The Roastery Cafe

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Faced with the usual Saturday morning question of where to have our post-market breakfast, C and I contemplated nearby options as he had to pick up his cousin from the airport. Plenty was an obvious choice given its close proximity to the markets but after checking out their new menu, we weren't feeling it. So we contemplated others - Mondo Organics and Hoo Ha Bar came to mind and both do excellent breakfasts but then I thought of The Roastery Cafe in Glenelg St, not far from Hoo Ha Bar, and in the interest of trying somewhere new I suggested it. C was happy to check it out so we hopped on our bikes, me somewhat laden down with heavy purchases, and cycled towards Southbank along the river and popped out on Little Stanley Street. I couldn't remember exactly where The Roastery Cafe was but had  general idea so we cycled in that direction and found it. Go my occasionally decent navigation skills! I forgot it was on a bit of a hill though and struggled a little getting up in fifth gear after stopping at the bottom of the hill and having a good extra five kilos on the bike but made it eventually.

The Roastery Cafe is the cafe offshoot of Rogue Coffe, a local coffee roasting house. Rogue Coffee got a bit of press earlier this year after they installed Queensland's first BitCoin ATM. I'm a bit hazy on BitCoins and how they work (much to my economist brother's disbelief) but it's interesting that they have one and I'm curious to know how much its used. Anyway, the cafe is located within a large warehouse on Glenelg St in South Brisbane - the cafe is on the left and the roastery appears to be on the right. It's got a great rustic-style fitout with reclaimed timber furniture, timber shelving, polished concrete floors, colourful stools and, as expected for a roastery, plenty of coffee paraphernalia displayed. A large bi-fold window takes up the majority of the front and doubles as a bench to sit at.

We took a seat at the large outside table at the front and a menu happened to already be on the table. The menu items range from simple sourdough bread with berry chia compote ($5.90) to the Roastery Breakfast including house beans with chorizo, bacon, tomato, avocado and two poached eggs on a piece of sourdough with house relish ($19.90). There are the usual options such as Bircher muesli, eggs your way on sourdough, banana bread but then there are some more interesting sounding options such as Kale, roasted sweet potato with avo-herb dressing, roasted almonds and poached eggs and house baked beans with preserved lemon ricotta (both $14.90) and they have classic baked eggs with chorizo, goat's cheeese and lemon ($16.90). The menu is also good for those who prefer to configured their own breakfast with the option of having sourdough with your choice of 1,2 or 3 toppings ($8.90/$1.90/$14.90) and several types of extras available. I decided to try the Quinoa with coconut and vanilla berry compote, roasted seeds and rice milk ($11.90) for something different. I'm a big fan of quinoa but I'd never had it as a sweet option. C chose the Breakfast Roll with organic egg, crispy bacon, cheddar and house relish ($8.90) as well as a Cold Press coffee ($5), which is made in-house by Rogue Coffee.

Clipboard menu (excuse the hair!)

It seemed to be counter service so I went up to order and noted some delicious looking muffins on the counter, along with some croissants. I also noticed that the menu was written on a painted chalkboard on the wall but the items were worded slightly differently from the paper menus e.g my dish was listed as 'quinoa porridge w/coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, berry compote, toasted seeds, rice milk'. While I was in there, I realised the cafe was a lot larger than I originally thought as the place was a lot longer than I thought at there were tables all the way towards the back and outside at the back. It is also clearly popular with cyclists as there was plenty of lycra about!

Cold press coffee ($5); rear bottle is the table number
Perhaps it was that I was hungry and we were on a time deadline but it seemed like meals took a while to reach us. C's breakfast roll was smallish and not quite as packed in as the one he'd had at Gramercy earlier in the week. He seemed happy enough with it though. His Malcolm X Cold Press (black, no sugar) coffee arrived in a bottle and he really loved it. C brews his own cold press and generally uses Blackstar coffee and always laments that Blackstar don't do an unsweeted black cold press.

My quinoa was displayed prettily in a small square terracotta bowl with a large dollop of berry compote and toasted seeds as well as fresh apple slices fanned out on top. It was accompanied by a small jug of milk. It was a little smaller than I expected but quinoa can be quite filling so I wasn't too concerned. Once I started eating, it became apparent that despite the differences between the two menu descriptions being minor, it was definitely closer to the paper menu description. It was more just quinoa than quinoa porridge and I couldn't detect any cinnamon, coconut or vanilla. The quinoa was warm at least which was nice as it was a cool morning but the accompanying milk (which seemed more like regular than rice milk) was cold, which didn't make sense to me and as a result I tried not to add too much. The apple slices, while attractive, seemed out of place in a warm dish and were difficult to eat with it. Some poached spple or other fruit would have made more sense. The berry compote was lovely and a little tart but the dish lacked sweetness so I went up to the counter to request some honey. Once the honey was added, the dish did improve but overall I was disappointed. I saw some of the other dishes like the kale and roasted sweet potato dish at another table and I have to say they looked great so it might have just been my choice which wasn't good.

Breakfast Roll with organic egg, crispy bacon, cheddar and house relish ($8.90)

 Quinoa with coconut and vanilla berry compote, roasted seeds and rice milk ($11.90)

Overall I though the Roastery Cafe is a great spot and service was really friendly, although it is all counter service. I was disappointed by our food choices but I would consider going back to try something else. Our meal came to $25 altogether for both of us, which is cheap although we did get quite small meals and I didn't get a coffee. Although with so many options I do really like in the area, it may be a while.


Ease of access: 7/10 (It's not directly off a bike path but not far from Southbank )   

Parking: 10/10 (Bike racks and large carpark on the premises)

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