Campbell residents must be happy to see new pub, The Pedlar, open up in the neighbourhood. The Pedlar is situated on the ground floor of the new apartment complex The Creswell (not at the Campbell shops like some of my friends thought). The L-shaped eatery holds a mix of tables from a mint coloured banquette to communal tables with a beachwashed look. Add in some funky patterns, timber floorboards and plants, and the fit out looks modern with a hipster touch.
My friends and I decided to check it out one weekend for brunch. On that sunny morning, the place looked more like a cafe than a pub. Orders are taken and paid for at the bar. Tap water is self-serve with plenty of glasses and bottles of water available at a designated water stand.
I started off with a soy mocha ($4.50) and was happy with the careful balance between coffee and chocolate.
My friend ordered a macchiato ($3.50) which looked adorable – so teeny tiny.
I decided to try the fried duck egg with sweet corn fritters, whipped goats curd and roasted tomatoes ($18). This was a bit of a unique take on the regular stacked fritters as these were served as small fritter balls. I thought that the fritters didn’t have much flavour or enough moistness from the sweet corn. The egg white had been allowed to ooze and fry in the pan giving it a nice crispy texture, while keeping the duck egg yolk runny to be mopped up by the fritters. Not my favourite dish and not the most filling either.
I also ordered the peach, elderflower and mint frappe ($7.50) which was served piled high in a tall glass. I couldn’t taste much of the elderflower but I enjoyed the peach and mint mix. This will be great in the warmer months!
My friend had the coconut crusted French toast with espresso mascarpone, berry compote and maple syrup ($17). This was my next choice meal in my battle between savoury vs sweet for brunch. So I’m glad my friend ordered it. It looked so good.
I wasn’t quite done with the brunch menu so I went back on another day to try more. This time I ordered the Shakshuka baked eggs with tomato sugo, roasted peppers, chilli and grilled sourdough ($18). The eggs were perfectly cooked and runny. I loved the middle eastern flavours and the mild spices used in the sugo. There were a few slices of chilli in the bowl but they weren’t hot enough to burn the mouth. My only minor complaints are that it was very oily and it was another smallish portion.
My friend V tried the pan seared sardines with pickled cucumber, dill, dried sour cherries and manchego cheese on rye toast ($18). An interesting dish and it would not have been something I would usually pick. However, V enjoyed the combination of flavours.
Service was friendly enough when ordering at the bar and we were asked for feedback when the plates were being cleared. There were several cyclist groups dining in both times I was there. It did get loud inside but the noise lessened when the bi-fold doors opened up to let in more sunshine. There was plenty of seating outdoors with gas heaters already set up, not that they were needed.
The Pedlar is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu can be found on their website. I’m looking forward to going back to try out the lunch menu!
Value for money 6.5/10
FPJ score 20/30
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