Chef Lachlan Timms spent several months getting his poached eggs just right for the opening of St Kilda eatery Matcha Mylkbar.
Big deal, you might say. Melbourne cafes poach perfect eggs by the thousand dozen every weekend.
But Timms' poachies aren't actually poached, and they aren't even eggs: Matcha Mylkbar's menu is entirely plant-based. The bright yellow "yolks" are a mix of sweet potato, coconut milk and linseed protein, while wobbly whites are made from agar agar coloured with coconut and almond milk. They are set in moulds and warmed to serve in a sous vide bath, with the yolks having a soft texture – a bit like a sweet yum cha pudding, part-way between jelly and custard.
"The yolks even 'pop' when you cut them," says Match Mylkbar's co-owner, Sarah Holloway. She and business partner Nic Davidson founded Matcha Maiden, a matcha tea importer, and have opened this venue in partnership with Mark and Attil Filippelli (Il Fornaio, Brighton Schoolhouse).
The vegan eggs have the same nutritional profile as hens' eggs, says Holloway. Other plant-based animal-protein impostors on the menu include mushroom "bacon" and almond "mozzarella".
The menu also includes a bunch of "longevity bowls" – dishes based on the diets of the long-lived populations of the world's so-called blue zones, including Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Ikaria in Greece: hashtag – #cleaneating.
There are matcha lattes and matcha tea – of course – plus a list of non-caffeinated latte-style drinks made from the likes of powdered chaga mushroom and almond milk sweetened with rice malt – a bitter, earthy brew – and a splendidly pink beetroot latte that tastes a little like a warm beetroot smoothie.
Open daily 7.30am-4.30pm.
72 Acland Street (corner Carlisle Street), St Kilda, 03 9534 1111, matchamylkbar.com