Archive of ‘Breakfast project’ category

Canberra breakfast project // Fox and Bow, Farrer

fox and bow cafe www.thegirlhassparke.com IMG_1026IMG_1036

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Last weekend when my sister and best friend were visiting, the perfect opportunity presented itself to make the trip out to Farrer to finally try brunch at Fox and Bow. It was an absolutely freezing morning, one of those Canberra days where the fog doesn’t lift until lunchtime. We very foolishly thought that other people may have decided to stay in bed but lots of people had the same idea as us and we turned up to an absolutely packed cafe.

Despite a bustling cafe we were greeted by a very friendly waitress who gave us the option to sit outside or wait for a table inside, where it was toasty and warm. We were more than happy to wait and less than five minutes later we were taken to three bench seats. We ordered our drinks straight away as we were all in desperate need of caffeine and defrosting.

The five senses coffee beans had a strong body which is exactly what we needed on a cold morning before a day of bridesmaid dress shopping. My sister opted for a chai instead which happened to be Canberra based Real Chai tea, the brew is really strong and spicy, much better then some chai tea I have tried which is weak and lacking punch.

The all day brunch menu is packed with interesting and yummy sounding meals characterised by quirky names such as the ‘Plain Jane’ (eggs on toast) and ‘Toasty nuts’ (muesli), you can also choose to create your own breakky. I decided to give the ‘Hot, toasty nuts’ a go, despite the fact I have never been the biggest fan of porridge. Turns out that I had just never had good porridge. The porridge at Fox and Bow is warm and creamy, topped with grilled pineapple and fresh strawberries and pomegranate with chunky almonds and shredded coconut. Soooo yummy, I am a little bit of porridge addict now. My breakfast companions both chose to create their own breakfast. The bacon was thick and crispy and the eggs all had beautiful, runny yolks.

While the service at Fox and Bow is really friendly and efficient what struck me most was that the cafe has personality, it is up beat and cheeky, exactly how I like my mornings. Overall the combination of great service, lively atmosphere and good food, won me over and I will be happy to drive out to Farrer to visit again.

Fox and Bow
Farrer Shops, Farrer place
Facebook, Instagram and Website

CANBERRA BREAKFAST PROJECT| THE FRONT, LYNEHAM

The Front Gallery // www.thegirlhassparke.com

The Front Gallery // www.thegirlhassparke.com

The Front Gallery // www.thegirlhassparke.com

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The Front Gallery // www.thegirlhassparke.com

The Front Gallery // www.thegirlhassparke.com

A couple of months ago I ducked into The Front in Lyneham to grab a coffee before a hair appointment and noticed that everyone’s food looked AMAZING. I grizzled to myself that I didn’t have time to stay and eat but made a mental note to return to check out their brunch menu for the breakfast project.

I found out in the interim that The Front has gone and got themselves a French chef who appears to have done a once over on the menu and most importantly is baking all the pastries and bread on site. Despite this the cafe still has a relaxed, eclectic vibe. It is one of the few cafes where I feel as though you could sit there all day and only order a couple of coffees and they wouldn’t mind at all.

We arrive late on a Sunday morning, the place is pretty packed but we manage to knab a seat outside in the Autumn sun. The menu is short and sweet but packed with simple and fresh ingredients. Brendan can’t go past the megga egg and bacon roll and I chose to go with my usual order – avocado and poached eggs with some bacon on the side.

I need to take a moment to let you know the homemade bread is out.of.this.world.good. My piece was cut unevenly but that aded to the rustic feel of the meal. The crust was super crusty – sorry I can’t think of a better way to explain it and the middle was soft and fluffy. Next time I plan to just get the toast with assorted spreads which I would usually never even consider ordering (paying for toast is not my idea of eating out) but this bread is worth it.

My eggs were slightly overcooked and my bacon was extra crispy but all in all it is an enjoyable meal and you can tell that the ingredients are fresh and for $15 it is a bargain price for breakfast in Canberra. Brendan thoroughly enjoyed his Megga roll – his eggs were runny and once again the bread was the winning ingredient.

The Front is a great place to go for a low key brunch, where you can sit and relax and enjoy a slow morning.

The Front – Cafe and Gallery
1 Wattle Place, Lyneham
6249 8453
Facebook and website

Canberra breakfast project // Trevs at Dickson

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Trev's Dickson www.thegirlhassparke.com

Instagram is definitely to blame for my never ending “MUST eat here” list. For weeks I have been seeing the Taste Collective at ‘Trevs at Dickson’ pop up on my feed and I knew I had to get over there and try it for myself. The Taste Collective is basically a breakfast tasting plate that includes a corn fritter with bacon and avocado, pancakes (the flavour changes constantly), fruit salad and the juice of the day, all for $18, which in the Canberra breakfast world is a bargain.

