Pearl Cafe - you had me at ham steak

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Image courtesy of Brisbane Times

Apparently Brisbane shuts down somewhat between Christmas and New Years and so finding a location open for breakfast was proving difficult, even with some pre-Googling and Facebooking. Which was tough in itself when the majority of places don't appear to have websites or ones which display Christmas opening (or non-opening) hours. Anyway. I did manage to discover that Pearl Cafe was open but I was looking for a longer pre-breakfast ride than that. So a decision was made to ride to New Farm/Teneriffe/Newstead and see what was open. I already knew that several that I'd been to (Pablo, Au Cirque, Ponycat, Little Larder, Shucked, Primal Pantry) were closed but we thought we'd have a look anyway and would get a good ride regardless. So we cycled to New Farm and found, as expected, them all to be closed. So we continued through New Farm Park to the New Farm-Newstead bikeway and rode along there. We decided to check out Gasworks but the only place open appeared to be Buzz and it didn't appeal to us. After finding Sourced Grocer to be closed, Sip Cafe to be too unexciting we ventured on to James St. Sadly Gerard's Bistro was closed, as was the majority of others, and we weren't feeling Chowhouse. I know, I'm picky and I wasn't hungry enough to settle for anything. I suspect I really wanted Pearl all along because we finally decided to just head to Wooloongabba.

Pearl Cafe has has always been a favourite of mine but I don't go there very often. It always seems like a more expensive option, which in retrospect I'm not sure why I thought that. Pearl Cafe always has delicious seasonal options and use excellent quality ingredients. It also regularly has a line so I was concerned about the wait we might encounter once we arrived, especially since it was 9:30 by this stage. However we were seated immediately at the bar and handed menus. After taking our coffee orders (short mac for C, long black with milk on the side for me) we were told about the two breakfast specials - a French toast dish and a Barossa Valley ham steak with beans and poached eggs, both $14 each. Prior to knowing the specials I had been considering getting the 2 hens eggs poached and ordering a few sides but the waitress had me at ham steak, even after having had ham for about the last six meals straight. I do love some Christmas ham. C does too it seems since he also ordered it.

Barossa Valley ham steak w beans & poached eggs

The coffees arrived first. I'm not a coffee connoisseur - I either like the coffee or I don't. And I liked this coffee. The short mac had a dollop of foam on it and C had no complaints. C then felt like something more refreshing so ordered the Citron Press ($7), which is citron syrup and soda water with mint. It arrived shortly afterwards and hit the spot for him. No too long afterwards, the ham steaks came out on a bed of beans and with two poached eggs on top. I cut into the first poached egg and it was slightly gooey and oozed slightly out, exactly how I like my eggs. The ham steak was absolutely delicious - salty and sweet at the same time and bursting with flavour. Together with the mild beans and gooey egg, it was a perfect combination. There were some micro greens around the plate as well which gave the dish a slight freshness although I always have trouble eating them! Somehow I just can't get them on a fork properly...but that is just my poor cutlery handling skills.

We went up to the front counter to pay and, as usual, there was a display of delicious looking sweets, including brownies and a pecan cake, and jars of tomato relish. I was tempted to get one of the cakes just because they looked so good but I really didn't need it!

Overall, this breakfast reminded me why I love Pearl Cafe so much. I have never had a bad meal there and I have rethought my opinion on the menu prices. Note that on Sundays Pearl do charge a 20% surcharge but that is noted on the menu. It does make their milkshakes (which are excellent from memory) around the $9 mark which is excessive in my mind but I will just avoid going on Sundays!


Ease of Access: 7/10
(Bicentennial bikeway, Go Between Bridge, Southbank, Stanley St bikepath up to Vulture St, L -> Stanley St, cross Stanley St at Annerly Rd intersection and hop onto footpath to continue along Stanley St, cross Ipswich Rd and enter Logan Rd shopping area)
Parking: 8/10 (Several bike racks around across the street plus poles to lean up against)

Pearl on Urbanspoon

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