Cumulus Inc.

After getting TimmyC the Melbourne experience, which involved a trendy haircut complete with a manscaping shave, we were off to get brunch. I had my eyes set on Cumulus Inc. down the road just a tram ride away. Of course, every Melburnian and person who can google were also there waiting in line and we joined the end of it.We happily get to the front of the line to only be told that there were only 20 minutes left of breakfast time and they could not guarantee that we would get a table. Breakfast is only served between 8am – 11:30am, while lunch is not served until midday. What do they do in between 11:30-12? They can offer you a muffin or madeleines filled with lemon curd.Being the optimist that I am, I opt to wait by the window in hopes that someone leaves their table before 11:30. We were one of the last people to be let in, the line behind me dissipated. They were probably turned away or weren’t willing to satisfy their brunch cravings with a small baked treat.

I start staring down everyone happily talking, eating and sitting at their tables, unsuccessfully trying to control their minds to get them the hell off the table so I could catch breakfast.11:28am- no one looked like they were moving. They didn’t care that a girl looked hungry by the corner of the restaurant constantly looking at her watch wanting time to slow down (or someone to hurry up). I must have looked desperate as the maître d came over with a menu and said that he would take our order now and give us the next available table. We didn’t need to look at the menu, we had already decided before we got there, I wanted the LUNE croissant, burnt butter sauce and spanner crab ($16.00) and TimmyC had his eye on the crumpets.There are no LUNE products left and the strict ‘no variations’ rule on the breakfast menu meant that I had to choose something else. My heart sinks but I quickly decide on the Cumulous Inc. breakfast and as soon as we ordered, a couple finally left the bar.

Cumulus Inc. breakfast boiled egg, toast, preserves, yoghurt, organic orange juice and coffee or tea ($16.00). I have a short attention span so a breakfast with so many different things to eat really worked well for me. The egg was cooked perfectly, I liked the variety of spreads and the yoghurt was really tart which worked well with the rhubarb topping. There was a nice selection of bread served with only just enough butter (a little more couldn’t hurt). I had the orange juice while TimmyC had the coffee.A perfect egg to dip my toast into.Nothing special about their OJ, it’s organic and comes from a bottle but it is nice to have a beverage included in the breakfast and not pay $7 for it.House made crumpets, whipped ricotta and rooftop honey ($10.00). Towards the end, I stole the rest of TimmyC’s breakfast. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy mine, I just loved his. The not too dense texture of the crumpets made for the best vessel to get as much whipped ricotta and honey to my mouth as possible. It wasn’t overly sweet and I loved the flavour combination.Flat white ($4.00). TimmyC loved his coffee so much, he ordered a second.Despite being very busy, all the staff were very friendly and attentive. It was a simple breakfast done well, I would have liked to have something more complex but in my mind, I didn’t have a plan B when the crab dish was unavailable. It looks like I will have to arrive a lot earlier next time or stay around for lunch.

Venue: Cumulus inc.

Address45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone(03) 9650 1445

Cumulus Inc. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Teddy Picker’s

It had not been 12 hours since we arrived home when TimmyC asked me if I wanted to eat breakfast at home or out. After 13+ years together, you’d think he would know the answer to that question. I had the exact place in mind of where I wanted brunch as soon as I was back in Canberra; the newly opened Teddy Picker’s in Campbell.

As we drove past roads lined with parked cars, it was reminding me of the almost impossible car parking situation in Braddon but we eventually found a spot a short stroll away. We were met with a relatively short line and we were told it was going to be a 10-15 minute wait until a table for two was available. With that, TimmyC ordered what appeared to be a very tiny small coffee ($4.00) and a Dream Cuisine croissant ($5.00) for whilst we waited outside.I love the funky interior setting of the cafe, the natural light through the windows makes it the perfect place to take food photos.Brunch is ready!Large flat white ($4.50). TimmyC said it was a nice smooth coffee but not the nicest one he has ever had.

The coffee had beautiful latte art before TimmyC dumped all the sugar on top.Vermont Chai infused tea recommended with soy ($5.50). I didn’t think the taste of chai was very strong but it was very milky and frothy.Pressed French toast blueberry custard, lemon yoghurt, macadamia ($17.50). There is an ever so slightly crunchy exterior of the French toast before you hit the squishy soft almost pudding-like centre. I like the subtle sweetness on the surface of the toast but I felt that the blueberry custard didn’t add anything except for visual effect. We really enjoyed the yoghurt + fresh blueberries + toasted macadamia combo.How soft and squishy does that French toast centre look!Eggs Benedict Christmas ham, smoked hollandaise, rye muffin, poached eggs ($16.90) + Teddy’s hash brown ($4.50). I think the Teddy’s hash brown makes everything better; add it to your benny, whopper, heck even your oats! I love how it was crunchy on the outside and soft and potatoey on the inside. TimmyC substituted the Christmas ham for Pialligo Estate bacon which accentuated the smokiness of the hollandaise. The rye muffin was a little tough to cut through but I really enjoyed this breakfast.

