Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Little Black Pug - Mt Gravatt


Scrolling through my endless food feed on insta, I've been seeing quite a trend lately of  posts from the highly popular Little Black Pug Cafe which had opened in the last couple of months on the bustling Logan Road in Mt Gravatt. Entering the highly saturated brunch market, it is of course important to differentiate yourself in the market to set yourself apart from your competitors. Without a doubt, Little Black Pug does this by being a dog themed cafe, with the owners bringing their pet doggies, the titular little black pugs to the cafe once a week to meet customers. 



Arriving on Saturday morning, I was lucky enough to meet the super cute, utterly adorable Bowie and Mate at the Cafe. 


The cafe was absolutely bustling by about 10.30am and the only seats we could get happened to be outside, along the main road, which wasn't really ideal for an indoors girl like me, but we made do with what we had, given it was peak hour. 

 

Menus were quickly provided, it consisted of two pages, one for food one for drink. Having arrived at 10.30am meant that the lunch menu was available with the all day breakfast menu.


Further to the standard drinks menu, there were also a few specials on the board which I only noticed when I went to make my order.


Heading inside I also understood why it was so difficult for us to get an inside table as seating indoors was few and far between with a few small tables and one long bar only.


Ordering at the counter, there were also a selection of doggie treats which could be purchased.


We got a number upon ordering and awaited our food.


My two companions ordered a latte each. They were relatively frothy and rich, my companions quite appreciated it. I especially liked their initiative to be environmentally friendly by offering 50 cents off all coffee purchases had in house rather than with a disposable take away cup.


I got the special Yuen Yeung, a Hong Kong style concoction of tea mixed in with coffee. It was served with milk on the side. The drink was wonderfully fragrant and smelled of fresh ceylon tea which complimented the coffee wonderfully.


Our food came soon after, much to the delight of the table.


My first companion ordered the Paw Licker which contained Korean fried chicken, pickled cucumber, kimchi, fried egg and mayo on a brioche bun with chips on the side and truffle mayo. The bun was warm and toasty with a fluffy interior which my companion really enjoyed. The chicken was fresh and hot but could have been crispier. The pickles and kimchi were slightly sour and quite refreshing without being overbearing. The chips were also freshly fried and super crispy, and coupled with the truffle mayo, it made for a super fragrant and delicious side for the burger.


My other companion ordered the omnivore, a brioche bun burger containing a beef patty, pickled onion, cheese, spinach and truffle mayo. Again the bun was toasty and fluffy. the swiss cheese melted perfectly on the caramelised patty which was balanced out on the onions and bed of fresh spinach. She also quite enjoyed her burger.


Wanting something more in line with the brunchy options, I opted for the Dog's Breakfast. It contained bacon, mushroom, haloumi, spinach, tomato, eggs and sourdough. My brunch was really quite wonderful. The eggs were perfectly poached with a delicious runny centre, the bacon had a good crispy edge and the haloumi was also fried to perfection. Having said that, the toast was slightly underdone, but the mushrooms were super buttery and well seasoned though. 


Price Range: $15 - $25pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service:  8/10
Environment: 6/10


Little Black Pug Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Jacob's Ladder - Runcorn


Having gone around inner city suburbs for brunch, I found myself wanting to go somewhere closer to home on my day off last week, and doing some research found out about Jacobs Ladder at Runcorn, which happened to be a quick 15 minutes drive from home. Getting there at 10am on a Thursday morning, I was surprised at the fact that it was more than half full. Being situated in a shopping strip along Compton road, parking was relatively easy, which already impressed me as being more convenient than having to struggle every Saturday at New Farm or at Bulimba.

 


Grabbing a seat inside, it was again, counter service. Whilst the food menu was pretty standard, the drinks menu was really quite substantial and had a large selection of offerings. As the cafe was small, it wasn't necessary for us to get a number when we ordered, as staff were able to deliver food on facial recognition alone.


Unconventionally, our food came before our coffees, which still took a while to get here.


My companion ordered the triple cheesy toast. The three cheeses comprised of Mozarella, Swiss and Parmesan. For the price of $5.50, it was a fair value for a delicious cheesy snack on crusty sourdough. My companion noted that it had a good ratio of cheese to bread and enjoyed it quite a bit.


Being quite hungry, I opted for the Big Morning, which comprised of two pieces of sourdough, the efirst one was topped with poached eggs, spinach and smashed avocado with a side of dukka. The second piece was topped with haloumi and speck with a side of grilled tomato. Again the sourdough was quite crusty and delicious, I also enjoyed how the eggs were cooked perfectly and how the haloumi and speck were well caramelised. Having said that, I found avocado and spinach to be a very odd combination that was bland and not very flavoursome, despite the balsamic glaze.


My companion ordered the latte, which was served in a tall and elegant glass and served on a long wooden platter with a glass of water. She noted how creamy and frothy the drink was, but commented that it could have been a little stronger.



Wanting something different, I ordered the Pour Over. That day I was given the Tolima Organic blend from Columbia. It also came on a serving board with sparkling water, and I had a side of milk. It was smooth and rich with strong hints of chocolate which I really enjoyed.

