Some mornings call for a simple breakfast: perhaps a fried egg on a slice of toasted sourdough, or a classic omelette. Most of the time, however, I’m attracted to morning meals with a little more pizzazz. That’s what I love about Dovetail On Overend and Dovetail Social.
Sure, they have some classic, more ubiquitous breakfast dishes – avocado on sourdough, a bacon-and-egg sandwich and a macadamia muesli – but it’s their creative, Filipino-influenced dishes that I yearn for. In particular, I can’t stop thinking about owner Rejoice Thomson’s adobo bowl.
Thomson – who co-owns both Dovetail cafes with her husband Adam – draws on her Filipino heritage for the dish. The pork and chicken adobo recipe was passed down by her father, who learnt from his mother. Pork belly pieces and chicken legs are marinated and slowly braised in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic until the meat is unctuous and meltingly tender.
The adobo is accompanied with numerous equally delicious components, including kale laing. Thomson tells me laing is a dish from the Bicol region of the Philippines and that it's usually prepared with taro leaves. Her version swaps the taro leaves for kale, which is cooked in coconut milk, with shrimp paste adding an umami kick.
Sautéed shiitake and wood ear mushrooms, based on a Filipino dish called sisig, are another element of the bowl. This dish originates from the Pampanga region and is usually made with parts from a pig’s face and belly. Thomson uses these particular mushrooms to provide a similar texture to the pork in sisig.
Thomson tells me that in the Philippines, adobo is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If it’s eaten for breakfast, it’s served with fried eggs. Thomson dials hers up with devilled eggs topped with home-made longganisa (a Filipino version of chorizo) and toasted garlic.
All the components of the bowl are served on a bed of rice, which has been fried in the garlicky adobo juices. The final bowl is a rich yet balanced explosion of garlic-laden, meaty flavours and creamy textures, with all the individual elements complementing each other perfectly.
It has to be one of the tastiest breakfasts (or lunches) in Brisbane. I’ll take it over fried eggs on toast any day.