The big plate makes it look like something is missing from the breakfast.The eggs were cooked perfectly.This hash brown is what you need in your life right now!Double points to Teddy Picker’s for an awesome extensive tea menu and their collaboration with local businesses such as Tea Garden Co and Red Brick Espresso.

Once we were seated, the wait staff were very attentive, friendly and efficient. There wasn’t a long wait time for our food after ordering and our water bottle was never empty. I cannot wait to go back and try more of their menu.

Venue: Teddy Picker’s

Address: 53/65 Constitution Ave, Campbell ACT 2612

Phone: no phone number- don’t bother booking, they only take walk ins

Facebook//www.facebook.com/teddypickersest2016/

Teddy Picker's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoThey even have a cute ‘dog bar’ area for your furry companions.

Grain Store re-run

I knew heading to Grain Store in Melbourne on a Sunday morning for brunch with 6 people without a reservation was going to be a bit of a stretch, but these Canberrans didn’t mind sitting outside because we were hungry and it wasn’t that cold comparatively. The only caveat was that we had to go inside to order and pay (no table service), which we were happy to oblige with.

Beverages~

Hot chocolate Mork 70% dark, handcrafted in Melbourne, sweetened only with coconut blossom sugar ($4.50). Being a 70% dark hot chocolate, it was on the intense bitter side. My friend had to sweeten it a little with raw sugar.Prana Chai hand-made and blended in Melbourne from all natural ingredients and 100% Australian quality honey blended with tea and whole spices ($4.50). I love how they have chosen locally based items, it really shows that they have given the same attention to their beverage menu as well as their food items. This was a beautiful chai steeped in soy milk, I would have preferred it a touch sweeter though.Large flat white ($4.50). TimmyC quickly ordered another after drinking the first one.Brunch Weekends 8:00am – 3:00pm~

Despite being really busy, beverages were served rather promptly, quickly followed by food.

Wild mushrooms and poached eggs polenta, smoked tomato emulsion, pecorino ($20.00).Two free range eggs cooked to your liking on sour dough ($11.00) with a side of dry cured bacon ($5.00). They also gave TimmyC some sort of chilli jam which I loved and I spread it all over his bread and then ate it all.Portobello mushroom and raclette potato rosti poached eggs, spinach leaves, hazelnut hollandaise ($18.00). The mushrooms were plump and juicy, I found the potato rosti had a strong thyme flavour but it was offset by the fluffy potato. I really enjoyed the hazelnut hollandaise which topped off the whole breakfast perfectly. I could eat this every day if someone made it for me.Coconut semolina porridge and brulee banana lemongrass apple coulis, vanilla rhubarb, pistachio ($15.00).Dry cured bacon and smoked mozzarella bagel egg sunny side up, chipotle aioli, house ketchup ($16.00). I loved how the yolk pooled in the hole of the bagel. Definitely more upmarket than your average bacon and egg roll.Desserts~

Chocolate chip cookies and milk baked to order, please allow 10 minutes ($12.00). I am so glad that my friend ordered this. The aroma was absolutely divine with the perfect combination of cookie crunch and gooey melted chocolate chips that you can only get when fresh out of the oven. I think more cafes should do this, YUM!Crunchy and gooey, just how all cookies should be.What I love about their menu is that they have good ol’ breakfast classics like pancakes and eggs on toast but if you’re a little more adventurous, there were plenty of options. I found it hard to decide what I wanted because there was so many good choices.

As we left (closer to midday), it was starting to get really busy with other people sitting outside and a long queue for people waiting for tables.

Venue: Grain Store

Address: 517 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone(03) 9972 6993

Garden Pavilions at Pialligo Estate 

We enjoyed our lunch at Pialligo Estate Farmhouse so much that before we left, we made a reservation for breakfast at the Garden Pavilions. They have gorgeous views and we thought it would be a great way to start the weekend.We were lucky to have beautiful blue skies and great weather during our visit.So picturesque, you would not think you were 10 minutes away from the city.Flat white coffee ($4.00) and a chai latte ($5.00).Breakfast set menu (2 courses $32.00 per person).

