One of the things that appeals to most about Melbourne is the network of laneways that weave and wind their away across the city, like giant spiderweb. I find nothing more intriguing, or appealing, than wandering up and down these narrow little streets - it's a delightful way to spend a morning, afternoon...or evening.
One of my favourite laneways is by far Centre Place - a narrow, crowded laneway bustling with cafes, tiny quirky shops and people just wandering and soaking up the vibe. This little pedestrian thoroughfare reminds me a lot of wandering through the laneways of Barcelona - it has a distinctly European vibe happening.
There are at least twenty or so eateries in Centre Place so The Boy and I just took a punt and picked a cafe that had a free outdoor table where we could people watch and soak at the uniquely Melbourne atmosphere - this is how we ended up at Issus Cafe.
First order of the day is coffee which ticks all the basic requirements - hot, nice flavoured roast as well as being a good caffeine fix to get us going on our first morning in Melbourne.
When The Boy isn't indulging in his quest to try every Big Breakfast in the world his other weakness is usually Eggs Benedict ($13.90). The offering at Issus Cafe is as good as any with premium smoked ham atop a toasted English muffin and doused with Hollandaise Sauce. A side of hash browns and sausages are thrown in for good measure.
I'd spent quite some time perusing the menu without being able to make a decision on what to have. Just as I was about to put in my order for Eggs Benedict too The Boy points out the specials board which is sitting literally adjacent to our table...talk about blind! How could I have not noticed the breakfast special of Pan Fried Mushrooms with Spinach and Thyme with Poached Eggs and Pan-fried Haloumi ($16.90). Haloumi is one of my favourite foods and I nearly always order it when it's on offer. I was pretty happy with my breakfast and the Haloumi was as good as I could've hopped for...nice and squeaky!
Our brunch at Cafe Issus was great, friendly service and nice food, but for me the experience was all about grabbing a table in the laneway and watching the world go by. A blissful way to spend a morning.
Issus Cafe is at 8-10 Centre Place, Melbourne (just off Flinders Lane and behind Swanston Street).