon has a large upstairs area with plenty of natural light, and booths to keep you cosy while relaxing with friends or on that special first date. The top floor also has a balcony if you’re looking for some fresh air.
If you’re looking for a new and exciting dining experience that combines east and west, the friendly staff at Magic Mountain Saloon are waiting for you.