To start~I love their personalised cutlery.Selection of bakery goods with breads, rolls and croissant served with cultured butter and new season jams from the Estate’s orchard. I really enjoyed their bread and I won’t say how much butter I smeared on it but I will tell you that I moved the butter aside so I could also use it in my next course. I didn’t get much of the baked goods because I was busy eating my pancake but I thought the croissant was very flaky but not as buttery as I would have liked. This was my first choice until TimmyC decided he wanted it, I could see this as one of the more popular choices.TimmyC really enjoyed his galette while I was tempted to ask for more bread.Ricotta pancakes with a reduction of our Sangiovese grape juice, peppered peaches and whipped cream. When they wrote plural ‘pancakes’, I did expect more than one but by the time I finished this I was glad that there was only one because it was rather quite filling. I really enjoyed it because it was simple and sweetened by fruit so not OTT.To follow~ I must say, TimmyC and I were rather quite content after our first course, but I was very much looking forward to my savoury option.

Award winning Pialligo Smokehouse bacon, poached eggs,  and open-fire sour dough. A great classic breakfast made even better by the fact that they use their amazing bacon.Baked beans with our own chorizo and bacon, potatoes, poached egg and just harvested vine tomatoes. I was slightly taken back by the size of the bowl that this was served in; even if I skipped the first course I’m not sure I could have finished the whole dish. I dipped my fork in quickly to taste the baked beans and it reminded me of the filling of supreme pizza pocket with a chili hot aftertaste. Despite being full, I don’t know how much I could have eaten because I found the sauce so hot. I ended up picking out all the bacon and chorizo and ate it with buttered bread.A nice thick baked bean mixture with bacon and chorizo pieces mixed in.We really enjoyed the views and the food but I found the service that we experienced was a bit lacking. I’ve come to expect great service based on my previous visits from Pialligo Estate but I’m hoping it was a once off. Definitely worth going to visit for a casual breakfast, I just wish they had smaller breakfast options.

The view from within the pavilion.Venue: Garden Pavilions at Pialligo Estate

Address: 18 Kallaroo road, Pialligo, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 6247 6060
Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coffee Lab’s Free Coffee Day!

That’s right caffeine addicts, rejoice as Coffee Lab are giving away free coffee from 8am- 8pm TODAY!

Artistry will meet Science – at coffee lab located in the Canberra Centre, next to The Australian Tax Office on Narellan Street.

Get ready for the most exciting coffee event of the year. In the exploration for the perfect coffee, Canberra’s premier coffee lover’s destination will be serving out Canberra’s finest coffee for FREE all day until 8pm. Along with live music performances and free food tasting throughout the day.

Don’t miss out on your chance for Canberra’s best coffee for FREE!

 

Venue: Coffee Lab

Address: 26 Narellan Pl, Canberra ACT 2601

Event: FREE COFFEE  with live performances and free food tasting throughout the day

Time: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Facebook eventhttps://www.facebook.com/events/926012224139575/

CLRESIZ2_7aa1_resize

Milk Crate cafe

After their opening earlier this week, TimmyC has found himself going to the Milk Crate cafe every day and has decided he has finally found a coffee place in Civic he really enjoys. He said the coffee is nice, the menu is extensive and their daily made baked treats in the cabinet disappears very quickly. 

Case in point when they brought out their Nutella muffins ($4.50) on Wednesday and in a blink of an eye they were all gone. They made three times as much for the next day which allowed TimmyC to get one and bring it home to me.  TimmyC’s photos from one of his many visits to Milk Crate cafe. It doesn’t look like much because it has traveled in a lunch bag all the way home, but it was very sweet of TimmyC to think of me.The cold cupcake felt a bit heavy and gluggy with the hardened Nutella but when I microwaved it for several seconds, everything became soft, gooey and perfect.  Despite the competition of a being in a coffee shop dense area, I think the Milk Crafe cafe has stood out from the rest offering a variety of freshly made delicious food. They hope to eventually obtain a liquor license and extend their opening hours. 

Venue: Milk Crate cafe

Address: 12 Moore street, Civic ACT

Opening hours:  6:30am -4:00pm

Double Shot

It was a spur of the moment that we went to Double Shot in Deakin for brunch. At first I was going to go somewhere else in the south side region, but just before we got into the car I asked TimmyC if I changed our brunch area to Deakin would it be that much further away on our way to Fyshwick, when he answered ‘no’ we bee lined straight to the Deakin shops.

I have hardly been in the area, so when we were browsing the shops wondering where the cafe would be, we turned around to see a very very busy cafe with cool outdoor seating. I was dreading the waiting time but we were there already and made the trip out especially, so I was willing to wait. Looking around while waiting for a table, it seemed like babies and dogs are almost mandatory here with most people having one or the other.

There are basically four ‘sections’ to the cafe: out outside.Outside/coveredInside near the counterwhich is near this cake cabinet!Or their extended insideWith such a big capacity and still being very busy was a good sign that the food was worth waiting for.

