Monday, 21 April 2014

Breakfast Series - Buzz Bistro and Bar Gasworks

I love the Easter long weekend.  It's a way to get a nice little mini break from work and have a lovely relaxing weekend and Easter 2014 has been superb with blue skies and sunny warm weather.  The Easter weekend does present a little bit of a problem for foodies, with many restaurants and cafes closed for the duration.  While there were not the usual assortment of places to dine out, there were still plenty of dining options open with just a little investigation and searching on the web.

We'd planned on going to breakfast and the first couple of options we looked at were all closed for the break but eventually I came across Buzz and thought we'd give it a go.  Buzz had recently opened up at the Gasworks, which is fast becoming one of the 'go-to' dining precincts in Brisbane.  Buzz Bistro and Bar is actually a burgeoning chain of cafes that numbers four in Brisbane with the other locations including Emporium, Tennyson and the Rocklea markets.

We arrived at Buzz nice and early and were easily able to find a seat in the very bright and accommodating space.  There is a pristine feeling in the dining area at Buzz, with stark white tiles offset by a calming leaf green trim.  The clean lines continue with wood tables and bench tops that accommodate large and small groups as well as communal seating.  There is a large bar area that would get some heavy use on a Friday and Saturday night and the kitchen is off to the side with glimpses of the team of chefs in action.  I also loved the exposed pizza oven, with a glass backing, you could see the flames that would ultimately cook the pizzas on the dinner menu.

We were there for breakfast though and while breaky pizza sounds pretty good, there were no pizzas on the menu. However, there were some other interesting looking items on the menu, which included truffled eggs, ricotta hot cakes and chilli con carne with refried beans.  As exciting as those sounded (but maybe not for breakfast) we went with some more traditional breakfast fare.  Ordering at Buzz is a bit different from most cafes around town at the moment and more akin to a Coffee Club approach, where you need to go to the counter to pay and order up front.  

With a fully stocked bar and a lot of interesting drinks on offer for breakfast, including champagne, I was a little disappointed that Buzz didn't offer smoothies of any description.  I had to settle for a freshly squeezed orange juice, which was actually nice and refreshing, but there is certainly room to improve the variety of drinks available with breaky.  SC's half strength latte was pretty much spot on and was surprisingly good.

It seemed as if only a few minutes had passed since we'd ordered before our food was delivered piping hot and steaming on the plate.  I'm not entirely sure how, but the Buzz kitchen was pumping out food incredibly quickly, the team of chefs were on fire.  SC had ordered the Buzz eggs benedict with spinach and house made hollandaise with a side of bacon.  The plate of food was huge, with a couple of well poached eggs covered with a lovely textured hollandaise sauce, which was velvety and looked great.  The sweet and gooey yolk from the eggs melded wonderfully with the hollandaise sauce, which was slightly too acidic on its own but great with the egg.

One of the key elements of the Buzz menu is the 'build your own' option, with a list of sides accompanying free range eggs (cooked to your liking) on ciabatta toast.  I ran with my eggs scrambled and added double smoked chriberg bacon, grilled tomatoes with basil and feta and finally oven roasted field mushrooms with rosemary and parmesan oil.  Like SC's eggs benne, my plate of food was massive, there was no way that I'd be able to eat it all.  What I loved most about my breakfast was the steaming hot and extremely creamy scrambled eggs, which were quite delicious and perfectly seasoned. The two field mushrooms were big, really big and I could only eat one of them, which was nicely seasoned.  I could have had a little more of the tasty bacon on the plate instead of so much mushroom, with only one major rasher handed out.  I didn't love the grilled tomatoes which had clearly been cooked earlier and were a little cold and the feta a bit gluggy.

I can quite categorically say that I've never been to a cafe where to food has come out to the table so quickly, it was literally around five minutes from ordering to having breakfast sitting in front of us.  The plates were also some of the biggest plates of food that we've seen for breakfast in some time, perhaps a little too much food as we didn't eat it all.  To offset the large sizes, the pricing at Buzz was a little on the high side, in fact, in my view it was over priced, especially the coffee and juice, which were well over the odds.

With the food coming out so quickly, we didn't spend a lot of time at Buzz but in the short while that we were there, the place filled up pretty quickly.  I'd noted that the staff seemed quite happy to be there and they were lovely and friendly, which was a good effort, given it was a long weekend.  There was a good 'buzz' at Buzz but I couldn't help feeling that it was a little formulaic, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you just want to hang out somewhere and get a consistent experience.  Kind of like a contemporary version of the Coffee Club.

We had a decent breakfast at Buzz and it would be worth checking out again for a dinner sometime, but it's very different from the proliferation of unique and hip unique little cafes around Brisbane.  Each has their place in the market but I think I have a preference for the edgier and unique little cafes around town.

Some large plates of food that came out incredibly quickly
The well stocked bar - could really have used some smoothies
The pizza oven was exposed - which was pretty cool
Exposed brick and a large mural gives a fresh feeling to Buzz 
Mmmmm, freshly baked muffins
Quite a large alfresco dining area at Buzz
I think that the price of coffee will need to drop to be competitive with Campos around the corner

Buzz Bar & Bistro Gasworks on Urbanspoon

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