Sunday, 1 September 2013

Breakfast Series - Lock n Load Bistro

If you sit back and think about how many cool restaurants or cafes you have walked by and thought about going into, but didn't, I'm sure it would be a long list.  There are plenty of places over the years that I have made a mental note to visit and never have.  I might also say that that list seems never ending!  

Lock 'n' Load is one of those bistros I have walked by a thousand times and always wanted to go visit.  I've walked by at different times of the day and night and it always seemed to be be filled with people enjoying themselves, be it for evening drinks or Sunday breakfast.  So when it came time to decide on a Sunday breakfast, I ran through my very long list and came up with the popular West End bistro.

Lock 'n' Load is one of many popular dining spots in boheme West End and really feels as if it belongs. Walking by, you can often hear funky live music on a Friday and Saturday night coming from its open doors and windows.  There was no live music playing when we stepped through the front doors early on a Sunday morning, and we had to settle for tunes through the speaker system.  

When we arrived, there was a small queue of people looking to be seated, so we joined the queue and wondered if was a bad idea not to book a table on Fathers Day.  After confirming that we didn't have a booking, we were advised that we could be seated and were ushered through the inside dining area to a seat on the back deck, just before the al fresco dining area out back.  Our waitress handed over the menu, which resembled a book, and took our drinks orders, a half strenght latte for SC and a mixed berry and mint frappe for me.

SC's coffee arrived fairly quickly but I had to wait for an extra five minutes for my frappe, which came in an interesting cocktail glass and was full to overflowing (hello sticky table).  SC thought her coffee was nice, but not by far the best coffee she's had, and I was pretty happy with my frappe.  I'm not normally a fan of mint, so I was taking a bit of a risk getting a berry and mint frappe, but I was pleasantly surprised with the mix of the subtle mint and berry flavour.  It was really fresh and refreshing.

I wouldn't call the breakfast menu at Lock 'n' Load extensive, in fact, I would be generous and call it focussed, but the reality is that it's pretty small.  There are handful of contemporary breakfast options available and a strict no swapsies policy.  There is a saving grace though, there are a lot of 'additions' that you can make, which certainly helps make up for the lack of diversity.  

SC was initially undecided about her breakfast, but finally decided to try the Green Eggs & Ham: Poached free range eggs, toasted brioche, lemon scented spinach, herbed hollandaise, crisp pancetta and a green tomato chutney.  The plate that was presented to us looked amazing, artfully decorated with a bit of balsamic vinegar and overflowing with a green hollandaise sauce.  There was quite a bit to like about the breakfast, with a lovely sauce and thick pancetta that was bordering on being bacon.  There were some things that were OK about the dish too, the eggs were almost cooked perfectly and were just a tad overdone and the hollandaise was tasty.  However, there were a couple of things wrong with the dish too, the brioche toast was blackened on one end and the hollandaise sauce was cooled by the chutney, which cooled down the whole plate.  Overall, not a bad effort, but just some silly errors that should not have been on the plate.

There was nothing that excited me on the rather limited menu, but the 'additions' were all I really wanted anyway, and they covered off all my regular choices for breakfast.  What was great about the dish presented to me was the diversity of flavours, but not so much food that I would leave most of it.  I ordered scrambled eggs, double smoked bacon, roasted tomato, chorizo and a mushroom ragout. Everything on the plate was delicious and well cooked and I couldn't say that one element was better than the other.  I loved the rolled up bacon rashers that had been baked just right, with bags of flavour and bacony goodness.  I also loved the roasted tomatoes, which were also really tasty, as was the diced chorizo.  If I had one minor issue with the meal, it would be the lack of seasoning in the scrambled eggs.  They were cooked and presented well, but were just a little bland.

Well, my curiosity had finally been satisfied.  We had visited Lock 'n' Load and had, on the whole, enjoyed the experience.  It was a lovely Sunday morning and we were in a great spot out the back with the early morning sun.  We weren't as early as we normally are for breakfast and took a chance getting a table on Fathers Day, but we were happy that we scored a great spot.  I think we arrived at the perfect time because shortly after almost every seat in the joint was filled with people celebrating Fathers Day.

I love the feel of Lock 'n' Load and think it's a perfect fit for culturally diverse West End.  It's in an old Queenslander and it has loads of charm and is quite a bit bigger inside than it looks from the street view.  It was certainly perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast, but it also would be a fantastic spot for a midweek dinner, especially in summer.  Looks like I will have to add this to my mental list of things to do this summer.  The list that seems never ending......

The view from our seat for Breakfast.  The outdoor area was lovely
Follow the lights to get out.
Definitely a diverse crowd at Lock n Load.  This morning the fathers day crowd.
The kitchen hard at it
Yep, definitely a bar.  Love the artwork and the implications
It's a long former Queenslander and quite busy for dining
The part of the bistro normally rocks out on a Friday and Saturday nigh.  The bar

Lock 'n' Load on UrbanspoonLock 'n' Load Bistro

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