I usually take note of timing in a venue, we were slightly dismayed by the length of the line to get in but after 15 minutes of waiting we were able to get a seat inside. We were given a menu straight away and ordered within 10 minutes. I was guessing we would get drinks in another 15 and food would take around another 15-20 minutes more considering how busy it was but after 10-15 minutes of ordering we were given drinks and food. I was super impressed!

I thought the upside down planters inside looked really cool. It must take a lot of time and care to water these plants.Make your own juice my go to juice is orange, pineapple and ginger ($7.00) and a flat white in a mug ($4.70). There was a lot of foam build up towards the end of my juice. It was very nice juice but it could have done with a tad more ginger. TimmyC really enjoyed his coffee. Eggs Benedict with bacon free range eggs, choice of bacon, salmon, baby spinach or gypsy ham topped with hollandaise sauce ($18.00). I didn’t start digging into the Benedict as I was busy with my two dishes but after three bites, TimmyC said he really liked his eggs Benedict and then in the breath of his fourth bite he exclaims they are “exceptional”, leading me to dip my fork in across the table. The hollandaise was nice and the eggs were cooked perfectly but I liked my choices of brunch better because they were different to the usual breakfast menus.Poached pear pistachio crumble, chai tea panna cotta, pomegranate and blonde agave nectar ($15.00). The pear was rather big and was poached perfectly. The sweet flavours of the fruit really balanced out the flavours of the subtle chai panna cotta and the coconut. A nice blend of spices and textures.Chicken breast, avocado, smoked cheddar and aioli toastie ($10.00). Simple ingredients but it was an awesome combination. I have a friend who loves chicken sandwiches and I think she would love this one too. I could not believe how delicious this simple toastie was! A close up of the toastie itselfI envisage lots of trips to Double Shot in the future and I know it’s early and a big call but Double Shot might quickly become one of my favourite places to eat if they keep their food standards and service up. I am super keen to try more of their breakfast menu as well as their lunch offerings.

Venue: Double Shot

Address: 7/18 Duff Pl, Deakin ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6162 2027

Sundays: 10% surcharge on Sundays
Click to add a blog post for Double Shot Deakin on Zomato

Chris’ patisserie and bakehouse

I like a bit of variety in my shopping so when I went to Weston Creek and drove out of the car park, I had a double take on a shop front when I had a glimpse of ‘patisserie’ in the name. I started messaging locals to see if they had been to Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse which had apparently opened three months ago. My friend who was intrigued went there and bought a large tart ($29.00) to take to a dinner party and she said it was really tasty which prompted me to take TimmyC at the first chance we got.It was a busy morning but we were greeted with smiling faces at the counter. When I asked who ‘Chris’ was, a young polite handsome man smiled and put up his hand, it appears to be a family business where they assured me that all the bread, pastries, tarts, cakes etc were all made in-house.

A large selection of cakes, tarts, slices and biscuits to choose from.They also have pastries and muffins.And a selection of quiches and croissants with fillings.I was a bit hazy with the prices, not everything was labelled and I was too busy choosing something to eat but the thick shake, pie, croissant and large coffee came to $17.00.

Vanilla thick shake. I sat there waiting like patient bear as multiple coffees, table water and toasted sandwiches were served to other customers. All our food had been served and half eaten while my thick shake was no where in sight; just as I was about to enquire about my missing beverage it appears and I stir it around with the straw, it didn’t feel very thick. I had a sip and it tasted like a milkshake and nothing more. It was served at the same time as a child’s milkshake, maybe they had gotten the order wrong and I just got what that kid got. When we were served a vanilla creme brulee which we ordered later, we asked if the drink was really a thick shake, when the answer was yes and I said it felt very runny, the owner quickly ran to the kitchen and returned with a replacement thick shake moments later. The second one was much thicker (still not crazy thick) and had a lovely subtle sweet vanilla flavour.Cheese and bacon pie ($5.00). A meaty pie with a little bit more bacon than your average cheese and bacon pie, but nothing particularly exciting.

Croissant. It has a lovely pastry network inside but it wasn’t buttery and flaky. It felt more like a squishy bread roll.

