Saturday, 11 May 2013

Breakfast Series - Anouk

In my never ending quest to eat at Brisbane's best, I decided that I would finally get along to one of Paddington's favourite breakfast joints, Anouk.  SC and I have been through Paddington many times and marvelled at how busy Anouk can get but never quite got around to going.  As you know, we really hate queuing anywhere for food so Anouk was always tucked away in our list of destinations for 'another time'.

We actually had a couple of options for breakfast on this Saturday morning in a few spots around Brisbane but were swayed towards Paddington due some mates moving into the suburb on that very day.  Knowing how busy Anouk can get, we had to plan well, so the alarm was set for an 'alarming' 6:45 so we could get to the cafe shortly after it opened at 7am.  As it turned out our plan was unnecessary with plenty of seats available when we arrived.  A bonus or our early arrival was scoring one of the prime seats inside, by the window, which had the early morning sun streaming in!

Anouk is in the part of Paddington that reminds me very much of parts of Melbourne and Adelaide and stepping through the front door of the cafe reminded me of some of the cool places down south.  The exposed brick walls and cool feel was juxtaposed with the ceiling fans that are so prevalent in Queensland.

Menus were already at the table and when we sat down we studied the extensive breakfast and drinks menus.  After a short deliberation SC chose her customary half strength latte and I decided on a strawberry and vanilla yoghurt fruit smoothy.  The drinks arrived very quickly and after a couple of sips each we declared they were pretty good.  My strawberry and vanilla smoothy was very sweet initially, but after a quick stir with the long spoon provided, blended the strawberry mix up nicely and balanced out the strawberry and vanilla flavour.

The extensive breakfast menu at Anouk is a little different and provides two courses for your breakfast options, 'to start' and 'to follow'.  The 'to start' menu looked quite light and had traditional breakfast fare like muesli, granola and fruit toast.  The 'to follow' part of the menu had a mix of traditional and contemporary hot breakfast offerings.  SC and I both decided to order from the 'to follow' options, despite the sun streaming through the window and warming us, it was actually quite cold outside and a hot breakfast was the way to go.

SC went for an option that you don't often see on a breakfast menu but the breakfast bruschetta with bocconcini, cherry tomato and fresh herbs with a poached egg sitting on top looked really appealing.  When presented, the plate looked extremely fresh and inviting with loads of rocket and other greens mixed in with cherry tomato and the lovely creamy bocconcini cheese.  The poached egg was perfectly cooked and when cracked open, the runny yolk oozed out over the breakfast to bring it together nicely.

As usual I was glad that SC went for something less traditional as it allowed me to continue on my quest to find the best 'basic' breakfast in Brisbane.  Not surprisingly I chose the scrambled eggs with oven rosted balsamic tomatoes, pan fried mushrooms and a two rasher of double smoked bacon.  When the plate was presented to me, I wondered how I would ever eat it all, it was seriously large.  A very generous helping of scrambled eggs was covered in a mountain of pan fried mushrooms.  Once I got over the initial shock of the size of the plate, I noticed that the generosity didn't finish there, the tomatoes and bacon were significant portion sizes too!  The eggs were a lovely yellow colour and were light and fluffy, but I found them ever so slightly under seasoned.  A pinch more salt would not have gone astray.  The hero on the plate for me though was the mountain of mushrooms, which were earthy and flavoursome and quite wonderful.  I also really liked the tomatoes, which had just a hint of balsamic flavour, but were a little cold on the plate.  I think they may have come out of the oven just a bit too soon.  There is noting to say about the bacon, it was just as bacon should be and delicious.

I think SC and I could probably have slept in for a while longer as the breakfast rush is clearly a little later in the morning for Paddington folk.  By the time we had finished up and paid, it was just starting to get  a little busier and the cyclists were just coming in from their rides and setting up.

We also found the service and wait staff to be awesome for such an early start to a Saturday morning, which was appreciated as we waited for our brains to kick into gear.  There were lots of smiles and warm greetings for people as they came in and left.  We also appreciated that our drinks came out fast and our breakfast took a little time so we could read a bit of the news on our iPads and just generally enjoy the sunny window spot.

I don't think Anouk is the best breakfast in Brisbane, that honour currently goes to Cirque over in New Farm but it was not far off.  There is a really broad selection of different breakfast offerings to cater to all needs and wants, which is nice.  What I really loved about Anouk and elevates the whole experience to one of the best is the location and the feel of the cafe.  It's not crowded and you are not crushed together like some other establishments and the spot by the window we had was amazing.

Paddington is one of our favourite suburbs in Brisbane and probably the only place where we would live if we weren't in the CBD.  It's fortuitious that one of my best mates is moving into Paddington today, it will actually give SC and I more reason to head to the great inner city suburb.  I guess having great places like Anouk to visit helps as well!


Such a great feel to Anouk, soft comfy benches for me to sit on 
The staff are all ready to go!
My strawberry and vanilla yoghurt shake
Ceiling fans and mirrors in the open spaces at Anouk
Where's the parrot?  Lots of coffee from merlo!
Anouk is in a great strip of shops at Paddington with Montrachet just a few doors away
Creative breakfast options
The large menu
I'd prefer an open kitchen, but at least we can see the boys at work

Anouk on UrbanspoonAnouk

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