Sunday, 29 June 2014

Breakfast Series - Sparrow and Finch

I've kind of started thinking about my foodie life as pre food blog and post food blog.  It's actually quite a large distinction really.  Prior to my life as a food blogger, I used to eat out a lot, but would tend to find a place that I liked and pretty much eat at the same place all the time.  As a food blogger, writing about my food adventures, that might get pretty boring, pretty quickly. So my life eating around Brisbane is much more diverse (although I still stick to a few restaurants for my nights off).

I've mentioned this because there are a few places around Brisbane that I used to go to a fair bit, but have not really visited since I started my blog.  One such cafe is Sparrow and Finch in the CBD, which is a well known lunch spot for CBD professionals and a bit of a Friday night pizza and beer stop.  I have eaten lunch at Sparrow and Finch a fair bit but I really know the place best for its breakfasts for which they're not so well known.

I had a day off recently and thought what better way to spend a cold winter's morning than heading back to Sparrow and Finch for a spot of breakfast.  Now, almost all of the times I'd eaten at Sparrow and Finch for breakfast, it had actually been an early lunch, around 11am and I was always on the cusp of arriving too late and sometimes I'd miss out on their breakfasts, which I quite liked.  There was no fear of that happening, arriving at 7:30 for a bite to eat, I was right in the 'breakfast zone'.

Sparrow and Finch is located on the corner of Adelaide and Creek Street in the CBD and is what I'd call a very casual affair.  It's laid out like a typical CBD cafe, with a kitchen out back, surrounded by a counter at the front but where it deviates is the quality of the fittings, which are pretty sleek with lots of white marble. There is also a bar around the side of Sparrow and Finch and this is where most of the Friday night festivities take place.  There are some seats inside, but most of the seating is alfresco, either on Adelaide Street or Gresham Lane.

There is no table service at Sparrow and Finch, so I waited in the queue with the early morning CBD types who were waiting for their morning shot of caffeine to jump start their day.  While I was waiting in the queue, I was able to look over the short and fairly limited breakfast menu, just to make sure I was still able to get some scrambled eggs. Mainly consisting of quick bites such as panini and croissants, the menu deviates slightly with two classics, the eggs Benedict and the big breakfast.  It was just what I was hoping for.

Ordering breakfast and taking a seat at one of the few bench tables inside, I sat reading the news on my iPad while waiting for my meal to arrive.  I'd ordered a mango smoothy, which arrived at my table shortly after being seated and I was amazed at the size of my smoothy, it was seriously large.  Delivered in a big Styrofoam cup, it was at least twice as big as anything you'd get in a suburban cafe and way more than I was going to be able to drink.  It was as delicious as it was big though, with a completely smooth texture and a real punch of mango.  It tasted Yum, but looked kind of boring...

My big breakfast arrived shortly after and it was just as I'd remembered if from my last visit (which was well over two years prior).  When you eat out at a suburban cafe on the weekend, you normally get a breakfast that looks a beautiful as it tastes, but at Sparrow and Finch, it seemed as if no thought had gone into presentation at all, in fact the toast was sitting on top of the breakfast, which really didn't look great at all. Even when I took the toast off the plate for some photos, the plate still looked quite plain and it was a little messy for me to slide my toast under my scrambled eggs.

Consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, avocado and tomato, I'd asked the avocado to be swapped out with sautéed mushrooms and thankfully, this had happened.  There were a couple of standouts on the plate, the bacon was cooked just the way I like it and the sausage was chorizo (and that always goes down well with me).  I thought the scrambled eggs were OK too.  What I really didn't like was the half tomato, which had not cooked all the way through and was not pleasant to eat at all.  I think this is the old school 'coffee club' type of tomato and there is no place for this on a breakfast plate any more.

As happens sometimes when wandering down memory lane, the reality sometimes does not match up to the recollections.  It's not that it was a bad breakfast, not at all.  Equally, it was not a brilliant one either.  It kind of reminded me that Brisbane has become a breakfast mecca and with so many amazing breakfast places around, you need to do a brilliant job to stand out.  I think a few years ago, the Sparrow and Finch breakfast would have been a stand out, now its just middle of the road.

Sparrow and Finch still remains of of the most popular lunch spots in the CBD and when I walk past it daily, it's packed with city slickers sitting down and enjoying a lunch of salad or pizza.  I didn't see too many people sitting down for breakfast on the morning that I was there, so perhaps breakfast is not the main focus, and that's OK.  

The bacon and chorizo were both excellent but that tomato.....
A CBD lunch spot with a bar - it's sure to be popular!
Gresham Lane is fast becoming a hot spot in the CBD

You see a lot of these high-rise cafes around the CBD nowadays but Sparrow and Finch was one of the first 
Kitchen out the back and a pretty decent lunch menu - and a pretty small breakfast menu

Sparrow & Finch on Urbanspoon


  1. It doesn't look too appetising, how were the scrambled eggs?

    1. Yeah, this is a case of not a lot of care putting the food on the plate. The eggs were ok, but nothing to write home about!


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