Excellent Way to Kick Start Your Day
BY ROS BALDWIN
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is the mantra my mother instilled in me from a very young age, although it did take me a fair few years to really appreciate it.
Soggy weetbix and orange juice, while being the breakfast of champions, didn’t always fill me with joy during my teenage years. Particularly as the juice was so pulpy, it was quite a challenge not to spill it down your uniform front as you chewed your way through it!
But these days I value the ‘breaking the overnight fast’, whatever time of the day that may be, and at the moment I’m into Greek yoghurt with fruit, chia seeds and stevia. So yum. I also try to encourage my kids to make good choices when making their own breakfast – although my mantra is a little less appealing as I’m often reduced to saying, ‘a cup of tea is not breakfast’ and ‘Twisties are not a breakfast item’ to my teenage twins.
Maybe that may give you some insight into my quest for great breakfast spots in the region, as it is one of my greatest weekend pleasures. Beautiful venues, proper coffee, delicious breakfast at a polite time (not five minutes after you just woke up), served with a smile (and no washing up). Sigh.
In furthering said quest, I came across a new spot to love. Freshly opened Mockingbird, on Wilderness Road in Lovedale, is set inside the Tatler Wines complex and surrounded by vines. It’s a pretty special spot with a pretty beautiful mockingbird logo and a pretty lovely story behind the name. Mockingbirds are known for mimicking the calls of other animals, allowing them to be understood by all birds, insects and amphibians.
Owners James and Tess Borg say that food is our language and one we can all understand without the need for words, heightening our senses through visual beauty, delicious smells and intriguing textures.
“It is the ultimate language, creating memories and crossing paths from all walks of life.”
I completely agree. Our visit to Mockingbird had all those feels and more. We turned up for our booking to see the glorious alfresco dining area already full with guests, but we happily took a seat indoors. With a cool, modern casual café vibe, Mockingbird is the next must-do in the Hunter Valley.
The drinks list is abundant, the coffee is gooood and the juices are freshly squeezed and come in a cute logoed glass bottle. The breakfast menu is surprisingly long with distinct Asian and Middle Eastern flavours influencing the dishes. There is the very tempting, and always rewarding avo on toast ($23) with dukkah, beetroot hummus and fetta or the delicious sounding prawn toast with poached eggs, sesame and bean shoots ($22). But we opted for the pork benedict dish with chipotle hollandaise and potato hash ($23), chorizo croquettes with poached eggs, muhammara and poached eggs $21) and the classic poached eggs and bacon on sourdough ($21). All dishes delivered the flavour punch that they promised and were a visual delight for the eyes.
However, Miss S’s favourite part of the breakfast was being visited by the extremely well-mannered and social, resident red kelpie, that did a sterling job of keeping all the guests entertained (although the poached eggs and bacon were also a huge hit).
Mockingbird is open for breakfast Thursday to Monday from 8am, and for lunch from 12pm.
And if breakfast was this good – I can’t wait to see what they can do for lunch. Sigh.