Monday, 7 July 2014

Breakfast Series - The Rare Pear

I've recently struggled to get some inspiration for Sunday morning breakfast.  Every time I look down my list of breakfast spots to try, the list gets shorter and shorter.  I'm not yet ready to start revisiting all of my favourite breakfast spots or even checking out some of my favourite dinner spots, that have awesome breakfasts.  

During the week, one of my FoodMeUpScotty followers had posted some great looking photos on Facebook that started a lively debate about which breakfast spot is better in Holland Park.  Using that, I decided that I'd get out of the city and travel to find out which of the Holland Park cafes was best and after a flip of a coin, commenced our journey to The Rare Pear.

Not getting out of the CBD for breakfast very often, it was no surprise that I'd never heard of The Rare Pear before.  But, as is usually the case, there was a serendipitous moment when I realised that the Holland Park cafe had recently made the UrbanList '50 Meals You Should Have Eaten if You Live in Brisbane | Reader's Choice' (see link here).  

If you will pardon the pun, The Rare Pear is from a pair of cafes, one in Holland Park and the other in the Samford Valley.  The Holland Park Rare Pear has head chef Mathew Bird in control of the kitchen and he's designed a breakfast menu that is quite creative with a range of contemporary and traditional breaky options that looked quite appealing.  Having one of his dishes included in the UrbanList is a big deal and showcases that the menu created is a beauty.

It was a sensationally sunny but quite cool Sunday morning and when we arrived, had quite a few choices of where to sit.  It was quite tempting to take one of the seats that had some direct sunlight, but after learning that direct sunlight made taking photos difficult, we settled on a table within reach of sunlight.  We were promptly brought our menus and after studying them for a while, grabbed the attention of one of the waitresses to get our drinks ordered and on their way.  SC's half strength latte was made from Di Bella beans and was very well made.  I'd ordered a mango smoothy, which it must be said was both massive and extremely well made and had a strong flavour of mango...  We were off to a good start.

It took a little longer than we'd have normally liked to get our food orders under way and then a little while for our breakfast to be delivered.  It wasn't at that point where you get annoyed, but we did look at our watches a few times and wondered what was going on.  When our breakfasts were delivered, it was a case of worth-the-wait.

After deliberating for what seemed like a long time, SC finally settled on the eggs benedict, which came with two poached eggs with a house-made herb hollandaise and baby spinach on toasted sourdough.  Inspired by the UrbanList article, SC also ordered a side of the sweet potato and haloumi fritters, which was #19 on the list. The eggs benne were presented in a fairly traditional way but the inclusion of the herb hollandaise gave the breakfast a different look and feel than your traditional benne.  The hollandaise sauce was delightful, with a slightly green tinge from the herbs, the sauce did not impact the flavour at all.  While one of the poached eggs was perfectly cooked, the other was slightly over and didn't quite have the oozy yolk that you love from poached eggs.

What was special about the dish was the sweet potato and haloumi fritter, which to be honest didn't look great but packed a real punch.  The outside was quite crispy and dark, but the sweet potato flavour blended with the haloumi to create a memorable meal.  (It needs to be noted that FoodMeUpScotty does not like sweet potato and this description is from SC).

I'd taken my usual approach to breakfast, ordering the 'classic eggs' cooked my way (which was scrambled) and adding a heap of sides.  Our waitress (who looked as if she was the owner/manager) suggested I get the big breakfast instead but it had some ingredients that I would have taken off the order, so it suited me fine ordering my way.  My plate of breakfast was massive, starting with my well cooked and perfectly seasoned scrambled eggs, slightly overcooked haloumi cheese, scrumptious chorizo and bacon and finally some interesting looking balsamic mushrooms.  The best elements on the plate was the scrambled eggs, which were really tasty, and the equally tasty mushrooms.  With so much food on the plate, I struggled to get through the lot.

The Rare Pear was in a little strip of shops on Logan Road and was filled with either families (coincidentally all with two parents and three kids) or childless couples, all of whom seemed like well known locals.  The cafe had quite a large kitchen area that seemed to dominate most of the inside of the cafe with most of the seating outside, alfresco style.  It didn't have the 'cool' factor that a lot of other cafes have around town and seemed to be more substance over style.

It probably took us a little longer than we'd usually like to get through breakfast for the two of us, a point that was probably exacerbated because it was so cold.  The wait staff were really friendly and seemed in control but the cafe was not quite packed out, although it was quite busy.

We quite enjoyed our breakfast and I definitely loved my mango smoothy, so overall it was a win for breakfast.  Coincidentally, the other cafe that featured in the debate about Holland Park breakfast spots was within in sight and we noticed how busy it had become while we were sitting there.  That actually bodes quite well, although we might need to head over a bit earlier to get a seat.  Time will tell which of my followers' favourite cafe will 'reign supreme' but it should be fun finding out.

The di bella coffee was well extracted and The Rare Pear made a killer latte
It was a cold but sunny Sunday morning
I loved the polkadots on the sugar holder
Great scrambled eggs and very tasty mushrooms
All sorts of cafe goodies available 
In line with the name, pears featured heavily throughout
More pears
There were not many seats inside but the theme continued - pears on the wall

The Rare Pear on UrbanspoonThe Rare Pear

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