Large flat white. TimmyC said it was mediocre coffee.Vanilla creme brulee ($5.90). I felt that I didn’t try enough of their menu so I told TimmyC to go choose another sweet from the cabinet, he got the creme brulee which I thought was odd to have in a bakery (it is served in a ramekin so I presume you can only have it when dining in?). They pre-prepare the base and store it in the cabinet and sugar is caramelized on top before serving. The toffee ‘hat’ broke beautifully under the knock of my spoon which revealed a velvety smooth custard. I didn’t understand that since there was a toffee layer, how there were still some granules underneath the sugar top that didn’t caramelize, it didn’t do anything to the taste it just took away from the smooth custard texture.I didn’t have an overall amazing bakery/patisserie experience here but I’m not convinced it is a bad bakery, maybe I just didn’t choose their specialty items, which the website suggests is their cakes and bread. I don’t know how much their bread costs but I thought the large tarts and cakes had a hefty price tag (tarts $29.00 cakes $50.00) but I’m determined to try one soon, maybe not this week though.Venue: Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse

Address: Unit 1, 27 Brierly Street, Weston ACT 2611

Phone: (02) 62880587

Websitehttp://www.chrispatisserie.com.au/

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am | 4:00pm

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 | 3:00pm
Click to add a blog post for Chris's patisserie and bakehouse on Zomato

Lazy May’s

Whilst in Europe, I was reading Canberra Foodie’s adventures back at home and I had complete food envy. I knew instantly that when I came back to Canberra that I wanted to go to Lazy May’s immediately. Tuggeranong has NEEDED a good coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch for a very long time and I think this cafe is the answer to that.I love this wall.

I love their little salt shakers.Tim got a little greedy as he wanted the sweet sliders AND eggs his way and because I didn’t really have a preference I just went a long with it, as long as I got a good a photo (hahaha!) but I insisted I wanted bacon and a hash brown with his eggs and garlic mushrooms. We did have a stipulation that we would only order the hash brown if it wasn’t the frozen store-bought stuff and actually made in-house. After the waitress went to check they were indeed made in-house, we were all set with our breakfast order.
Build your own eggs on toast your choice of scrambled, poached or sunny side up served on artisan sourdough bread ($9.50) with optional sides ($3.00 each) bacon, baby roma vine tomatoes, hash brown, garlic mushrooms, avocado smash, baby spinach. After we ordered ‘eggs our way’ and everything else, at $3 a pop (which is pretty reasonable) it ended up being a double the original price. We really enjoyed the mushrooms but I wouldn’t bother with the hash brown again. It was cold and floury like a pancake with some grated potato, we informed the waitress as we paid for the bill and she was apologetic but we said that it wasn’t her fault and that the rest of the meal was lovely.We ordered the eggs over easy and they were cooked perfectly, look at that yolk.The cold potato pancake supposed hash brown wasn’t so great.
Brioche sweet French sliders mini brioche slider buns with salted caramelised banana and strawberry filling served with vanilla bean ice cream ($11.50). I didn’t think that the banana was caramelised at all or that there was enough vanilla ice-cream, but that didn’t make it any less amazing than it was. It isn’t too strange of a concept, think brioche French toast with delicious butterscotch sauce that you can keep drowning the bread into. It is a pretty messy breakfast but thankfully it wasn’t our first date.Eat now, wipe your hands later. I used a spoon to constantly douse my brioche in sauce.
Flat white coffee (large). TimmyC really really enjoyed his coffee; he said it was smooth and easy to drink. I think he felt relieved that he is able to get good coffee close to home.
 Lazy May’s milkshakes salted caramel and popcorn ($6.00). It isn’t as intense and rich as it sounds. The milk is slightly sweetened but to get that salted caramel and popcorn flavour you need to lick the rim of the glass. I think that the milk shake needs a little tweaking, but I do like how it is not OTT. I am loving awesome cafes that are tucked away in the suburbs; south side is slowly catching up to north side with places like Fox and Bow (Farrer), Red Brick espresso (Curtin), Common Grounds (Garran) and A bite to eat (Chifley). Now I can add Lazy May’s to the list as I really enjoyed their atmosphere, service and food. I will be back soon to try their lunch menu because whatever Food Porn Journal ordered looked awesome.
Venue: Lazy May’s
Address: 41/1 Colishaw Street, Greenway ACT 2900
Phone: 02 6174 1594
Opening hoursMonday – Saturday 7:00am–4:00pm

 

Click to add a blog post for Lazy May's Cafe on Zomato

Table 1 Espresso

I wasn’t going to blog about my brunch while I was in Newcastle over the weekend, I was just going to catch up with a dear friend of mine who had heard good things about Table 1 Espresso, but when our drinks came I couldn’t NOT blog about it.IMG_0899I thought it was odd that this popular cafe was right next door to a car wash in the middle of nowhere, although there was no surprise that there was a queue forming near the front, luckily I had booked a table earlier.

