Every once in a blue moon, a hospitality venue opens that exudes adaptability and all-inclusiveness, a place that is as perfectly suited and appropriate for an early-morning coffee and croissant as it is for an after-work drink or a most special of special occasions dinner. Enter Sons of Mary in 14 Spink Street, Brighton, just off of Martin Street and close to the Gardenvale railway station. Sons of Mary is a multi-faceted venue, containing a café, lounge/bar and restaurant built around a seated dining area. So, again, whether you seek a casual and relaxed dining experience or something a bit more refined, yet still relaxed, Sons of Mary delivers in spades.

This café-bar-restaurant offers separate breakfast, lunch and dinner menus built around specific service times. Breakfast can be ordered from 7am until 12pm, lunch is available from 12pm till 4pm and dinner can be enjoyed between the hours of 5pm and “late”, with the unaccounted for hour between 4pm and 5pm being filled with a variety of snack offerings and most likely a few drinks – wink, wink. Each distinct menu is extensive, and there is a touch of crossover from one to the next. Regardless of what time of the day you may decide to pay Sons of Mary a visit – possibly a return visit – the fresh, high-quality, well presented and delicious food will satisfy even the finickiest of palates.

First and foremost, if you are a devotee of the Church of the Daily Freshly Baked Muffin, like I am, then salvation awaits! If muffins aren’t your go, no worries. How does grilled brie on sourdough with roasted figs and an apple, pomegranate and green leaf salad strike you? Still waiting? OK, fine, here you go – balsamic-roasted Portobello mushrooms with goat’s cheese, pancetta, potato rosti, spinach puree and poached eggs. In addition to the hearty and multi-flavoured breakfast options, traditional favourites such as toast with preserves and honey-roasted granola are also available.

The lunch and dinner menus raise the selection and flavour stakes even higher. Both menus offer a selection of the house flat breads, which are roughly pizzas without the tomato sauce. The prosciutto, blue cheese, apple and balsamic glaze flat bread will make a return customer out of you, no doubt, as will the Moroccan spiced roast lamb, pumpkin, ashed goat’s cheese and roquette. The lunch portion of the twice-cooked carrot and gruyere soufflé is extraordinary in its availability and flavour combinations, to say the least. For dinner, why not go all in and opt for the prosciutto-baked lamb loin with smoked eggplant puree, ratatouille and thyme jus? As well as the main dinner menu, a selection of tapas is available nightly, as well, if you’re feeling peckish only. Finally, the seafood linguine, found on both the lunch and dinner menus, is a shellfish lover’s dream, teeming with impressive amounts of prawns, calamari and mussels seasoned with chili, garlic, olive oil and white wine. Speaking of wine…

The Sons of Mary wine list is truly fantastic, in my opinion – fantastic in its diverse offerings, which span Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Portugal, and fantastic in its value. The most expensive bottle on the entire menu is a mere $120, a bottle of NV Pommery Brut Royal Champagne from Reims, France. There is serious value-for-money to be had throughout this wine list. For example, a bottle of Domaine Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France – prized for its pinot blanc and pinot gris – can be yours for $50. If red is what comes to mind when you think wine, then expand your horizons and try the 2018 Exopto ‘Bozeto de Exopto’ tempranillo-granache blend from the award-winning region of Rioja, Spain - $55, to be precise. Finally, once you have eaten and drunk to your heart’s content, finish your evening with a selection from the dessert and fortified wine list. Here, you will find authentic selections of sherry, port and Madeira that will provide the perfect sweet finish to the evening.

Lastly but so very not leastly – if anything, this is quite possibly the focal element that ties all of the peripheral elements together – the staff at Sons of Mary is exquisite. Whether you drop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a few drinks, you are guaranteed some of the best service in the entire city. Friendly, efficient, accommodating, welcoming, attentive and knowledgeable, the staff at Sons of Mary goes out of its way to ensure that your dining and drinking experience is a truly memorable one. If more or different is what you want, ask the staff – if the request is reasonable, the staff will deliver. Honestly, there is absolutely nothing not to like about this joint. Drop in, have a feed, have a drink, smile, go home, take a nap. And don’t even get me started about the Chesterfield couches…

Image courtesy of Sons of Mary

Image courtesy of Sons of Mary

Image courtesy of Sons of Mary

Image courtesy of Sons of Mary

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