We’ve been walking past this place for a few weeks – but only at night when it is closed. And to tell the truth it doesn’t look like much when it is closed – it doesn’t look like all that much when it is open either. Even so, at 11am on a hotter than average April day (we’re getting used to hearing that phrase now aren’t we) all the tables on the street and inside are occupied. Luckily we are directed to out-the-back where there is plenty of space in a shady, leafy courtyard. Which is fine because we are here for a good talk and it is quieter away from the Saturday morning traffic on King Street.
We are joined this morning by the lovely Emma who has been allowed out on her own by Will and Charlie in a kind of ‘fair-dos’ arrangement following their recent unaccompanied appearance in these pixels. We are going to have a serious catch up chat although, apparently Emma has mis-interpreted Strop’s use of the word serious in this instance and is expecting some terrible news. But there is to be none of that, there has been far too much of it lately. The closest we get to that territory is a bit of consultation on strategies for marshalling teenage angst, and for responding to sympathetic inquiries, when delivered in quantity. It turns out that the answer to the first issue is eternal vigilance, and cake for the second. Sorted. Now for the food.
First up, drinks. A soy latte for Em, juices for Strop and I. Mine is a plain old OJ, which is freshly squeezed and comes with a bit of froth on top. Strop get’s creative and orders an apple, carrot and ginger, which arrives settled out into layers, a bit like a Celia Gullet painting. Em’s coffee comes in a double walled glass glass. Which the waiter helpfully, but a bit unnecessarily, points out keeps the coffee warm and your fingers cool.
The menu is quite extensive and we are so busy doing our not-particularly-serious-chat business that we don’t have time to get very far into it. I am the last to arrive at a decision, mainly because Emma and Strop have stolen my first two choices: Corn fritters, and Souths Eggs. I have to venture further down the page to Mexican Breakfast. Having decided on corn fritters early, it’s about the second item in the list of breakfasts, Emma has a little panic attack about bacon. Not so much the lack of it, but whether there will be enough. Her enquiries on the subject of bacon adequacy with the waitress, doesn’t fill her with confidence so she orders extra bacon. Making good use of this precedent I also order a bacon extra, because the Mexican doesn’t come with any. Strop and I order coffees as well now that our thirst has been quenched.
The staff at Martini are very helpful, although they all seem to have just wandered down from the nearest backpacker hostel. The girl who brings out our breakfast plates is so pleased to have found the correct table that she exclaims in an Irish accent, “That’s good. I’ve only been here two hours.” Strop immediately falls in love and starts thinking up excuses to ask the waitress what her name is, as she is convinced it will be something pretty and Celtic, with spelling that bears no resemblance to pronunciation.
My breakfast is excellent. There are beans that are sweet and fiery with tabasco, a tortilla wrapped around avocado, some cheese, two poached eggs, and the all important bacon. I think the other two breakfasts were pretty good too, judging by the fact that there was none left over. Even Emma’s bacon mountain disappeared, much to my disappointment. I thought I was in with a shot at some leftovers. I thought the coffee was good too, but Strop was less impressed. She’s a hard woman to please on that front though.
I really enjoyed breakfast at Martini. There is something of old Newtown about it. A bit grungy and chaotic, with no sign of hipsterish pretence. It is what it is, which is pretty good. Afterwards Em and Strop headed up the hill to All Buttons Great and Small for a bit of button based therapy. I left them to it and moseyed off to check out rumours of a new joint called Luyu & Yum Yum, which is apparently raising the dumpling bar on King Street.