At first we were surprised that the menu was mainly savoury items without a single pancake or waffle in sight, but when TimmyC went to order and pay at the counter, he spotted waffles on the specials board and his first choice was quickly replaced. I didn’t take a photo of the menu (because I didn’t think I was going to blog about it) and TimmyC has a terrible memory for details so the descriptions and prices are based from my memory.IMG_0901Oreo and Snickers milkshakes. TimmyC knew me well when he chose Snickers from a list of popular chocolate bar flavours. I looooove snickers and this milkshake tasted exactly like it! Not only did it look absolutely fabulous (and sparked my need to blog about this place) but they both tasted great too; Canberra cafes should take heed.IMG_0904IMG_0892IMG_0893Flat white Campos coffee. TimmyC didn’t think that there was anything special about his coffee and kept on sneaking sips of my milkshake instead. I like how it comes with a little love heart short bread that he didn’t even offer me a nibble of *cough*.IMG_0889Waffles with banana, vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. TimmyC specifically asked if the waffles were made in-house and the person at the counter said ‘yes’. When he started to eat them he had his doubts because of the texture was thick and hard like at Max Brenner, he was less than satisfied but I surprisingly finished off his waffles between mouthfuls of mine.IMG_0896Scrambled eggs 3 scrambled eggs with spinach, fetta, chorizo and toasted sourdough ($18.00). I liked the flavour combination, I just think that the toasted needed some melted butter and it would have made it easier to eat. I liked how the eggs were moist and that the chorizo was crispy.IMG_0897I must highly commend the wait staff, despite being really busy, they were always polite and efficient. I was surprised at the minimal wait time, the cafe was particularly full when we sat down but the drinks and food all came in a timely manner. The menu is a bit simple but I wouldn’t hesitate to come back and grab a milkshake!

Venue: Table 1 Espresso

Address: 89 – 93 City Road, Merewether NSW 2291

Phone: (02) 4963 3796

Websitewww.table1espresso.com

Table 1 Espresso on Urbanspoon

Red brick Espresso re-run

I wanted to take my visiting friend somewhere local and awesome for brunch with good coffee and Red Brick Espresso had something that appealed to each of us. We were lucky enough to get a big spacious table inside and we excitedly browsed through the menu.

Coffee. Everyone really enjoyed their coffee and TimmyC went back to get a second one.IMG_0394Salted caramel milkshake ($6.00). This didn’t have a strong salted caramel taste and I’ve had better at other cafes.IMG_0398Hot pressed rolls~

Tandoori chicken, cucumber raita, fresh tomato, baby spinach and mango chutney ($10.90).IMG_0402Red Brick Phylli Cheese Steak with pulled beef steak, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onion, swiss cheese and Dijon mayo ($12.90). This sounded like all my favourite things on a roll but when I received my order, it looked like it was majorly burnt. I was going to complain but I thought I would taste it first and despite its black charcoal surface, it did not taste burnt. It did however lack some salt and I found the whole dish underwhelming.IMG_0406When I saw this burnt looking sandwich, I didn’t have high hopes.IMG_0405Pulled pork and apple slaw burger on a brioche bun with a dressed leaves side salad ($15.90). I felt bad for TimmyC when Red Brick no longer had waffles available, as that was the dish I lured him here with. He chose this as his second choice and they informed him at our table that there is no brioche and that they were substituting it with sour dough. The pulled pork was nice enough but they drowned it with a lot of BBQ sauce.IMG_0401

IMG_0400I was pretty disappointed with this brunch and felt bad that I chose it. Red Brick Espresso has an extremely limited kitchen facility and I guess I shouldn’t expect so much from them but then again they have chosen to put these dishes on their menu. I think this is a place for good coffee, I’m hoping the food will improve because I’ve liked their brunches previously.

Espresso Room

I’m glad that with fancy coffee places popping up left right and centre in Braddon, Civic and Belconnen that Tuggeranong was not left out. My Mummy wanted a coffee so an idea sparked from my head and I wanted to take her to the Espresso Room in the Tuggeranong Hyperdome.

A simple set up with a few seats but there are a lot of take aways going on.20140802-125953-46793068.jpgWritten on their website: “The concept of Espresso Room is one of a company owned and operated by its own Baristas. This assures a high level of passion and quality goes into the making of every cup of coffee. Baristas are trained in the use of many different brewing methods and techniques.”20140802-125951-46791756.jpgI’m glad that they participate in Project Origin where they develop long business relationships with growers for a sustainable future.20140802-125950-46790411.jpgWell this is lovely and thoughtful. 🙂20140802-130015-46815311.jpgSmall latte ($3.50). Mummy really enjoyed her coffee and her latte art made me smile, I thought it was super cute.20140802-130013-46813841.jpgI must admit I had an ulterior motive when I took Mum here for a coffee but she doesn’t need to know, let’s call it a silent “win win” situation. Kronuts were $4.50 each, I couldn’t decide on a flavour so I chose both vanilla cinnamon and chocolate raspberry. 20140802-130016-46816873.jpgThings were disappearing fast from the boards, I thought I’d bet buy them now as they might sell out when I come back.20140802-130018-46818298.jpgChocolate and raspberry kronut ($4.50). They both didn’t look attractive by the time we got home with the oil penetrating through the brown paper bags but I did like how them the vanilla cinnamon had a custard filling. I didn’t really get a ‘kronut’ feel about these pastries, they weren’t very crispy like a croissant and it was more like a cross between a krispy kreme donut and a jam/custard filled donut. I forgot to ask where they source their pastries from.20140802-170059-61259288.jpgIt looks like this chain of stores are over taking Canberra with two other locations already in Woden and Belconnen and a store in Civic to open soon. Go check out the Belconnen store (located across from Fernwood Belconnen, right next to Outback Jacks.) this 6th Aug 2014 for their free coffee day between 7:00am – 5:30pm!

