Once again, this week was the end of term and time for the culinary arts & hospitality students from the Austral...
I have recently had the opportunity to sample both breakfast and lunch at the Hogs Breath Cafe in Rockingham (and not on the same day, before the accusations start).
Breakfast experience 1
I remember seeing a breakfast menu at Hogs Breath in Mandurah a long time ago, however I never had the opportunity to try it so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Rockingham restaurant serves breakfast 7 days a week from 8:30am. Normally I’d go for the big breakfast, although here it’s steak-based with bacon, cheese, two eggs, sautéed mushrooms, sliced tomato, grilled onions, 3 hash browns, barbecue sauce and toast all for a reasonable $19.95. That wasn’t really grabbing me so I decided to try the scrambled eggs, which came with toast, bacon, two hash browns & barbecue sauce, again for a reasonable $12.95. Other options include pancakes with maple syrup & ice-cream ($6.95) or bananas & bacon ($9.95), a bacon & egg burger with hash browns ($9.95), a brekky burger ($11.95) and a steak & egg sandwich ($14.95). Extras available include a side serve of hog tail fries ($4.95), grilled onions ($2.95), sliced avocado ($3.95) and garlic mushrooms ($3.95). Hmm no beans.
There was no way I was going to order coffee, so I ordered a pineapple juice & a hot chocolate, hoping that they wouldn’t screw either of those up. The juice was fine although the hot chocolate smelt and tasted a little odd, almost as if the milk was slightly on the turn. I wasn’t horribly ill afterwards so maybe it was just me. I think I’ll stick to the cold drinks in future, they serve some nice-sounding cocktails which would go down well with breakfast…
I was surprised at the quality of the meal, particularly given the price. The eggs were smooth and creamy, the bacon very smoky (and unique for breakfast) and thumbs up for the generous serving of hash browns. The barbecue sauce was also very tasty, and not something I’d normally go for at breakfast but I enjoyed it. Having got so sick of bacon & eggs that taste the same whoever you go, this was a nice change. If you really fancy a full breakfast you’re going to have to go for the steak, and there’s no sausages or baked beans to speak of.
Breakfast experience 2
I went back the next week and ordered the same thing. The eggs were rubbery & under seasoned, the bacon bland, no butter was provided and the sauce….I think it was hollandaise…was horrible. A major disappointment, enough to put me off ever going back. A real shame after the first week.
I went for lunch on a Sunday when one of my boys had a friend over who had broken his arm and thus they were forced to play inside. Hence, for my own sanity and to prevent justifiable cruelty to children I escaped the house for some relative piece and quiet, again at the Rockingham restaurant.
As soon as I saw the “Monterey cheese sticks” on the menu I hd to try them for entree – mozzarella sticks are a favourite of mine but are rarely found on menus in Australia. I tried to make them at home once and I made such a mess that my wife hasn’t let me use the deep fryer since. The serving was generous, and they came with a salsa & ranch sauce, both of which were incredibly sweet, and this theme was common across the whole meal. I don’t think the cheese was mozzarella as it was way too liquid, and nowhere near “cheesy” enough. I won’t be rushing back for those. The menu describes them as being “dusted in our own blackened seasoning” although (perhaps thankfully) I don’t know where the blackening was.
If you’re not familiar with the Hog’s Breath menu, take a look at it here. There’s plant of variety on offer from steaks to burgers, seafood, pasta, salads etc, and also a kid’s menu. I’ve gone on record as saying that I don’t like the steak at Hogs Breath, and I’m not changing that view. Feeling like something burger-ish, I decided to try the “Serious Steak Burger” ($19.95) which comes with double steak, double cheese, lettuce, red onion rings, beetroot, tomato, grilled onions and Byron Bay chilli sauce.
I ordered my burger with no tomato, and they also managed to leave out the grilled onions which was a shame. The sauce was nice with a surprising kick for a generic menu item sauce, although again it was just too sweet. I’m not sure what it is with the sweetness, maybe it helps their food appeal to children? The curly fries were okay, but nowhere as exciting as I remember them being when I was younger.
I originally wrote this review before my second breakfast experience, and my closing comment was that the food was pedestrian but that there wasn’t really anything to fault. No doubt there are plenty of people who love the food here, and no doubt they will continue to enjoy their meals. So what is my final conclusion? I’ll be finding somewhere else for breakfast and going to Outback Jack’s if I’m looking for lunch or dinner around Rockingham City.