Friday, 18 April 2014

Breakfast Series - Scout Cafe

I quite often go through 'eating-out' phases, with breakfast being one of my favourite.  It had been quite some time since we had been out for breakfast and I was feeling a bit scratchy about it. There was a period late last year when we would go out for breakfast religiously but strangely we'd stopped. It took a late night text from our buddy DruBoy to see what we were doing for breakfast the next morning and seeing if we wanted to come along to check out Scout Cafe.  It's always fun catching up with DruBoy, so we quickly agreed to breakfast and arranged an 8:00am start.

I'd been hearing great things about Scout Cafe but had only a vague understanding of where it was located, but oriented myself as soon as we parked our car across the street on Petrie Terrace.  We'd walked along Petrie Terrace a thousand times over the years and I'd not really noticed the little shopfront on the corner of Petrie Terrace and Princess Street before.  Petrie Terrance had always been a bit of 'no-mans-land' and the quaint little shopfront had been an empty shell for a long, long time before owners Suse Whitehouse and Candy Smith took carriage of the spot and turned their long held dream into a reality.

SC and I are seasoned weekend breakfast warriors and know that most cool spots in Brisbane start to get really busy by around 8-8:30am, so we made sure that we arrived nice an early at Scout.  It was a good thing too, the little cafe is just that - very little.  We managed to snaffle a table in the bay window of the main dining area, which gave us a prime view of Scout.  The cafe has retained much of the charm that you'd expect from a 'turn of the century' shopfront but also managed to add a little bit of a kitsch feel inside.  

It wasn't long before DruBoy arrived and we were given our #8 menu to look over and had our drinks order taken.  I'd read that Scout did an amazing little salted caramel milkshake, so I went straight to that for my start to the morning, while SC ordered her customary half strength latte and DruBoy went for a flat white. New Zealand coffee roaster Coffee Supreme is the supplier of beans at Scout and I could tell from the delivery of the perfectly prepared coffees that Scout took their coffees very seriously, a fact that SC and DruBoy confirmed after their first sips.  As good as my companions thought the coffee was, I thought my salted caramel shake was better, in fact it was supreme with just the right balance of saltiness and sweetness from the caramel.

I was intrigued by the #8 sitting atop of the Scout menu and checked in with our waitress (whom it must be said looked just like a very young Scarlet Johannsen) what the #8 represented.  Simplicity was the order of the day with the #8 simply referring to the 8th Scout menu, with news that the #9 would be out in the next week. The menu itself was not what I would have called extensive, but it did have a number of contemporary options as well as a comprehensive list of sides that rounded out the menu nicely.

Being a pescetarian, DruBoy had a surprising number of options on the menu but chose the breakfast salad, which came with house cured beetroot infused salmon gravlax with six minute eggs, pickles, horseradish cream sauce, dill, rocket and dark rye toast.  There was a lot going on with this plate of breakfast but it had a nice symmetry with wonderful colours and looked incredibly fresh.  I'd never thought about a salad for breakfast but it worked, in particular the beetroot infused salmon, which not only had an interesting colour, was just beautiful to eat.  I really loved the stark contrast of the black seeds on the stark white of the egg.

Looking quite amazing on the plate was SC's brioche French toast with spiced pears, 'hood honey' and vanilla ice cream.  Brioche makes sensational French toast as it has a natural sweetness that is enhanced nicely when dipped in egg and fried up.  The pears were wonderful and soft and had an interesting sweetness that was punctuated with a slight zing from the spices that partnered (paired?) well with the french toast and light covering of icing sugar.  While it was a delightful breakfast to eat, I'd loved to have seen a little extra colour on the plate, perhaps a strawberry or something of a contrasting colour to take away the beige of the dish.

Being such a contemporary menu, there was nothing at all I wanted from the listed options.  Luckily, there were plenty of choices with the sides, so my breakfast consisted completely of components from that part of the menu.  There were no scrambled eggs, so I went with fried eggs, sunny-side up with smoked Roma tomatoes, rosemary mushrooms, chorizo and Kaiserfleisch (thick bacon pieces).  It was a simple looking plate of food but still looked a little more elegant with the fried eggs than my normal choice of scrambled eggs. Every component on the plate was wonderful, with the sweet chorizo and thick pieces of Kaiserfleisch being the standouts because of their punchy flavour.  The smoked Roma tomatoes had good flavour, but the roasting process had turned them a bit mushy and extra texture would have been nice.  Not normally a fan of fried eggs, I was surprisingly happy with them, especially when the sweet yolk started to mix in with the rest of the ingredients.

Normally when SC and I have breakfast together, its a pretty utilitarian approach, we get a seat, order our breakfast as quickly as we can and then after devouring our breakfast, get out just as quick.  It was a different experience with DruBoy as we lingered over our breakfast and contemplated the state of the world. So much so that we were compelled to order another round of drinks, ostensibly to stave off the need to free up the table for the multitudes of people that had started to arrive.

There were not a lot of tables available at Scout, which has about ten tables in the main area and a large communal table in a back room.  Being so small, when the queues of people did finally arrive it felt a little crushed.  That being said, it was a superb little spot and even though it started to get busy, we never once felt as if we were being rushed through our meal.  The vibe was jovial and the staff were really friendly, clearly loving their jobs.

I'm continually amazed with how many great little breakfast spots Brisbane has now and there is no doubt in my mind that Scout is right up with the best of them.  The team clearly love what they do, even to the point of demonstrating how they prepare their coffee (by this time I'd been pinged as a blogger though).  Scout has all the ingredients to be one of the best breakfast spots in Brisbane, although with such limited seating, you might have to wait a while if you don't get there really early.

Scout was so good that I think it's inspired me to go through a new 'breakfast phase'!

Scout produced some really great coffee
DruBoy also had an amazing fresh juice of the day - this one had carrot in it
Yum, time to eat!
There are the usual cakes and ready made assortments to enjoy
Remember these?  I sure do
The back room and communal table
I love the exposed brick walls of the old shopfront
Our seat in the window was filled pretty quickly
Scout Cafe on UrbanspoonScout

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