Last week, a friend and I decided to (finally) take a break off work for one day. Being fully entrenched in the life of a full time employee, we opted to go out on our day off to better take advantage of the time rather than be responsible and recharge at home. Wanting to try something homey and soupy, we opted to try breakfast at the ever popular Cafe O Mai at Annerley.
Arriving at around 10.30 on a weekday, we were surprised to find the cafe around half full. I imagine it would be quite full during the weekend peak hours. My companion, who had been here several years ago, noted that they had definitely expanded their store from the last time he was here. We got were soon seated and given a table inside.
The menu combines cafe style brunch fare with Vietnamese street food and also a fusion of drinks.
Being given the option, my companion opted for the Vietnamese Ice Coffee, which was served hot, with coffee being filtered and dripped into condensed milk and then poured over ice. The coffee was super strong, as I like it, but unfortunately it was definitely too sweet for my tastes, although my companion really liked it.
Having tried the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, I opted for my usual cappuccino. It came with the cocoa semi dissolved, which I don't mind. The coffee had a thick rich foam, but was relatively weak for my taste.
We soon received our food, but were slightly concerned when both of our spoons came crusted with food residue. We asked for it to be changed another two times until we got clean spoons.
Wanting a fusion type meal, my companion ordered the phat breakfast. It came with bacon, eggs, tomato, potato has, lemongrass sausage and sourdough. Having enjoyed the breakfasts at quite a few other cafes, he found this to be somewhat disappointing. The toast was overdone and rather dry and hard even on the inside, the tomato, on the other hand was underdone and could have been a little more caramelised. There was only one albeit big piece of bacon and the tomato has was definitely far too flour-y and dense for our liking. The only redeeming factors in our opinion were the eggs with the nice crispy bottom and the well seasoned sausage which really stood out as unique for us.
Wanting to try something different for breakfast, I settled on the pho, which turned out to be just what I needed to start the day. The soup was strongly flavoured but light enough for me to drink the whole bowl, the noodles were soft and cooked through, and the beef was very tender. Without a doubt this would fall within the top five of the best phos that we've had in Brisbane.
Taste: 7/10 (9 for the pho, 5 for the phat breakfast)
Environment: 6/10 (points reduced for concerns over cutlery cleanliness)