Breakfast at Pentridge Prison: The Glass Den
Now I’ll be the first to admit that recommending a cafe in a prison is odd, but The Glass Den is well worth trip to the prison.
MH Pentridge Prison was a huge prison complex that operated from 1851 through to the 1997 in Coburg in the Melbourne’s northern suburbs. In recent years redevelopment has begun to transform the area into modern apartment buildings and with that comes life style facilities. Much of the original architecture remains, and the designs for housing complexed will keep much of the original facades and iconic landmarks. The buildings are instantly recognised for their beautiful bluestone buildings which were cut and laid by the prisoners themselves. In a quiet corner of the finished development area you’ll find The Glass Den cafe. I found this place whilst doing a search for great coffee on Bean hunter (my favourite way to find new coffee haunts!)
One busy Saturday morning I visited here for breakfast with the fella. The cafe wasn’t full, but for some reason the kitchen was backlogged for over 40 minutes. This luckily wasn’t an issue for me as I was happy to sit back with a top cup of coffee, read the paper and soak up the unusual surroundings.
The coffee here became a regular daily ritual whilst living in this area of the city temporarily. It is brilliant cup of strong, well-balanced coffee. I sat in the courtyard happily devouring multiple cups whilst staring at the buildings nearby including the notorious D Block (where the high security, most dangerous prisoners were kept).
Yes the food did take ages to arrive, which was disappointing as it was a Saturday and the place wasn’t even full. However these things happen and the meal that was eventually served wiped all frustrations away. It was delicious!
I ordered the big breakfast which is overly generous in its size. The meal contained two poached eggs served on slices of toasted sourdough bread, served alongside wilted kale, a baked Portobello mushroom, crispy succulent bacon, a sweet roasted tomato, scattering of onion tapenade, beetroot relish, house cooked beans and topped with micro herbs.
The eggs were perfectly cooked to retain their gorgeous natural golden runny yolk. The tomato was sweet and bursting with juice. The mushroom and bacon provided a filling yummy element that were made extra perfect with a scatter of salt. Surprisingly the beans were the winning element on the plate. Baked beans are not generally something I’m keen on eating, but these were cooked in a tomato and onion base which allowed the cannallini beans to become meaty and moorish! I couldnt stop eating it!
Naturally I am a huge fan of beetroot in any form, and the relish was a nice addition to the plate. It gave a natural earthiness to the dish. The only disappointing element was the kale, which I believe was more my issue than a flaw with the dish. I’ve never come around to the Kale fiesta that swept the food industry. The kale served here was crispy on the leaves but still was chewy. I found the texture odd. However that’s just a personal preference thing!
The fella ordered a version of eggs Benedict that came with a generous serving of pulled pork! It looked as good as it tasted utterly delicious! We were both very satisfied with our choices!
The Glass Den is a wonderful addition to any breakfast and coffee lovers hit list for Melbourne! You can check out my list of tip spots in Melbourne here!