Saturday, 19 October 2013

Breakfast Series - The Java Lounge

A long time ago and a lifetime away I used to live in one of Brisbane's best suburbs, Bardon.  We always used to say that the inner west was best and we were only half joking when we said it.  What made it great living in Brisbane's inner west way back in the day was that it was one of the only areas within Brisbane that had a thriving dining culture.  This was when Park Road at Milton was just about the only spot where you could get a meal after 9pm at night -  yeah, it was a while ago.

I've always enjoyed eating out and back when I was younger and SC and I were just starting our life together, we didn't have a heap of money so going out to fine diners was a little bit of a luxury.  Instead of regularly hitting the city's few 'fancy' restaurants we would head off to breakfast as our main way of eating out and the Java Lounge was one of our favourites.

Fast forward a few years, there is a thriving dining scene just about everywhere in Brisbane but it's refreshing to see that some of the old places are still around and doing well.  On a rare Saturday morning where SC didn't have a personal training session, we decided to forgo the Sunday breakfast and go a day earlier.  As we were looking through our options on Urbanspoon, looking at and then discounting some of the hipper and cooler cafes on the list, I spied a name that brought back a flood of memories.  The Java Lounge, of course, it had to be the Java Lounge.  We were up nice and early so didn't bother about booking, we just hoped in the car, set autopilot and drove to our old stomping grounds.

There is something quite comforting about driving to our old favourite suburb and and heading to a cafe where we had so many great breakfasts and good times.  It's also creates just a little bit of anxiety, will it be as good as I remember?  Will I enjoy my breakfast or will I burn my fond memories?  Now that I'm blogging about my experiences, will I look at it too critically?  All stupid questions that burned in my mind as we parked the car and walked down Latrobe Terrace to the Java Lounge.

Walking past the Java Lounge neon sign and into the cafe was like walking through a time warp, the place seemed to be just about identical to my last visit so many years before.  One of the elements that made the Java Lounge such a great place to hang out was the very relaxed feel of the place and I was elated that the same feeling of calm and relaxation came over me once we were seated.  The couches were there and all seemed right, the only change was to some of the artwork for sale around some of the walls.

It has been so long that I don't actually remember what the menu was like at the Java Lounge, sure, I remember that I used to get bacon and eggs but that's about it.  The Java Lounge doesn't have a web site so I couldn't look before hand but when the waitress handed over the menu it was like coming home.  Before we ordered food it was time to order some drinks and I went straight for the smoothy page.  There are some pretty interesting smoothy's on offer and I went for the #2 smoothy of strawberry, apple, banana and ice cream and I've gotta say it was amazing.  This is my new smoothy drink of choice and I will be asking for it everywhere I go.  SC ordered a half strenght latte but was a little disappointed with it, it actually came full strength and it was over extracted.  

Setting aside her disappointment of the coffee, SC was incredibly happy with her eggs Benedict with free range eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce.  She was feeling particularly hungry so opted for the bacon instead of the ham and spinach with the benny.  The eggs benny was presented nicely with some freshly toasted sour dough with the bacon on top, then the eggs on top of that all smothered in a delicious hollandaise sauce.  Initially SC was a bit disappointed with the poached eggs, she likes them a little runnier but as she munched through the breakfast was actually pleased that eggs were not any runnier as the yolk would have detracted from the scrumptious hollandaise sauce.  The combination of the bacon, eggs and sauce were delicious and really well balanced, the meal was in fact a great version of eggs benedict. 

Continuing my never ending search for Brisbane's best fry up breakfast I ordered the bacon and eggs which came with grilled tomato and is cooked to 'my liking'.  In this instance 'my liking' was scrambled eggs and I asked them to throw in some mushrooms as an extra.  So far this year I've ordered bacon at pretty much every breakfast joint I have been to, save a couple of weird places that didn't have bacon.  I have to say that the Java Lounge didn't give me just any old bacon, this was the tastiest and best bacon I've had all year, it was great.  It was a little thinner than other places but it was cooked perfectly and had an intense flavour that I just loved.  I was also really impressed with the mushrooms, which had a lovely woody and earthy flavour to them which worked really well with the bacon.  The only element that stopped these from being the perfect mushrooms was a pinch of seasoning.  It was a little bit of a let down with the eggs, not that they were bad (not at all), its just that they didn't live up to the amazing mushrooms and bacon.  The grilled tomato was probably somewhere between the mushrooms and the eggs, good, but nothing really special.  Overall though, I loved the breakfast.

There is a real danger when you go back to a place after a long time away.  The danger is that you blow away the fond memories you had of a place and time and replace them with something best forgotten.  This wasn't the case for our visit to the Java Lounge, if anything the food was better than I remember.

I'm pretty sure the Java Lounge is not run by the same people that ran it over a decade ago, but I could be wrong.  The staff were super friendly and all the waitresses looked like they could have been sisters, so I'm thinking it's a bit of a family business on the weekends.  Our orders were taken quickly and efficiently and the food came out in quick time and in the right order (drinks first then the food).

When we first got there it was pretty quiet but it soon filled up and by the time we left most of the seats were taken, especially the seats outside on Latrobe Terrace.  As we walked away and back to the car to drive over to James Street Market we reflected on our time living in Bardon and confirmed the only suburb that we would ever move away from the CBD for would be Paddington (right next to Bardon).

In case you are wondering about all the reflection of times gone by in this  post, it's our wedding anniversary weekend and we've been married for 16 years, so it's definitely a time of reflection.  I expect the same thing will happen later tonight when we visit Ortiga for the last time before it closes down, which will be heartbreaking.  I'm sure after this mornings great breakfast that the Java Lounge will be around for a long time to come.


The coffee was the only part of the meal that was not right up to scratch for the day
Mmmmm, that bacon was amazing
The kitchen hard at work - waitress #1
I'm sure that couch was the same 10 years ago?
Wanna buy some art?
Waitress #2 at the counter with some cookies
phew, take a load off the feet for some breakfast waitress #3 - surely siblings?
Such a comfortable place to hang out.  There used to be movies playing through an old projector, I wonder if that still happens?
A great day to sit outside
Java Lounge on UrbanspoonJava Lounge Cafe


  1. I quite like this place too, although I can't remember if I had the bacon. Surely, that means I have to go back there again sometime... ;)

    1. Haha, it surely does mean that Sapphira :)


Thanks very much for your comment, I really love and appreciate feedback and your thoughts


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...