As so many good weekends start, we kicked off our weekend with a long brunch. But this was no ordinary brunch. Sure, it had the all essential components of perfectly poached eggs, toast, avocado and granola but that is where the predictable menu items end. We were at Bai Long Store, a hot new Asian concept from the teams behind Gin Long Canteen and Concubine. Not only can you go there for a magnificent meal but you can take home a piece of the Bail Long experience. The same noodles, granola and tea from the menu are available for purchase as well as other souvenir products such as chopsticks, a thermos flask that will keep your tea hot for hours and an insulated cup. Bottles of freshly brewed tea of varying strengths are on sale as well a take-away menu items.
I cannot speak of our Bai Long experience without mentioning the glorious Wagyu Beef Pie. Its golden, flaky pastry encases a creamy red curry beef with a perfect chilli kick. One bite and I’m hooked, this will be a regular purchase when driving through the city. There is also a fabulous looking cake cabinet that I feel the need to work my way through while I’m at it. Alas, we are here to discuss breakfast so I’ll stop day dreaming about the pie and move forward.
The best part of the Granola is that if (when) you love it you can buy it to enjoy at home too. The buckwheat and nuts results in a very pleasing texture that is extremely crunchy. It is served with a homemade blueberry and coconut yoghurt that must contain some mashed banana as this comes out as the dominant flavour. Topped with fresh fruit this dish is light but satisfying and suitable for vegans.
There is always someone in the group who likes a sweet breakfast and at Bai Long there is only one, the French Toast. This is a case of do one and do it well. Beautifully presented blocks of grilled brioche sandwich a delicious blueberry custard. As the bread is cut in thick slices it not soggy, the blueberry custard is not overly sweet. The sweetness comes from a maple infused crème fraiche and drizzle of maple and berry coulis. The delightful surprise is the pressed rosewater watermelon that bursts with rose fragrance and.
One of the standout dishes was the Confit Mushrooms that even had a person who doesn’t like mushrooms singing its praises. The assorted mushrooms are rich, buttery and luxurious. Instead of toast the mushrooms and poached eggs sit on a slab of semolina that is studded with sultanas to add a touch of sweetness. The Asian flavours are underpinned with black sesame that binds all the flavours together.
Another favourite was the Roti Benedict; its take on an Asian inspired hollandaise sauce is sublime. The hot and sour effect of the Tom Yum infusion brings a warm, cosy vibe to the golden breakfast staple. More tastes of Asia are showcased with crunchy fried shallots, coriander and fried basil leaves topping the poached eggs. The traditional muffin is replaced with a round of flaky roti and slices of miso eggplant substitute ham, adding to the ingenuity of this delicious, inspired dish.
Another classic with a difference is the Dukkah Eggs, a take on avocado and eggs on toast. Here we have black sourdough toast spread with a creamy avocado mash. A couple of poached eggs are hidden under slices of apple cider vinegar compressed apple slices and a mound of watercress leaves and a sprinkling of quinoa. The eggs themselves are rolled in the Egyptian spice mix that dominates the palate through all the varied components. Lovers of dukkah will adore these eggs and it ticks a lot of boxes for the health conscious.
Speaking of the health conscious, I’d suggest the Scrambled Tofu would appeal to them. I on the other hand, prefer to stay away from anything to do with the ubiquitous bean curd, but in the interest of the full experience I sliced off a piece of black rice sourdough topped with, poached eggs and what looked like porridge. Well-seasoned with sesame and miso I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed both the flavours and texture of this dish. To be fair, the roasted cauliflower on the side was fabulous and I could eat a plate of just that.
The menu also has a number of more traditional Asian breakfasts; cold noodle salads, rice bowls, noodle soup and congee with various proteins. Our visit to Bai Long was so much more than brunch, it was a tantalising experience, a journey of excitement, a symphony of new concoctions and surprising combinations. We are so excited to be returning for dinner next week so stay tuned to hear about that experience.
Bai Long Store is located at Hutt Street, underneath the Channel 10 building. Adelaide Food Central would like to thank the Bai Long team for their hospitality and such a memorable morning.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 80 Hutt St, Adelaide