El Mirage is one of those places that when walking past you blink and you miss it. Set back from busy Lygon st, inside El Mirage is adorned with warm wood and small details that impress a homely feel. Out the front are scatterings of tables which is great when dining with a canine companion or if you’re like me, watching the world go past.
On a chilly Sunday afternoon, we wandered into El Mirage in search for delicious, yolky eggs. But first, coffee and chai;
I ordered the Jalapeno Corn Fritters with salmon, which arrived as three, plump, crispy fritters with 2 goopey eggs waiting to be pried open. This dish checked all of my boxes; jubes of haloumi, charred corn, corriander puree, smokey salmon and eggs poached to perfection. It was a well-rounded, substantial dish but didn’t leave me feeling heavy. Perhaps my only gripe was the lack of jalapeno spice given the name of the dish.
Next up, the drool-worthy Mac & Cheese Benny. This was one of the more inspired brunch dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating in Melbourne. A mac and cheese croquette (yes!), covered in pulled, juicy beef atop of a truffle cauliflower puree made for a delightful flavour combination. At first, the pungent flavour of truffle dominated the dish, but once the gooey egg was mingled with the other components and the decadent hollandaise sauce served on the side, the dish really shined. The pulled beef fell-apart in each mouthful, in juicy surrender.
I really enjoyed brunching at El Mirage. The service was friendly and the menu was a refreshing break from the onslaught of smoothie bowls that seem to be dominating the scene. I will be returning for the Mac & Cheese croquette…this time in stretchy pants.