Price Range: $10 - $25pp

Taste: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Environment: 7.5/10

Jacob's Ladder Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 12 July 2018

New Farm Deli Cafe - New Farm


As readers will have noted lately, I've been making an effort to get through quite a few brunch places that have made my list for some time, and I hadn't gotten to, one of which is the infamous New Farm Deli Cafe, which has been quite well established in the area, apparently long before I was even born. Having heard of how popular it is, I strategically planned an arrival at 9.45am to get in before the 10am crowd. Thankfully this paid off well with my being able to secure a table before the crowds came and so we didn't need to queue up to get a seat.


Being seated inside, I did appreciate how spacious the restaurant was, with considerable indoor and outdoor seating. The black and white tiled floor was especially striking and gave it quite a classic vibe.


As staff were extremely busy, I picked up the menu from the counter myself. The selection was quite traditional, but had a strong Italian influence, with quite a few Italian inspired dishes on their brunch menu. 


 

Given how packed the cafe was, it was only natural that service was via the counter. Given how popular the cafe was, it took a good 15 mins before I could put down my order, but staff were friendly and efficient.


Just as efficient as counter staff were, as were the baristas. Our coffee came out super promptly after I sat back down.

 

My two companions ordered lattes whilst I ordered a cappuccino. The coffee that New Farm Deli Cafe served was Vittoria blend, as its signature, it was full bodied and quite bitter with a low acidity. It was quite strong and we enjoyed it thoroughly.


A good 20 or so minutes after our coffee arrived, our food came out all together.


My first companion wanted to try something unusual and opted for the Sicilian Brekky, which contained Sicilian-style pork & fennel sausage sautéed with roasted capsicum, onion, spinach & potato and served with poached eggs and toast. My companion found this breakfast to be an exceptional flavour hit. The capsicum and onions had a wonderfully tangy sauce that was both sweet and sour, making it a wonderful topping for the crusty sourdough toast. While he had expected a bit more by way of sausage content in the dish, he did enjoy the perfectly runny poached egg.


My other companion ordered the Funghetto which comprised of sauteed field mushrooms, topped with herbed butter & Meredith goats fetta, it was served with avocado and baby tomatoes, garnished with balsamic and served on sourdough. She loved how wonderfully buttery and well seasoned the mushrooms were, giving them a deliciously smooth and robust taste. Coupled with the tang of tomatoes and feta, this made for a perfectly balanced dish. The avocado was also perfectly ripened.


Opting for a more traditional favourite, I settled for the Deli Brekkie, with smoked salmon, avocado, poached eggs, potato cakes, rocket and tomato. I also added an extra slice of toast. Like my companion, my avocado was perfectly ripe. The potato cake was fried, but the batter could be crispier, however it was very well seasoned. I was surprised though at how little salmon was in the dish, not more than one full slice. Other than that, my bread was crusty and delicious and the tomato was also tasty.


Between the three of us, we also had a side of bacon to share. This was thin cut as I like it, had a crispy edge around the side and wasn't overly fatty. It was very well received.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

Taste: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 7.5/10

New Farm Deli and Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 9 July 2018

Lady Marmalade - Stones Corner


Saturday mornings are always a good time for brunch. In fact, these days, there is very little that would be worth me getting up early in the morning for other than a good brunch. I was especially excited last week as the friend I was meeting suggested we check out the very famous and very popular Lady Marmalade at Stones Corner. Being as excited as I was, of course I wasn't able to sleep well the night before, my mind being filled with fantasies of bacon and eggs, which of course meant that I overslept the morning after and ran late. Thankfully my companion arrived early and waited to secure a table for us, resulting in my rushing in and forgetting to take an outside shot.


The menu was was comprehensive and allowed for a customizable meal too, with breakfast being available all day and lunch being served after 11. Service was prompt and we were able to make an order soon after our arrival.


Water was also provided without delay, an efficiency that I found quite pleasing.



Our coffees were also served promptly, my companion had a latte and I had a cappuccino in a mug. Both coffees were smooth and rich with a delightful nutty flavour. Milk was rich and silky, but I would have preferred more care been made to the cocoa on top of my cappuccino which was overconcentrated in the centre, without any on the edges.



Our food came as we were halfway through the coffees, and they were definitely a sight to behold.


My companion ordered the Sweet Potato and Butternut Pumpkin Bowl which was served with kale, topped with a poached egg, crumbled feta and toasted almonds. Despite the feta, she found the flavors to be somewhat bland and uninspiring. Perhaps this could have been improved with some sort of herbs to give it some variation. Whilst this could have been debated as a matter of opinion, what couldn't was the fact that her single poached egg was quite overcooked, to a point where the middle of the yolk was barely gelatinous and didn't run at all and the outer rims of the yolk were fairly hard boiled, which I would consider to be fairly indefensible for a cafe specialising in brunchy food.


On the other hand, I had The Biggie Carnivore which comprised of double smoked bacon, lamb sausage, roast tomato, mushrooms, sweet potato rosti, caramelised onions and poached eggs with toasted sourdough. Whilst most of my meal was quite enjoyable with well caramelised haloumi and mushrooms as well as a decadent and well seasoned potato rosti, both of my eggs were also sadly overcooked and the yolk inexcusably hardboiled around the edges. The lamb sausages also had quite a chewy skin which wasn't ideal either. For the record, given the state of the eggs, I would have raised it with staff if they had asked me how my meal was going, but given how busy it was, no one asked me how our meal was until we paid, and unfortunately that itself was met with a mere "oh".



Price Range: $20 - $30pp

Taste: 5/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10

Lady Marmalade Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato