Strauss FD

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Strauss FD can be found tucked away, down an alleyway off Elizabeth St in the CBD, across the road from The Hilton. It is not clearly visible but there is usually a small sign on the street footpath. If yo peer down, you should see a neon sign indicating you're in the right place. Strauss has been around for a few years and while it's a quiet achiever, they serve up some of the best coffee in the area. Not surprising given it's owned by Josh Russell of Coffee Supreme Roasters ( formerly Cup Coffee).

I first visited Strauss when it first opened and they had a very minimal menu - four simple items. Unfortunately they didn't have gluten-free bread and they were out of Bircher muesli that day so I was a bit lost on what to order - avocado on toast minus toast is not really a meal, even with an egg as was offered. I've been back a few more times for coffee but it wasn't until recently that I decided to give it another go after seeing their menu had extended since my initial visit.

Inside the cafe

I arrived early one weekday morning to meet B. There are tables inside as well as a few small ones in the laneway,  which we chose to sit at. When you're cooped up in an office all day, having the opportunity to sign outside is appealing, even if it us down a dim alleyway! Most of the tables were already taken and already a queue had formed of people waiting for their takeaway coffees. A waiter was with us shortly with menus, water and to take our coffee orders. B ordered her usual soy cappuccino and I went with my standard long black with milk on the side. Coffees are priced from $3 and mine was $3.50 for a small which is the standard but well worth it for quality coffee.

The seasonal breakfast & lunch menu changes regularly

Long black; Soy cappuccino

They still don't supply gluten-free bread but do say they can make substitutions. What with, I'm not really sure as the Bircher muesli with chia, local honey, fruit & nuts ($10) caught my eye before I could find out. The menu is still small but more interesting sounding than what I consider standard. B chose the Spring Bruschetta w broad beans, asparagus, mint, ricotta & sourdough ($14). Meanwhile our coffees arrived and my long black was as strong as I remembered the coffee there being with some acidity but not so much that I needed much milk to sweeten it.

When our meals arrived, I was impressed - the generous serve of muesli was plated attractively in a bowl with julienned green apple and luscious looking ripe strawberries adding pretty pops of colour with a drizzle of honey and toasted walnuts and black sesame seeds scattered on top. B's bruschetta was similarly attractive looking with plenty of green goodness atop two slices of sourdough. Starving as usual, we eagerly dug in after snapping the necessary photos. 

bircher muesli with chia, local honey, fruit & nuts ($10)

My muesli was creamy with the swollen chia seeds adding an interesting texture. Not unpleasant but different in that it was a little mushier than a standard oat version. The muesli itself was unsweetened and with the tart apple, it wasn't overly sweet even with the sweet strawberries and honey. If you love sweet muesli, it might not be sweet enough but nothing a bit more honey couldn't help with! The walnuts and fresh fruit did add necessary texture to the muesli and overall I thought it was a perfect balance of flavour and texture. I could always use more fresh fruit and crunch in my Bircher but really it was just enough. B also really enjoyed her bruschetta and polished it off in no time!

spring bruschetta w broad beans, asparagus, mint, ricotta & sourdough ($14)

All in all, we both enjoyed our breakfast at Strauss and I definitely want to come back to try the rest of their menu plus the lunch options. Being so coffee-oriented, they also have offer coffee made in a range of ways including bottled cold press, which I want to go back to try. For an in-between snack, they also sell guilt-free, gluten-free sweet treats by My Clean Sweets. Strauss are also opened in the evenings for wine, beer and antipasto and I've been meaning to get a group together for that one Friday evening as an alternative to one of the busier drinking spots. Strauss is really a really lovely place with a surprisingly warm feeling, out of the way from the business of the more central areas. It's clearly popular as it was full both when we arrived and were leaving. The avocado & sourdough with chevre & lemon ($10) is a popular breakfast option, judging by the plates in front of the majority of the customers. Service was great with friendly waitstaff and our water constantly being checked and refilled. I will be returning!

Strauss is hidden down an alley

Sweets for the food intolerant by My Clean Treats

Inside bar seating

Our colourful Spring breakfasts

Strauss on Urbanspoon

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