We all love a free flow brunch, but with so many to choose from, which should you book next? On a mission to try them all, I headed to brunch at Lily & Bloom with friends (and a few kids in tow).
Where & When
Lily & Bloom is at 33 Wyndham Street, in the same building as the LKF Hotel. Their ‘All American Weekend Brunch’ promises American diner classics with a modern twist, and happens on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. There are two sittings, 11am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm. They’ve also recently launched a new series of BLACKOUT hip hop party brunches inspired by New York City’s legendary weekend brunch fiestas.
Polished wood, a mix of art deco and industrial details and big mirrors all around, give Lily & Bloom an updated 1920s speakeasy feel. It’s light and airy, with upbeat background music, and it’s a pleasant place to hangout for a few hours. The staff were welcoming and friendly and the ambience was relaxed.
The ‘All American Weekend Brunch’ consists of an appetiser buffet, followed by a series of sharing plates served at your table (you can order extras of any sharing plates if you want). This is hearty food and plenty of it, and there’s no danger of anyone going hungry here.
The appetiser selection was fairly small, but everything we tried was good (the chicken salad was especially delicious). There was charcuterie, a cheese board, a choice of bread, smoked salmon, prawns and mussels, as well as some tasty salads. There’s also a made-to-order omelette station.
Anyway, best not to eat too much at this stage because the table service dishes that follow are epic. These were served one at a time over the course of a couple of hours, so it’s a very relaxed experience.
First out was the BLT Avocado Toast, served on a light brioche with jalapeño avocado mash, fresh lime, cherry tomatoes, and crispy bacon. The hint of jalapeño and lime was just right to cut through the richness of the avacado, and the bacon was as awesomely crispy as promised. Next up was the Diner Corned Beef Hash. Crispy potato and corned beef, topped with just-cooked eggs ready to ‘hash’ together at the table. I have to say this isn’t something I would have chosen from a menu, but it was pretty tasty.
We then moved on to Billy’s Blueberry Pancakes served with crispy bacon strips and breakfast sausages. These were lusciously sweet, fruity pancakes served with butter just melting on top, and got the thumbs up from both kids and adults. And this place seems to specialise in perfectly cooked bacon!
Then came the Big Brioche French Toast served with a sweet berry compote and sweet cream. These were big door-stopper slices of toast, and the jammy berry compote had just the right mix of sweetness and tartness. Finally came Classic Fried Chicken & Biscuits. Personally I found this a little oily, but some of my fellow brunchers enjoyed it more.
The kids in our party then enjoyed the chocolate fountain and cupcake making station. There was no dessert buffet apart from these two things, but we were all too stuffed for dessert anyway!
Good for Kids?
We had 5 kids with us, ranging from 1 to 7 years old. Lily & Bloom promotes itself as ‘family friendly’, and we certainly felt welcome and comfortable here.
I’m not sure any of the little diners got value for money from the amount of food they actually consumed from their $125 per head brunch. However, they all found some things they enjoyed and needless to say they were all keen on the chocolate fountain and cupcake decorating station – who’d have thought it! There is a kids menu available if you want to skip the buffet. (Under 4s eat free from the buffet).
There’s a kids play area here, which is actually a section of the bar upstairs. Geared to the 5 and under crowd, parental supervision is needed (because of the stairs and the surrounding bar area). You can’t see this play area from your table. We actually didn’t tell our kids there was a play area until right at the end of the meal, because we are cruel parents and didn’t want to leave our brunch! Anyway, they were fine nibbling and colouring-in at the table.
Value for Money
This brunch is $320 for brunch only and $515 with free flow (Bellini, beers, Bloody Marys or Summer Cups (Pimms)) and is good value for money. My only minor quibble would be that mineral water is not included in the free flow, so that’s an additional cost.
As I mentioned above, you might want to check the menu before choosing the $125 child’s brunch. But having said that, I think with children at brunches you pay as much for the ambience and little extras to keep them happy (the chocolate fountain, the cupcake decorating station, the play area) as for the food. So with that in mind I think it’s a reasonable price for families.
When: Saturday and Sunday from 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Cost: $320 for adults with a complimentary coffee, tea or juice; $120 for add-on of six pieces freshly-shucked oysters; $195 free flow Bellini, Bloody Mary, beers and summer cups; $125 children 4-11. Kids under 4 eat free
Where: 33 Wyndham Street, Central
Book: 2810 6166 or