Venue: Espresso Room

Address: Shop 1-178 Tuggeranong Shopping Centre, Greenway, Canberra (near the Target entrance)

Website: http://espressoroom.com.au/

Store Opening Times:
Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 5:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm

On the Grind Canberra

TimmyC and I were looking to get some late breakfast and try somewhere new, we decided to go to On the Grind Canberra which had opened a few months before hand at the Drakeford drive shops in Kambah. I was excited to see a modern day essential added to this set of businesses.20140706-171617-62177339.jpgWe were disappointed to see that they didn’t really have much food on offer with only cakes and a few basic sandwiches and croissants with fillings but we made the best of the situation and ordered a few light things which could be heated. A really basic set up with only a coffee machine, small oven for pies and sausage rolls and a cake display cabinet.20140706-171621-62181512.jpgI like how they tell you what the roast of the week is.20140707-232645-84405638.jpgChai latte (small $3.90). It tasted like really well heated milk with a hint of chai spice. I was a bit disappointed but Tim liked it. There was also no pattern or dusting of nutmeg on top, I almost thought it was the flat white and TimmyC’s big mug was the chai.

Flat white (large $4.80). Nothing too special with the coffee but we saw plenty of people walk in and out with takeaways. It is clearly a happy addition to the Drakeford drive shops.20140706-171622-62182995.jpgSize difference between the small and large.20140706-171646-62206563.jpg I love their funky wall clock.20140706-171618-62178851.jpgI thought the couch area had shallow seats and unusually high in comparison to the table. I think it would be more comfortable to sit on the plastic seats or the couches.20140706-171620-62180157.jpgA nice wide open space with plenty of seats.20140706-171651-62211106.jpgThey have funky light fittings.20140706-171652-62212486.jpgBanana bread ($3.50?). I asked for this toasted and it came out really nicely. The butter melted really well and it was a decent sized thick slice.20140706-171648-62208065.jpgScones with jam and cream ($3.20). We eventually ran out of the whipped cream and they kindly gave us another serve. The scones were served warm but between canned whipped cream and Kraft jam it wasn’t too appetizing.20140706-171649-62209616.jpgIt was nice to see that soy milks and other such ‘special’ milks are available and also at no extra charge, you rarely see that these days.20140706-171710-62230084.jpgIt is nice to see the local shops all supporting each other after seeing several people in uniform come in and grab some coffee. The staff were very friendly and despite its simple set up, it has the basics – coffee, good location, friendly staff and something for if you get hungry.

Venue: On the Grind Canberra

Address: 5/9 Jenke cct, Kambah ACT 2902

Phone: (02) 6162 1005

 

On the Grind Canberra on Urbanspoon

The Cupping Room: A day of Food and Wine #humanbrochure

I get super excited when I go somewhere new and there has been a ‘must go there’ list building up for Canberra during the time I’ve been traveling interstate and overseas. Coincidentally during our ‘day of food and wine’, I was taken to four new places and a much-loved eatery so I was buzzing with excitement and anticipation even if we did meet at 7:40am in the morning on the other side of town. *yawn*

Coffee tasting was the first item on the agenda and with such an early start, it was definitely needed. Most people are shocked (and maybe somewhat alarmed) when I tell them I don’t drink coffee. I don’t need it to wake up, I don’t get a headache if I don’t drink it and I probably add too much milk and sugar for it to still be called coffee but I do adore the smell. Thankfully I was not the only foodie who doesn’t usually consume coffee, there were four of us but we were happy to participate and see what the fuss is all about.

We were taken to The Cupping Room in Civic and we were in for a real treat with half the venue booked out especially for our coffee tasting. Our tables were carefully set with a dash of mineral water in a cup and also cutlery (oh thank goodness there will be food!). The founder of Ona coffee Mr. Sasa Sestic who is very passionate about coffee, welcomed us and gave us a lesson on the coffee growing, sourcing and tasting while the friendly staff served us all cappuccinos.

