Humble Rays doesn’t need a slice of humble pie. Despite the pastel blue walls telling diners to ‘Stay hungry and be humble’, Humble Rays’ food is far from humility. It’s loud and proud. Colourful and vibrant. Owners Gough and Tinee, packed up their suitcases, moving from the much-loved ‘ Honey Badger’ in Hobart, to the rugged streets of Melbourne. Walking distance from The University of Melbourne, I wish Humble Rays was around when I was a ‘studious’ youngster. It certainly would’ve made University life more tolerable. On the weekends, its a quiet affair, relying on locals and the instagram crowd to fill the tables. Once semester hits, it’ll be a different story. No doubt, it will peak the interest of many millennial, mac yielding, foodies.
Humble Rays’ menu is succinctly different from neighbouring cafes in the Carlton area. The Asian background of the owners (specifically Thai) has prominently influenced the menu. Aspects of Honey Badger have made it to Humble Rays, with dessert featuring heavily. The skookie is a cookie baked in a cast iron skillet with melted marshmallows and toppings to make you swoon. One of the few places in Melbourne to serve Hong Kong waffles, the airy bubbly appearance distinguishes the HK version from the western counterpart. Elements of sweet and savoury, integrate to produce a fun-loving dish. Shavings of white chocolate, crispy crumbs of black sesame, crunchy peanut praline, creamy coconut ice cream, balanced with the saltiness of a salted egg and sea salt caramel sauce. It’s exceedingly tasty.
The drink menu is novel, with pops of mango and raspberry pearls. The gassy drinks, are ideal for warm summer days. Hojicha is one of my favourite drinks – similar to a matcha latte, the tea leaves are roasted to dispense a smooth smoky nuance.
For meaty indulgence, the egg benny celebrates pork, with a Japanese twist. Instead of a hash brown, you will find a miso potato korokke. Instead of a generic hollandaise, this one has yuzu incorporated. The Citrus cured salmon is beautifully plated. Taste wise, its rather soggy and bland. The halloumi lacking salt, which the dish, is in dire need of.
Dessert is king at Humble Ray’s. From the pornographic melted marshmallows of the skookie, to the dredge of caramel sauce lacing the HK waffles, there is no way in the world I’ll be quitting sugar.Egg Benny – Ginger Braised Pork Belly w/ Miso Potato Korokke, Poached Egg, Yuzu hollandaise, Chilli Bacon Jam, Parsley Crumb
Slow Cooked Sticky Brisket Beef w/ Stout Onion chutney, Cheddar, Sauteed Mushrooms, Smoked Bacon Jam on Brioche Bun