Grounds of the City

With an optimistic approach, I didn’t think The Grounds of the City would be that busy as it was brunch time on a weekday but as we turned the corner at The Galeries, TimmyC and I were faced with a large crowd. Luckily most of them were waiting for coffee and takeaways and the line for a table was relatively short. We placed our name and number for a table of two on the list and was advised that there’d be a 20-30 minute wait, 18 minutes later we received an SMS that our table was ready.Walking inside the restaurant was like teleporting back to an era where men would wear hats with suits and would read the newspaper instead of staring at their phones.  There were so many things to look at, I didn’t know which way to turn my head until my gaze was distracted by the cake trolley. Yes, you read that right, you can request the cake trolley to be wheeled to you. I feel it would pair perfectly with a bottomless cup of tea (which is also on the menu).Flat white ($4.00). TimmyC really enjoyed his coffee, I now understand why there was a huge queue outside waiting for takeaway.Black truffle omelette with mushrooms and goats curd ($28.00) plus a side of bacon ($5.00). TimmyC at first had chosen eggs benedict for breakfast which was quickly vetoed by me as I heard about the specials. This choice was so popular, it was sold out soon after we had placed our order. When the server placed the plate on the table, I found the smell of truffles intoxicating. The omelette was perfectly cooked and I really enjoyed the addition of the subtle sourness that the creamy goats curd provided. I loved how ordering a side of bacon meant a plate of bacon rather than just a single rasher- WIN!The Bakery Basket The Grounds continental selection of freshly baked pastries with house-made preserves, cultured butter and whipped mascarpone ($16.00). I thought the delicious flaky buttery pastries didn’t need anything more, so not to waste the delicious condiments, we ordered a slice of sour dough toast ($4.00). I loved everything about this (I even started to just eat the mascarpone when I ran out of things to spread it on) and thinking about it again makes me salivate. The cherry on top was that they warmed the pain au chocolat perfectly to give a molten chocolate centre.So delicious and melty on the inside while being crispy and flaky on the outside.When eating in Sydney CBD, I can tell you where to get ramen, congee, thai stir fries, dumplings and baos, but if you wanted a good brunch spot, I’d be lost for words. The Grounds of the City fills that void and then some. I cannot wait to go back to try more from all parts of their menu and might even stick around for a bottomless cup of tea.

Venue: Grounds of the City

Address: Shop RG 12, 500 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone(02) 9699 2235

Website: http://thegroundscity.com.au/
The Grounds of the City Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Palate Pleasure Cafe

After a wonderful day of over indulging yesterday, I didn’t have a breakfast location scouted out but my friends had heard good things about the Palate Pleasure Cafe, just off the main street.

There was six of us without a booking but they were very accommodating and we were seated after a bit of a wait and a table shuffle.

Palate Pleasure chai tea our blend of organic leaf tea, exotic spices, brown sugar and honey. Regular or soy milk ($4.95). This had such a great description, I imagined a well steeped tea that was creamy and sweet. This was really watery and not sweet at all, very disappointing. I did enjoy the chocolate bullet though.Flat white coffee (regular $3.85).Eggs Benedict two poached eggs, bacon and wilted spinach topped with house made zesty hollandaise ($18.50). My friend’s poached eggs were completely overdone and the hollandaise tasted a bit funny. She didn’t eat much of her breakfast. B&E bacon and eggs, with buttered toast and roast tomato ($16.50) with a side of mushrooms ($4.40). The poached eggs were also over done but it didn’t ruin the dish because the bacon was nice.Palate speciality pancakes soft buttermilk pancakes with mascarpone cream, and a poached strawberry compote ($16.50). Even though we explicitly asked for the compote to be served on the side, it still came drizzled all over the first time and we had to send it back to the kitchen. Luckily my friend is a fast eater so he still finished his breakfast at the same time as everyone else.The Big Breaky with all the trimmings, bacon, two eggs, roast tomato, mushrooms, sausages, hashbrown and buttered toasted ($20.35). No complaints here, everything was done well and the buttered toast was a welcome treat.Banana bread with honey and ricotta ($7.70) and a side of bacon ($4.40). When a mini loaf of banana bread with placed in front of me, I thought it was adorable. I have eaten a lot of banana bread which usually come out as a slice but I’ve never seen a mini loaf. Unfortunately, that is where my good impression ended. The banana bread was dry, not sweet at all and didn’t taste like banana. Thank goodness I had a side of bacon to drown my disappointment.We had mixed reactions over brunch but no one was overly impressed. They were really busy which might have been a contributing factor, but there are many other places to eat in Bowral so we will not be back.

Venue: Palate Pleasure Cafe

Address: Shop 1-3, 350 Bong Bong Street, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone: (02) 4861 7411
Palate Pleasure Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Red Brick Espresso

On a lovely sunny day which reminded us that Spring was on its way, I grabbed my friend visiting from interstate and headed to the Red Brick Espresso that was recommended to me for good coffee. I was happy to find it open because I didn’t check their opening hours (even though Urbanspoon said that they don’t open Sundays?) but apparently everyone else thought it was a good idea too because there was not a single available seat. 

After looking a bit lost while holding a menu and looking around for any potential vacating patrons, a friendly face said that she could set up some milk crates near a table so we could sit. Thank goodness a table left before we ordered because I don’t care how trendy it is to have milk crate seating, it ain’t comfortable.

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A small cute cafe makes it hard to get a seat.

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Cute table setting.

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Sweet bones raspberry and chocolate vegan cupcake ($5.00). Moist and delicious although I couldn’t taste much of the raspberry. I was amazed it cost so much but it sure was tasty.

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Large flat white and a hot chocolate ($4.00 each), My friend said that the coffee was really good, which I was glad because we were on a coffee hunt mission.

The hot chocolate wasn’t particularly sweet and I had to add sugar but I did like the pretty foam art.

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Hot pressed roll with smoked ham, swiss cheese and tomato relish ($8.90). My friend really liked the simple yet classic filling but found the tomato relish a nice touch.

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Moroccan style baked eggs with Persian feta, fresh herbs and toasted sourdough ($13.90). Looks like something you would find at a trendy cafe in Melbourne. I loved the bread as it was perfectly toasted and wouldn’t break your teeth. The roasted peppers which were almost caramelised, gave a sweetness which was balanced out by the salty feta. A great breakfast by far that I have had in Canberra in a long time.

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A very child and dog friendly as everyone had at least one of the two in the surrounding tables. Great to see local shops have a good cafe with great coffee that you don’t have to go to Fyshwick or Braddon for.

Finally, a great place to brunch in the Woden area, definitely worth a visit!

Venue: Red Brick Espresso

Address: Shop 4/35 Curtin Place, Curtin, ACT 2605

Phone: (02) 6285 1668

Red Brick Espresso on Urbanspoon