Mr Pilgrim Café
1341 Dandenong Road Chadstone, VIC 3148
I made an impromptu visit to Mr Pilgrim Café while shopping at Chaddy. It was in an area that I don’t normally walk past, just outside of the exit next to Country Road. Walking in, I was pretty impressed by the décor – it had the standard shopping centre café look, but with touches of Melbourne hipster, down to the marble design tables with the little green plant on it.
There was big display counter with all their offerings of sandwiches, wraps and salads, as well as a section for cakes and other desserts. All of it looked tasty enough, but nothing struck me as overly special. I ended up choosing a (somewhat) healthy chicken and avocado panini, while K went for their ‘Baked Spanish Eggs’ as well as the usual cold drip.
The cold drip turned out to be quite different to the usual experience – it came out on a wooden board (naturally), but with a bottle of mineral water and a few slices of lemon on the side. The coffee was quite dark, and not as clear as it usually is at other places. K reported that the flavour was very earthy, not fruity, and probably heavier than he would have preferred. He wasn’t sure what to do with all the extras, but ended up pouring in a dash of mineral water and a squeeze of lemon juice. Unfortunately, this was followed by immediate regret as it ended up detracting from the coffee itself.
My chicken panini came out next. It had been warmed, presumable just with a sandwich press, and the cheese inside was melted, which I appreciated. The size of it was reasonable, especially considering it was less than $10, and the ingredients were fresh. My main criticism would be the lack of seasoning – the chicken and avocado are both mildly-flavoured ingredients and there wasn’t enough cheese to add the right amount of saltiness. I ended up opening up my panini and adding salt and pepper myself.
K’s baked eggs looked fairly similar to those served at most other cafes. It had chorizo, capsicum, onions, tomatoes and greens with two eggs, topped with a handful of rocket. On first impression, we were both very pleased about the amount of sourdough that was provided on the side – too often baked eggs come with only one pathetic slice of bread which is nowhere near enough. Upon tasting, the dish was OK, but there were some definite flaws. Firstly, the eggs were overcooked – not disastrous but definitely not as they should be. The base of the dish was very runny, on par with the consistency of water, whereas it should be a thick, rich, tomatoey sauce that can be picked up by the bread. I also found it to be a bit overly sweet, which might’ve been the capsicum, although I suspect that there may have also been some added sugar. On a positive note, there was a good amount of chorizo, which was delicious and added some much needed saltiness. The melted mozzarella cheese on top was also a great addition.
Mr Pilgrim Café is a decent place to eat if you need a bit of non-foodcourt sustenance while in Chaddy, but it probably wouldn’t be somewhere that I’d go out of my way to visit. The food there is pretty standard but there is a lot of choice, and some healthier options too if that’s what you’re after. I probably wouldn’t recommend getting the cold drip if you visit though – it was pretty pricey at $6 (I think), but if you do, I’d skip all the extras and just drink it as is.