Going to Collingwood always feels like an adventure as being slightly further from home (read, awkward to get to) we don’t go often, so I was delighted when Terror Twilight, one of Collingwood’s newest eateries offered to host us, as it means I get a sneaky half day out in the process.
Now Terror Twilight is a pretty unusual name for this cafe, as it will fill you with delight, not Terror, and it’s probably best to visit at the crack of dawn, to enjoy their great coffee – provided by Brunswick’s Wide Open Road, and sample their gorgeous breakfast menu. Having only been open 6 weeks, it’s a big change from the previous eatery at this location, swapping Southern fried food for fresh, healthy meals. We visited on one of their quieter days, and although it was almost empty when we arrived, about half the tables quickly filled up with patrons visiting for a mix of coffees and pastries (Also made by Wide Open Road), or breakfast. It’s a simple, clean fit out and works well for laid back brunches or a calm environment for a business meeting. There are a range of tables, including two well suited for larger groups.
The menu comes in roughly two parts- there’s your more traditional breakfast options – free range eggs, avocado, pikelets (baby pancakes in case you don’t know), porridge, fritters etc. and then there’s Bowls or Broths, which are definitely going to become Terror Twilight’s trademark. There’s a lot to love about them – they’re healthy, full of flavour, fresh and totally on trend.
Choosing them comes in 4 parts. Firstly, decided if you want a bowl or a broth. Then you choose a base, so for the bowls this is brown rice, broccoli and winter greens or a 3 grain mix. For the broths, this is choosing your broth flavour of chicken or shitake. Then you add your sides and a protein if you like. I opted for haloumi (obviously), sweet potato, and tumeric + cumin tossed cauliflower in my bowl, with a base of broccoli and winter greens and chicken for my protein. Mr Boring (who has become so much less boring of late that he might need a new name) went for a chicken broth, with buckwheat noodles, a soft boiled egg and fresh bokchoy, enoki mushrooms, beanshoots and thai basil, adding salmon for his protein.
I want to say the best thing about them is that they are so healthy, but it’s not. It’s either that they are so delicious, or that you get to build your own dish, or that they cater really well for dietary requirements, argh! Ok, the best THINGS about these bowls/broths are:
1. They are healthy – like crazy healthy. Fresh ingredients, loads of veggies – I felt good just eating it. It’s not often breakfast is the healthiest thing I eat all day.
2. They are delicious. I’m very quick to get bored with healthy food if it doesn’t taste of much, but Terror Twilight make an effort to ensure the sides all have a range of colours, textures and flavours. It means your food not only looks interesting, it’s exciting to eat too. There’s a good balance of each item – I left some of my greens, but that was because M.B. stole half my chicken and haloumi. Although if I ordered again I probably would go for the brown rice instead, I just got a bit too wrapped up in being healthy.
3. They are versatile. There’s loads of options, so you won’t get bored, even if you visit often. Most of the elements are gluten free and there are heaps of vegetarian and vegan options so it really does have something to please even the most particular of eaters. You can also buy cups of the broth too – like seriously, could this place be any more Melbourne!
We also got to try the pikelets, which came with grilled plums, cherry and cardamom syrup, coconut yoghurt and hazelnut brittle. These were also vegan!! Now I’ve heard this mystery of vegan pancakes before, and that they apparently taste really good. So, how you make Vegan pancakes, I have no clue, and to be honest it’s a deliberate ignorance – I love eating meat and dairy, and do everything in my power to convince my wannabe vegan friend that anything purposefully made Vegan (i.e. replacing something that is usually meat or dairy) must be horrible. BUT I’ve got to be honest, these pikelets were amazing, they were light and airy and really tasty. They were so easy to eat, I could have devoured about 100 of them. I enjoyed the syrup and the brittle, but I think a smaller fruit like blueberries or strawberries would have completed the delicate pancakes better.
A quick final word on the coffee. Mr Boring tried the batch which is a strong, but enjoyable brew – will really wake you up. You can customise this by adding extra shots too. M.B. went for the mind one, which helps give you clarity of thought.
We liked the healthy conscious, clean eats undertone of Terror Twilight. It’s not in your face about it, but most of the menu is healthy, fresh food. It tastes great and really sets you up well for the day. It’s a got a good all day, versatile menu, with plenty of options to keep you coming back. While it might be a little different from your usual Collingwood eatery (and maybe more at home in my active-wear loving, whole-food eating Elwood neighbourhood), that’s what makes it so great. It’s offering a new dynamic to the local food scene and one I’d definitely recommend getting on board with if you’re in the local area.