Cafe Melba Reuben sandwich

Brunch in the East – Cafe Melba

Café Melba is one of those places you wish would get the consistency right. Located in a lovely, leafy enclave as part of the Goodman Arts Centre, the vibe is definitely one that is great for a chilled out Sunday brunch.

Sit inside and watch the action unfold at the open-concept kitchen or dine al fresco and keep cool under powerful fans.

Also, there’s a fun little playground with bouncy castles for the kids, so parents can enjoy their nosh while their kiddoes play.

Café Melba has been around for quite some time now, and is an extremely popular place for Sunday brunch. They don’t take reservations, and if you go later than say, 12.30pm, you’ll probably have a bit of a wait.

Since there are always so many new places constantly popping up, I hadn’t been to Café Melba for quite some time but decided to visit again recently. Thing is, this is one of those places where you really need to be careful what you order. It makes all the difference as to whether you would come back or not.

Some dishes like the reuben sandwich and the rosti are just fabulous, but don’t even go near the pancakes.

Cafe Melba Reuben sandwich
Reuben Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

The Reuben ($24) – with melted cheese draped over corned beef with lashings of piquant sauerkraut, is just the kind of oozy brunch-y sandwich you want. Especially if you’ve had quite the night before. Order it with some sweet potato fries, and you’re in heaven.

Cafe Melba Rosti
Mozzarella-stuffed potato Rosti

The Rosti ($16)? Yummy! They stuff so much mozzarella in the rosti, that every mouthful is one awesome, cheesy bite. Add a couple of creamy, well-poached eggs and it’s just decadent.

We were really pleased with the Reuben and the Rosti, so we went back the very next Sunday for brunch and…that’s when it all went downhill.

Cafe Melba pancakes

First off, the pancakes arrived within 3 minutes of placing our order, which already aroused some suspicion. The “pancakes” were dry, and no amount of drizzling extra maple syrup could help – which basically meant that the pancakes were not freshly made. In fact, when we returned the dish, the waiter admitted as much. Seriously guys – serving old pancakes?

Cafe Melba French toast
Brioche French Toast

So we went for the other carby favourite – French Toast. Although better than the pancakes (but that’s not saying much), these were nothing great either. There was a drizzle of earl grey syrup, which I must say, did have just the right amount of earl grey infused in it, but the accompanying raspberry yoghurt – well, the dish would have been better if they had given more than a smidgen scoop of it. More would have helped up the creamy, indulgent factor that every good Sunday brunch deserves.

(On that note, the Very Berry Stuffed French Toast at House at Dempsey? Now that should be the reference point. Cut into your toast and you have oodles of berries and yoghurt spilling out and providing lovely moisture to the French toast).

Cafe Melba Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict

But back to Melba. We had the Eggs Benedict as well on that day. These were fine – eggs were poached well enough, hollandaise had the right tanginess, but the bacon should have been crispier.

So, the conclusion is – great vibe, ambience, awesome place for families or even friends/couples (it still manages to retain a funky vibe despite kids running around), but really, read up more about the items before you order.

And stay away from the pancakes.

Café Melba:

Address: 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Block N#01-56

Contact: Tel: 6440 6068 or

Opening Hours:

Weekdays – 10am – 10pm

Weekends & Public Holidays – 8:30am – 10pm.



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