We arrive right as Trevs is opening at 8.30am on Saturday as we need to be somewhere at 10am. There are already people sitting down as well as ordering take-away coffees. We are seated at the back of the restaurant next to the window and it is lovely to have the light streaming in throughout the café on what is a pretty chilly autumn day.

I order the Taste Collective (surprise, surprise) and Brendan orders what he orders everywhere, scrambled eggs  (I am trying to convince him to write an article on where to find perfect scrambled eggs in Canberra). Not long after our food arrives and I am excited, it looks great. My juice is a celery, apple, coconut water and kaffir lime. It is yummy and fresh, very sweet though and I think something else was needed to balance it out.

The corn fritter is perfect, crispy on the outside and fluffy and flavoursome on the inside. The accompanying bacon is crispy and the avocado balances the two other ingredients. The pancakes are fluffy and light and dressed with a blueberry reduction and cream – it satisfies my sweet tooth without being too overwhelming to finish which is usually the case when I order a whole plate of pancakes.

The fruit salad, with fresh watermelon cleanses the palette. I thought I would feel very full after this breakfast but the sizing proportions are spot on and I feel satisfied but not completely stuffed. The Taste Collective is a great option if you can’t decide between sweet and savoury but next time I will be getting a whole plate of those corn fritters because they were just delicious.

Brendan said his scrambled eggs were really good, I am pretty sure he had finished them before I had barely started my dish so that is a good sign. Trevs is a relaxed and friendly cafe for weekend brunch and somewhere we will definitely be heading back to in the future. Follow Trevs on instagram or Facebook.

Canberra breakfast project // EDGAR’S INN AINSLIE

edgar's inn ainslie www.thegirlhassparke.com

edgar's inn ainslie www.thegirlhassparke.com

edgar's inn ainslie www.thegirlhassparke.com

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edgar's inn ainslie www.thegirlhassparke.com

I have been to Edgar‘s many times for a steak, lunch and afternoon drinks but until recently I didn’t realise that they were also open for breakfast. After receiving some good recommendations I made a date to head there with Kate and Zoe on Saturday morning. It was a pretty cold morning but the heaters were on outside and we opted to sit in the fresh air.

The menu is packed with lots of options, as well as naughty options like eggs benedict and pancakes there are also heaps of healthy options too. I went for the eggs mambo ($16) because it sounded fresh and zesty – poached eggs on dark rye (which I got slightly addicted to in Ireland) topped with fresh corn, tomato, avocado and coriander.

Our meals were delivered extremely quickly, it was definitely less than 10 minutes between ordering and getting our food. All of our dishes were beautifully presented and my meal was exactly what i had hoped – fresh ingredients with a perfectly runny yolk which negated the need for an accompanying sauce.

Zoe got the rosti stack ($16) which was paired with avocado, prosciutto and chilli jam. The only downside to the dish was that the chill jam was more a chilli sauce and it really packed a punch, a little bit too much for breakfast. The sauce was to the side of the stack so it didn’t matter too much. Kate got the healthy start ($16) which was ricotta, avocado, asparagus, tomato and corn salsa on gluten free bread. Kate gave it the thumbs up with a special mention for the yummy ricotta.

I like the relaxed atmosphere of Edgar’s, the fact that while it is busy it isn’t as bustling as some the popular breakfast places in Braddon or on the Foreshore and that there is a mix of healthy and traditional breakfast options. The staff are friendly and efficient and the prices reasonable. I definitely recommend it as a relaxed breakfast option that offers good coffee and food. Just as a side note their weekday breakfast is much smaller then the weekend menu and doesn’t include all the items included in this review.

Facebook // Instagram // Website 

Canberra Breakfast Project, Ona on the lawns Manuka

Ona on the lawns www.thegirlhassparke.com

Last weekend I headed out to Manuka to check out Ona on the Lawns’ refurbished store. I had the lovely company of Anisa from The Macadames – long time blog friend first time real life meeting. I have said so many times that one of my favourite things about blogging is meeting fabulous new people and Anisa was no exception – I don’t think there was a quiet moment between us for the hour and a half we were there.

The cafe looks fresh and open – they have managed to utilise the space and fill it with beautiful natural light. The exposed brick walls as well as a graffiti feature wall give a modern, hip feel and remind me of their sister cafe in the city, The Cupping Room.

We arrive at about 11.30am and there are quite a few tables free, we seem to have made it in between the breakfast and lunch rush as I have heard of people lining up to get in for breakfast. It is a pretty miserable day so we opt for a table inside. We order two coffees, my usual a soy flat white and Anisa goes for the cold drip coffee.

