Daniel Son

Calm focus: The interior of Daniel Son cafe.
Calm focus: The interior of Daniel Son cafe. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

471-473 Neerim Road Murrumbeena, Victoria 3163

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Opening hours Mon-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Features Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Outdoor seating, Family friendly
Prices Cheap (mains under $20)
Payments Mastercard, Visa, eftpos
Phone 0497 690 628

In crowded countries, school start and finish times are staggered to fit in all the kids. I think we need to observe similar protocol in Melbourne for weekend breakfast.

If your football team missed the finals, or you say "awesome" more than twice a day, or you've hassled anyone about the ice bucket challenge then you have to come for breakfast before 9am.

Otherwise, it all gets a bit like Daniel Son on a Sunday at 11am: thick with people waiting desperately for a hangover-busting no-dishes brunch.

The 'Inglorious Bastard' pulled pork fritter panini.
The 'Inglorious Bastard' pulled pork fritter panini. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

On the other hand, when you watch a cafe deal with a crush you see its stripes. Daniel Son applies the calm focus of its Karate Kid namesake. There's a welcome from the coffee counter and an overall eagerness to accommodate that smooths the sharp edges of caffeine withdrawal.

We nabbed a table in the small astro-turfed courtyard and it was fine, creepy stuffed birds notwithstanding. Service was unharried, the kitchen kept up, and there was none of that feeling of the cafe leaning on its horn to push us along.

Maybe that's because we ordered the Inglorious Bastard, a crazy panini stuffed with pulled pork fritters the size of fence posts but much more tasty. Not even a professional eater like myself can put something like that away in a trice.

Tempting: Salted caramel chocolate brownie.
Tempting: Salted caramel chocolate brownie. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

There was also the breakfast burger to deal with, a neat package of sausage patty, free-range bacon and fried egg, and the down home meat hash (brisket, onion, potato and Old Bay celery salt seasoning) which makes a fella feel like he should hop on his horse instead of the 12.15 to Flinders Street, from the station just over the back fence.

Daniel Son also deserves mention for its tempting cake cabinet (crack pie!), and its smooth, powerful coffee. Come early if you can but if you must come at peak hour know you'll still have your pork panini promptly.

Rating: Three and a half stars (out of five)

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