Breakfast, I think, is a meal with multiple personalities. It can be the same every day, it can be slurped out of a straw on the run, it can be hot, cold, big, small, nutritious, unhealthy, NBD, the most important meal of the day or skipped altogether. And sometimes, it can be so fantastic that you keep telling people about it for the whole day.

Ah, Square & Compass, you do not disappoint. The menu there is pretty solid but they mix it up with the occasional new thing to keep things fresh for the regulars (and presumably also for the kitchen crew).

Now I must apologise for the blurry nature of the photo here, but I had greedily gulped down a flat white immediately on delivery, and by the time the food arrived the caffeine just wouldn’t let my hands be steady. Next time I order this dish I’ll photo first, coffee later, and update the pic on this post.

Let me tell you about it. First, it’s huge. One requires a substantial appetite (or a greedy companion who will help you to finish it) to have any chance of getting through it. Second, it looks amazing. The first time it was presented to me I had to just gaze at it for a while before plunging in with my knife and fork. Third, there are so many exciting things on the plate it’s difficult to know where to start, and I personally cannot get a taste of all of it in my gob in one bite.

If we begin with the fairly standard breakfast premise of eggs and cured pork, we pretty much have the starting point for this dish. Swap out the delicious – but run-of-the-mill – bacon with the divine jamon, and we’re on the way to somewhere special. Avocado – an almost cult-status addition to Melbourne breakfasts – gives the dish more substance and pairs so effortlessly with the creamy whipped ricotta. Whipped ricotta is a bit of a newie for me. I wrote about it in my post on whipped ricotta and honey popsicles, and I just don’t know where it’s been all my life. Mint gives the peas a sweet lift as they pop in your mouth with each munch, and the perfectly poached eggs ooze yolky goodness. AND they have excellent gluten-free toast for those of us of the non-gluten persuasion. Really, it’s just nirvana on a plate.

I’ve written before about the fabulous food from this favourite East Melbourne spot, and I have no doubt I’ll do it again. For me, it absolutely hits the mark at every draw of the bow. Tempted?