33 Peel Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia
03 9417 7749 (at the moment, they don’t really answer their phone)

I wish I read Epicure more often but I could only read it usually if I can fit in a lunch break.  Fortunately last Tuesday I had a chance to sneak in some time to read the Epicure, and discovered this new Japanese breakfast place named Mina-No-Ie, which is opened by the team behind Cibi.

I immediately place an urgent SMS to Dr. Ben, and set a date to visit Mina-No-Ie on the Sunday.  We got there at about 11:15am, in a spacious warehouse on Peel St and it’s already full.  Well, I did mention spacious, but they shared their space with a gift shop and in my opinion the gift shop was taking up too much space 😛

We didn’t wait for long before we got seated.  They got our drinks order pretty quickly and left us with the menu.  There are not much on offer to be honest and we were slightly disappointed.  There are 3 “simple” breakfast items like granola and toast, 1 wholesome breakfast and 1 lunch choice.  The cake cabinet looked lovely though and we made the decision to order wholesome breakfast and cake!

It took a little while longer to get the waiter’s attention to take the breakfast order.  To be honest with 5 menu items we really didn’t need that much time 😛  We ordered 3 wholesome breakfast and 1 wholesome lunch.  The waiter hesistate and said “erm the wholesome lunch won’t be ready until 11am.  What time is it?” I told him that it was 11:30am already and he was like “Oh, let me check!”  LOL.  I am definitely putting this as minor cafe-recently-opened blip as the overall service were friendly, patient and enthusiastic.

Our wholesome breakfast came.  Baked egg with sweet miso, roasted eggplant, pumpkin served with sourdough bread $16.50.  With 3 of the same breakfast, we can certainly compare the consistency of the dish.  Hubby’s baked egg was still slightly runny, but mine was thoroughly overcooked.  When I walked past another girl’s baked egg looked like it hadn’t been baked at all :S

This doesn’t sound promising but I really liked my breakfast.  Yes, the egg (btw, yes only one egg) was a bit disappointing but the whole dish was really yummy.  It has the melted cheesy goodness, the healthiness of the pumkin and eggplant and the unique taste of sweet miso.  I love sweet miso but Dr. Ben found it a bit too sweet for his liking, although he did agree that it’s a nice change from baked eggs with tomato sauce.

Mrs Hawt Guns and Dr. Ben also shared the wholesome lunch, which is a winter soup with onigri $15.  It looked very very very healthy but on a lighter side.  I think you would need to have breakfast first before you have this wholesome lunch…. preferably a Croque Monsieur beforehand!  It looked fantastic though- the clear soup seemed to contain melon, taro and tofu and a huge dose of what I thought was rocket (but apparently it’s mizuna salad?).  The onigri was made with brown rice, quinoa, pumkin and mountain vegies, which looked super healthy and fantastic for people on detox.  Now that I think about it Mina-No-Ie’s whole menu was vegetarian, but it was so filling and yummy that I didn’t even notice.

I was slightly full by that time but the others are slightly hungry- either way we have decided on dessert and nothing is gonna stop me!  I ordered the chocolate and raspberry cake ($6) which tasted fairly similar to the chocolate brownie from Breadwell who sourced their chocolate and raspberry brownie from Manna from Heaven, one of my favourite brownies in the whole wide world.    So this cake was definitely awesome.  I also wanted to try the lime cake, their green tea cake and their other tarts… but sadly I was too full 😛

Dr Ben and Mrs Hawt Guns shared the green tea cake ($4) though and generously let us tried some.  It was yummy and not too sweet although they find it too buttery.

Overall, I quite like Mina-No-Ie.  It has a nice vibe and the ingredients they use are organic, free range, locally sourced, seasonal food where possible.  They have quirky tables that have a cute uneven edge and unqiue looking cultery. According to Dr. Ben the coffee connoisseur, the coffee was pretty good also.  The others thought it would have been nice if they have more choices, but to me if you do a few things well that is good enough.  8/10

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