248 Burwood Road
Hawthorn, VIC 3122
Long hours at work, coupled with a profound hatred for getting up early on weekends, makes going out for brunch somewhat a rarity for me these days. Still, every now and then I will manage to drag myself out of bed on the right side of a Sunday morning for a spot of poached eggs.
Bawa is a relatively new addition to Hawthorn, sitting just a block or so down from the illustrious Axil Coffee Roasters. The hipster-grunge trend seems to be truly gone, as Bawa was a bright and airy space, the light wooden furniture trimmed with swaths of greenery. The floor to ceiling windows let the sunlight come pouring in, and it was just such a warm, beautiful place to be on a Sunday morning.
I had gotten my coffee fix a little earlier at the fantastic Brother Baba Budan, so it was just Chris and his Orange Juice ($5) today. Freshly squeezed with the pulp still remaining, this delectably sweet orange juice was like sunshine in a glass.
Several things on the menu tempted, but none more so than the special of Slow Braised Ham Hock, Roti Bread, Chilli BBQ Sauce, Two Fried Eggs, Fennel & Apple ($20). The name pretty much summed the dish up, but it didn’t let on just how tender the pressed log of ham hock was, or the way the sweet flaky roti mopped up the egg yolks. The handful of crisp slaw and fresh chilli brightened the rich dish up considerably.
The Chilli Scrambled Eggs, Pickled Mushrooms, Kaiserfleisch, Reggiano, Toast ($18) on the hand could’ve done with a bit more care in presentation. Although just about the largest serve of eggs I’ve ever seen, they were an unappealing shade of greyish-yellow, dumped unceremoniously onto a couple of slices of toast.
Taste-wise, this wasn’t anything too flash either. The eggs were trending a little towards soggy, and although kaiserfleisch sounded fancy on paper, when diced up and mixed into the egg along with chives, it was no more special than bacon bits. I did like the pickled mushrooms, which were sweet and woody, but fresh chillies would’ve been a much better alternative to the sticky chilli sauce drizzled on top.
I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about Bawa. On paper, this should be as good of a brunch place as any, and it certainly looked the part too. However I found that execution was just a little bit off; although tasty, the food fell short of the masterpiece that was promised in the description. All in all a reasonable choice, but Axil is just up the road.
Rating: 13/20 – just ok.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.