Little Dreamer’s Breakfast Tower has appeared on a few must-try breakfast lists, but it was really the other menu items that eventually drew us to visit. Although the Breakfast Tower promised an abundance of savoury and sweet items that was another step further than the big breakfasts offered in most places, the big breakfast is rarely an item we order in general, as while it tests an eatery’s ability to do the basics well (which is usually what a big breakfast comprises), it doesn’t show off their creativity or ability to combine flavours.
It is a little out of the way, being located in Calamvale. For those who like a bit of suburban wandering, this will fit the bill. It is not in the larger shopping centre complex of Calamvale Central Shopping Centre, but in a smaller shopping enclave. The attached parking lot makes things more convenient.
The seating area outside was the first we saw of the eatery as we approached. It was all under cover, so a bit sheltered from the elements. Branches of pastel pink flowers suspended from a pillar and trailing along the ceiling caught the eye more than “Little Dreamer” in white cursive lettering against a pale blue background over the entrance. That sign would also not have been visible from the road, so you had to know what you were looking for.
A chalkboard sign near the entrance of the cafe tells patrons that it is counter service, and that you should remember your table number when you order. Waitstaff who happened to be cleaning down a recently vacated table indicated that we could sit at any available table we liked. While there were a couple of tables in the inside area, they were already occupied, and most of the seating was in the outside section. We picked a table, and were brought water and menus.
The colors of white, blue, and pink were repeated through the decor, with light blue seats matched with the white tables. Pink vases at the tables held artificial flowers in various hues of pink, and chalkboard signs with the table numbers on them. Although it was quite light and cheerful, there were little things that made it less comfortable than it could have been. There were fans in the inside area, but not outside, where the majority of the tables were. It was a warm, humid day when we were there, and although there was the occasional light breeze, it felt stifling at times, and the flies were just as interested in the food as we were. The edges of the white laminate tables were peeling at the edges in sections, which made it sharp on the arms if you leaned on them.
The menu was printed on a single large laminated sheet, divided into columns of All day breakfast (730am to 2pm) and Lunch (11am to 2pm) items. What had enticed us to Little Dreamer was the fusion flavours to many of the dishes, like the Soft Shell Crab Croissant, or the Benedict with cheesy potato croquette and sriracha hollandaise. Despite those being serious contenders, we ended up choosing the Waffle with fried chicken and the Chilli pork croissant.
Going insider to order, we found the service counter bedecked with colourful bouquets of artificial flowers and planters of artificial greenery. It created quite an ethereal visual effect, in line with the name of the cafe (along with being easier to maintain than the real thing).
The coffees were prettily presented when brought to the table, an indication that they know how many photos of food and drinks get taken these days.
The flat white was served in a sky blue cup, matching the key colours of the decor. It had good strength of flavour and was well-textured.
The soy iced latte was also rather photogenic, served in an art deco-look ridged glass, with a gold-coloured straw. It had a lightly nutty flavour, and was not bitter. It was not quite strong enough though.
It was difficult to go past the Waffle on the menu. It was listed as having herb fried crusted chicken, cheesy potato waffle, fried egg, green mayo, tomato salsa, and fresh herb salad. When served, the pools of green mayo certainly stood out against the black plate. The fried egg and pile of salad hid the components of most interest, but peeking below that, we could see the golden brown crumb on the fried chicken. The crumb coating had a good crunch to it, and the right amount of saltiness. They managed to avoid the trap of overcooking the chicken, so the meat was still tender, and not dry. The potato waffle was more like a fritter pressed into the shape of a waffle than your typical waffle made from batter. It had a good crunchy crust on the outside, and a mashed potato texture on the inside, making for an interesting mix of textures. The fried egg was well done, with a soft yolk. That eye-catching green mayo had a strong herby, basil flavour, providing a good counter of freshness to the richness of the other components. It was certainly a dish that delivered what we hoped for.
The Chilli Pork Croissant had braised pork belly, scrambled eggs, sambal oelek, crispy shallots, and herb salad. Here too, the sauce added visual interest to the plating, with the burgundy-hued sauce making rings around the other components. The croissant had been sliced open, with the top half sat to the side, and scrambled egg and pork layered on the bottom half. The braised pork belly cubes were an interesting char siew shade of pink, rather than the cooked meat brown you generally see. The pork was fall-apart tender, with melt-in-your-mouth fat layers. It had five spice and cumin notes, and a light sweetness. The croissant was light and quite crisp on the outside, although we like ours with a more brittle shatter to the layers. We also found the croissant not buttery enough, unfortunately. The scrambled eggs were well folded, soft and moist. The sambal oelek sauce let you add a little heat to the mix, but control how much you wanted.
Little Dreamer was a nice find. They have certainly put effort into making the setting and the food photogenic. They have also clearly put effort into creating tempting dishes that are a bit different from standard brunch fare. Despite the distance, it was worth visiting, and if you’re on the southside and hunting for a meal, it is worth a stop. (Perhaps avoid very hot days though.)
Price point: $16 to $23 for items more substantial than avocado on toast or an acai bowl. Our dishes $18 and $16 in order. Their famous Breakfast Tower for two $59.
Value: Not bad.
Address: Calamvale Village, Shop 3/51 Kameruka St, Calamvale
Phone: 07 3161 2215
Website: Little Dreamer Cafe