I’ve always found it quite disappointing that hardly anyone is keen to get up early enough for an outside breakfast. It’s not easy to arrange when you have an early start 5 days a week and want to sleep in on the other 2. The sad fact is that I love a good café/bistro breakfast and have spent quite a few nights looking wistfully through breakfast menus online. The other night, I saw someone’s photo album on Facebook and after seeing their plates of waffles, corn hashes, crispy bacon, poached eggs and more, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
People are divided about eating out alone. Some do it regularly whilst others think it’s the ultimate declaration of being a social outcast. I personally have no problems with sitting at a café by myself and in fact, depending on my mood, may find that more relaxing than making conversation with someone. Coffee plus a good magazine or book at a café that doesn’t feel rushed is one of life’s great luxuries.
I tend to draw the line at fine dining. I can’t imagine sitting alone at a table in a dim restaurant, waiting for my next course to come. I have seen people do it and look very sophisticated, as though they eat at fancy restaurants so often that it’s no different to a regular meal. It’s that or they’re a food critic.
All that aside, I’ll admit I went to Planet Matterz on my own one morning last week. It’s a café in Morningside that was recommended to my by my food pal Mochi. If not for her, I would have never heard of this place. She told me she had an amazing steak sandwich there for lunch and was keen to try their breakfast.
Planet Matterz is an organic food store and café in one. It’s got a very chilled and clean environment that incorporates cushions and colourful mesh curtains without radiating any hippy vibe. I went there when it opened at 7am and already, there was another customer. I expected weekday mornings to be quiet but as I was there, enjoying my food, quite a number of other customers came and either had coffee or food. Some even purchased some produce from the grocery area.
I knew what I wanted from looking at the menu online. I ordered the quarky eggs and because I figured that wasn’t adequate for writing a whole post, I asked for a carrot cake takeaway too.
My coffee came first. It was very intense with a level of bitterness that was still nice and aromatic. A great pick-up for that time of the day.
I was looking around the café and accidentally met eyes with the waiter (owner?) a few times. Hopefully I didn’t look too impatient or anything; I was just being curious! My breakfast came quite quickly, considering the kitchen only started up when I got there. I was hoping there’d be bread or toast on the plate (it didn’t seem like it from the menu) and was pleased to find a generous slab of toasted Turkish bread.
The plate just looked delicious. Just from reading the description, I didn’t fully know what I was ordering. I’d describe it as salmon eggs Benedict with capers. It’s a truly great combination. The smoked salmon was generous and tasty. The eggs were perfectly poached and runny on the inside. The caper cream sauce was decadent and rich and surprisingly, not at all too salty. There were even a few sticks of grilled asparagus to create the illusion of health. They were cooked perfectly too.
This is very much my type of breakfast. I’d happily sit down to salmon eggs Benny or Canadian French toast any time of the day. They are in contention for my ‘last meal’ if I was ever on death row (add Peking duck wraps and a bowl of ice-cream and I’d definitely die happy).
The guy behind the counter had my carrot cake all boxed up and ready to go when I left. It fitted perfectly in its little container and had a safe trip back to my house. I was stuffed to the brim from my huge breakfast but couldn’t wait to try the carrot cake later that day.
First thing I noticed is the carrot cake was much bigger than I expected. It’s a bit like a whole cake but shrunken down. Could I eat it on my own? Was it too massive?
It didn’t stop me from trying, that’s for sure.
What do I have to say about the carrot cake but wow. I’ve had a lot of carrot cakes in my time. I’ve made a lot too (and I think my own version is quite fabulous) but this puts my past history of carrot cake experience to shame.
The texture was extremely moist but not squishy. It was dense and you could really tell it was chockas full of actual carrot (unlike one abomination I had at a café where the carrot cake was no different to sponge cake with orange dye) and walnuts. Not only that, the icing was very special. Plain cream cheese icing already sends me to heaven but this was something else. I analysed for a bit and decided it had the smoothness of a ganache without the cloying sweetness. It was still slightly tart like a cream cheese frosting but much silkier. There was definitely a hint of white chocolate too and I was rather pleased about identifying it (fantasized about that being my winning ingredient on a Masterchef taste test).
I have great faith in the food at Planet Matterz and would love to go back to try the steak sandwich Mochi was talking about. The staff were so friendly and I loved the atmosphere of the café too. Highly recommended.