Who knew the sun and also quite a few people were up during this time of day and on a weekend no less! 20140603-221405-80045966.jpgBeautiful latte art.20140603-221414-80054748.jpgOna Coffee founder: Sasa Sestic talking about his passion for coffee, the projects he has developed, the unconventional way they pick their coffee based on the coffee tree matrix and supplying the essential nutrients using natural products like bananas and crushed volcanic rock. His passion extends beyond the coffee bean and incorporates the farmer; through creating Project Origin he ensures quality, sustainability and fairness for the producer.This guy knows his coffee!20140603-221417-80057809.jpgOur coffees were decorated with beautiful latte art which varied between cups. I looked for sugar on the table but there wasn’t any and I convince myself, just like when I eat pasta, to taste it before adding to it. It was a beautiful creamy coffee that really surprised me and my fellow non coffee drinker that we liked it. There was no bitter aftertaste and no feeling of just having eaten a mouthful of cigarette ash.20140603-221413-80053335.jpgFor once I’m not the only person taking photos of the food at the table. I can get used to hanging with this foodie crowd!20140603-221915-80355672.jpgOur second tastings arrived and to get the full flavour we were encouraged to ‘slurp’ the coffee from out spoons. This was washed vs unwashed beans. The ‘washed’ was almost like a beautiful strong rich tea but the second ‘unwashedl’ coffee was almost unbearable for me as a non coffee drinker. When asked which style we preferred, it was no surprise that the non coffee drinkers took a liking to the washed while caffeine addicts liked the other. 20140603-221419-80059293.jpgI’m going in for my big ‘slurp’, I’ve had plenty of ramen practise leading up to this moment.20140603-221420-80060960.jpgUp next was what I am much better at tasting- food!

Cured salmon with beetroot jelly, ribbons of fennel and creme fraiche topped with some croutons and micro herbs. The salmon was so tender it required minimal chewing and the saltiness was balanced out by the subtle sweetness from the delicate beetroot jelly. I thought the croutons gave it a great crunch which gave the dish an extra dimension of texture. Not your typical breakfast, but all the flavours were light and complimentary to each other.photo (21) 20140603-221917-80357040.jpgGluten free and vegetarian option of quinoa,  fennel and beetroot jelly.20140603-221919-80359872.jpgSome local humans getting their photo taken for Canberra Times (read the article here).20140603-221921-80361323.jpgThe other side was filling up fast, The Cupping Room proves to be a popular coffee spot on Saturday mornings.20140603-221931-80371596.jpgThird coffee tasting: filtered vs natural. The difference in taste was surprising and the tastes changed again when you had a sip of sparkling water afterwards. The natural tasted stronger but was still very delicate on the palette.20140603-221922-80362657.jpgCocoa avocado – avocado, banana, honey and cocoa topped with strawberries and served with a biscuit oat crumb. A beautifully simple and tasty sweet way to end our meal at The Cupping Room. The mousse was incredibly smooth with flavours of cocoa, banana and honey. A breakfast dessert is not for everyone before 9am but we stopped just short from licking our plates before we left, I should try to replicate this.20140603-221928-80368501.jpgLast but not least, they shared one of the drinks that they had created during a competition, a raspberry creaming soda iced coffee which consisted of raspberry reduction, dry ice and of course coffee. It was a unique take on familiar flavours as well as theatrics.

After the raspberry and dry ice was added to the espresso, the vase was cupped over the glass to allow the drink to carbonate and cool down. After a few minutes we were able to lift the ‘lid’ and capture the sweet scent of raspberries that was emitted.20140603-221924-80364123.jpgBrew my pretty, brew…20140603-221927-80367046.jpgWhat you’re left with is a dark carbonated coffee with sweet raspberry notes and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

The raspberry creaming soda is served in a wine glass, a cute way to end our coffee tasting at The Cupping Room.20140603-221930-80370123.jpgThe Cupping Room hasn’t started a coffee addiction within me, but it has opened my eyes to the amount of flavour difference there is even between picking beans on different branches and how far away the fruit is from the trunk (which determines how much nutrients they get), how to ‘slurp’ my way through a coffee tasting and how many different projects including ‘Jammin Da House‘ that Sasa is involved in.

I’m excited to come back and try more food.

Venue: The Cupping Room

Address: 1/13 University Av Canberra City, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Phone: (02) 6257 6412

Opening hoursMon – Fri7:00 am – 4:00 pm Sat8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Prices: this experience was paid for buy VisitCanberra as part of the 101 local humans campaign for the human brochure.

The Cupping Room on Urbanspoon