Everyone knows I am no hipster, neither in demeanour nor intent, and yet I find myself drawn to cafes and eateries frequented by earnest millenials pondering whether THIS smashed avocado surpasses the unexpected finery of a spring pea guacamole at THAT vegan pop-up.
Such were the online debates about the Flinders St Project in Adelaide, knee-deep in ‘nouveaux Doc Martens’, a surfeit of non-functioning organic deodorant crystals and hand-woven Peruvian wool socks that escaped the ‘keep it local’ ethos in a battle between saving the Peruvian llama, the wool-gathering intersectional hillside co-operative and carbon-spitting air travel.
The brunch menu was fabricated from a roll the dice attitude to hipster ingredients cast out in the table in random associations. Field greens, quinoa, poached hens eggs might sit as easily aside handwoven sourdough toast, chia seeds, zucchini noodles. How these associations led to desirable taste sensations was less clear.
I ordered a mushroom omelette with bacon and sourdough toast. It came with lashings of bitter greens, feta cheese (no punctuation required).
This was a SHOCKER of a meal. The omelette was charred on the bottom with that horrid flavour and smell that burnt eggs caught on the hob brings. Inside, it was utterly raw. A plateful of enoki, oyster, chestnut mushrooms which were utterly unchopped or seasoned in a cold sea of albumen.
The toast was hard and dry (I love sourdough toast so this was criminal) and the bacon had been placed into a pan of fat, cooked where its curls met the hot fat, then lifted out, without turning, to be placed atop my burnt, raw omelette.
Our hipster generation can excite the palette with ingredients and choices that are unexpected and explosive. Where they attend the ‘latest new place’, they should demand, all of us should demand, that the basics of cooking are respected or there should be no payment for sub-par cooking.