Where the Hell is a good breakfast in this town?
by The Editor
Going out for breakfast is something of a weekend indulgence. Rather than slinking from the bedroom to the kitchen, blearily throwing on a pot of coffee and scraping some butter across a piece of toast, we get buffed and polished and head out into the sun to for a coffee, juice and plate of recovery-food that will probably cost the best part of $30.00.
The problem is that what’s on offer isn’t very good.
Imagine you were to make a weekend breakfast at home. Keeping it basic (but delicious and local) buying yourself a dozen Majura Valley Eggs (around 60c each by the dozen) and a slab of Pialligo Estate short cut bacon (75c per 25g rasher – sold in packs of 10) is going to set you back just over $5.00 for two people.
Add a couple of slices of bread and that’s a pretty good breakfast. Juice? $1.00 a glass. Coffee? A Nespresso pod (*shudder*) with milk is about the same. That makes breakfast around $10.00 per couple, and you’ll have enough left in the fridge to do it again on Sunday.
However, that’s not really the point of a weekend breakfast, is it? Eating in the sunshine at a cafe is a treat, a great way to ease into the day a fantastic way to be reminded that you don’t have to drag your tired arse off to work. You might join in with friends, or just read through the newspaper. It’s an act of rewarding ourselves – and one to which Canberrans are clearly addicted.
Still it’s clear Canberra breakfasts can do a lot better. Back in the Nineties, it was pretty exciting to see Eggs Benedict served on sourdough. This American creation introduced most people to the idea of perfectly poached eggs and a style of bread that didn’t come from Tip Top (mind you, the original was served on a muffin). Twenty years later, and the breakfast classic is harder to remove from the menu than that other ubiquitous dish, French Toast.
Certainly there are some Canberra cafes doing a great job of pushing what constitutes a ‘breakfast’ dish. We’re not going to name them now (you can do it yourself in the comments), however here’s a little something we recently discovered on an interstate trip:
Free-range pork belly drizzled with reduced master stock, pickled and burnt onions, apples, blueberries, poached eggs and torn fried bread.
All these ingredients are seasonally available and easy to prepare. The concept is clever, the presentation is beautiful, and the flavour are balanced. The best news? It cost no more than most options on breakfast menus across or beloved capital.
Restaurants and cafes in bigger cities clearly have an upward pressure on quality while the customer also enjoys a downward pressure on price. However, Canberra’s smaller population isn’t an excuse. If anything, our breakfast haunts should be fighting harder to attract our palates given that we can drive from Woden to Belco (and anywhere between) in about 20 minutes.
Okay. Consider that rant over. Over to you: where should we all go for breakfast tomorrow?