Scatter Bean

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Despite being willing to travel all over Brisbane to eat breakfast, I seem to have neglected my own local area and was looked at incredulously the other day by other food bloggers when I admitted I hadn't visited a popular cafe in my own suburb despite having lived there for five years. To be fair, it's up the hill (i.e. not easily cycle-able) and not easy walking distance (plus there's that hill...) but still I have been meaning to get there for a long time! A few months ago I noticed that a tiny cute cafe had opened near Taringa train station called Scatter Bean and thought Finally, a decent looking place near me! and then never went there. But when I was looking for a nearby place to have coffee and small bite to eat with my parents before meeting a friend for brunch, I thought of Scatter Bean.

Although well and truly within walking distance from my place, we drove there and found a park on Princess St, just outside the cafe. It's a narrow street though so I'd suggest parking in the Taringa train station carpark and just walking up the stairs. The cafe is tiny with only three tables inside and a few low wooden crates with stools outside, plus a few bar height benches along the side. The all-day breakfast menu is simple with the usual bread, avocado toast, muesli, bacon & egg roll type options and range from $4 for toast and condiments to $15 for the bacon or haloumi and egg stacks. As for drinks, there are the standard coffee and tea options plus they do cold press coffee, frappes, milkshakes, smoothies and even a Virgin Mary. When asked about the frappes, the standard is a mixed berry frappe on coconut water but they are really flexible and are happy to do whatever they can with what they've got at the time. It looks as though they try to use organic ingredients where possible with organic yoghurt and muesli featuring on the menu and they use Barambah Organics milk. I decided to try the cold press coffee ($6), which is usually done on milk but I asked for it to be black with just a dash of milk which they were happy to do. Mum wanted coffee but something cold so although not on the menu, she was offered an iced latte. Meanwhile Dad had no such problems with the heat and went with his usual cappuccino ($3.90). I also ordered the House made Bircher muesli with coconut, mixed fruit and nuts and ground cinnamon ($8).

After ordering at the counter, we went to sit down but unfortunately all the inside tables were already occupied so we sat down at one of the outside crate-tables. Luckily not much later one of the inside tables became available so we quickly nabbed it and shifted all of their plates and glasses to the side. The cafe has a cute retro look with timber furniture, some vintage posters and props about the place and and the drinks menu is written up on a blackboard on the wall. There's also plenty to keep you busy if conversation just isn't cutting it with a selection of reading material including newspapers and Frankie magazines stacked on the tables and a few board games like Connect 4 set up and ready to play. The open 'kitchen' at Scatter Bean consists of a portable hot grill plate and a toaster and a impressive looking espresso machine takes pride in the window corner. There were three staff working when I was there - one manning the grill, another working the espresso machine and the the other serving customers and handling everything else it seemed.

Cappuccino & Iced Latte

Drinks took a while to arrive considering there weren't a lot of customers eating in but there were a few take-away-ers who came in to order. Both the iced latte and cold press coffee arrived in the now-standard glass jar with a handle and a straw for easy drinking. The iced latte was creamy and very milky, although not surprising given the size of the mug! The cappuccino arrived with fresh chocolate shavings on top which is a nice touch and something my mother loves so she'll be back for that. My cold press coffee was a little weak and watery tasting as it was made by adding a shot size of the cold press brew to cold water and then a dash of milk. Exactly as I ordered but I'm used to my cold press being stronger. Still it was a nice refreshing drink on a warm day. They ran out not long afterwards and it sounded like they only brew a jar of it a day. 

I was told not long afterwards that there was not enough Bircher for a full serve so would I mind muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit? I thought that she meant that I'd get a smaller serve of the muesli and just with extra yoghurt and fruit but when it arrived as a bowl of dry muesli with yoghurt, blueberries and chia seeds, I questioned whether it was possible to get the remaining Bircher muesli instead. Oddly I was told that actually the Bircher had gone off and thus had been thrown out. I was a bit disappointed but dug into my muesli anyway and was provided with extra yoghurt and milk. It was a untoasted muesli with some sultanas and lots of nuts and seeds. Once I'd mixed in all of the yoghurt it became semi-Bircher like anyway and was rather delicious. I couldn't detect any vanilla bean in the yoghurt and tasted like natural yoghurt but I was happy with that. The fresh blueberries were lovely but there were only a few and could have done with a few more or some additional other berries to lighten the dish. I later asked if the Bircher version was similar but was told it was actually just oats soaked in almond milk and served with grated apple. I'll have to go back and try it but would happily also order the standard muesli again. It was a large serve and unfortunately meant I was full when I arrived for my not-much-later brunch date!

Organic yoghurt & muesli ($8)

Scatter Bean is a great addition to the Taringa area and is already clearly popular with the locals with many people dropping in for the coffee, which is great. The other cooked food options look tasty and they have a few baked goods available on the counter too. If I caught the train, I imagine I'd be stopping in for coffee there regularly! There may be a few service-related things that could be improved, like with the mixed message about my muesli and also no one came to clear any of the tables while we were there, but the people are friendly and clearly accommodating which is nice.

Scatter Bean on Urbanspoon

Simple all day menu

Cold brewed coffee with a dash of milk,

Additional outdoor seating

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