Ona on the lawns www.thegirlhassparke.com

I struggled with what to order from the menu – I am always drawn to my favourite avocado and poached eggs on toast but I had seen the blueberry hotcakes ($18) all over Instagram and decided to have something different. Anisa went for the house made baked beans ($17).

Our coffee arrived and mine was lovely, smooth and nutty. Their beans are locally roasted and you can tell that coffee is their passion, the food was good but really the coffee was the stand out. Anisa’s cold drip was also a winner with a strong flavour, one teaspoon of sugar made it the perfect summer drink.

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Our food arrived and the blueberry hotcake looked just as good as it does on instagram. The hotcake is topped with fig ice-cream as well as an assortment of nuts and dried fruit and edible flowers. I I have seen other people’s photos and they have also got fresh blueberries with their hotcake but mine seemed to be missing. The stand out element of this dish was the fig ice-cream, it was creamy and sweet with big chunks of fig – a bowl of just the ice cream and I would have been happy. I meant to ask if they made it on site but forgot. The dried nuts and fruit was an interesting addition and made for a beautifully presented dish but it was just way to much – about half the amount would have been the right amount of crunch. The hotcake was fluffy and filing, one hotcake was definitely filling enough though I would have loved my own little pitcher of maple syrup as it could have benefited from a smidgen more.

Anisa’s house made baked beans came topped with a poached egg, a side of smashed avocado and sour dough bread. It was a big serve and though it was good Anisa said it wasn’t a stand out meal, the beans were perfectly cooked but lacked flavour.

Ona on the lawns www.thegirlhassparke.com

The service at Ona on the Lawns was friendly and laid back (maybe a little too laid back when Anisa’s second coffee’s went missing for half an hour but that is a pretty minor thing). One of my favourite things though was the solo acoustic singer who was out the front playing is guitar and serenading the diners. He was playing perfect Saturday morning brunch tunes; I look forward to going back on a sunny Saturday and soaking in that atmosphere a little more. By the time we were leaving the cafe was filling up with the lunchtime crowd.

Ona on the lawns www.thegirlhassparke.com

Ona on the Lawns is located at Shop 4, The Lawns, Manuka. You can follow their Facebook page here.

Canberra Breakfast Project, Stand by Me Lyons

Stand by Me Lyons, www.thegirlhassparke.com

Stand by Me Lyons www.thegirlhassparke.com

For the last couple of months I have been planning to head out to Stand by Me in Lyons for brunch. Their gorgeous breakfasts often appear on my instagram feed and I knew I had to get out there to try it for myself. Last Saturday my friend Lauren and I finally made our way there and it was definitely worth the drive. We arrived at the Lyon’s shops at about 9.30am and the cafe was bustling but there were still a few tables available. As we walked in at least two staff members yelled out good morning, we were then told we could sit where ever was free. The cafe immediately gave off a warm and friendly atmosphere.

There are a number of tables inside with a larger table in the backyard and some tables out the front. Luckily for us it was a gorgeous day and we nabbed a table at the front. As soon as we were seated we were given menu’s and our coffee orders were taken, two large soy flat whites ($4.50 each). The menu had lots of really yummy options but importantly not to many to be overwhelmed by the decision. I was tossing up between the mushroom bruschetta and the smashed avocado, with the smashed avocado ($17) winning out when the waitress took our order. Lauren though couldn’t go past the french toast of the day ($16) which just so happened to be a lamington flavour, yum!!

Stand by Me Lyons www.thegirlhassparke.com

Stand by Me Lyons www.thegirlhassparke.com

Our coffee arrived a few minutes later and had a very enjoyable smooth taste. Our meals  arrived about 10 minutes later but we were talking a lot so give or take a few minutes. Firstly my dish looked amazing, a few radishes really takes the look of avocado on toast up a notch. Not only did it look good though it tasted fresh and delicious. The tanginess of the goat’s cheese and lime added an extra dimension to the dish and the radishes a crunchy accompaniment. The eggs were poached to perfection and oozed a gorgeous orange colour.

Now the lamington french toast, I am so glad Lauren got this and let me taste some. It literally tasted like a lamington. Don’t quote me on this but I am pretty sure it had a coconut cream in the middle with strawberries, covered with a chocolate sauce and coconut, topped with a vanilla bean ice-cream with strawberry swirl. I am sure I have forgotten something or got something wrong but the important thing is they actually managed to get all the elements of a lamington in there and create a really delicious breakfast treat. I would love to try some of there other flavours, I think this weekend they had a cornflake flavour.

Stand by Me Lyons www.thegirlhassparke.com

Stand by Me Lyons www.thegirlhassparke.com

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For a cafe that has been open for less then a year, Stand by Me is doing everything right. Scrumptious fresh food and friendly service, the two essential ingredients in a great brunch location. Despite being 20 minutes from where I live I will definitely be heading out there again soon.

You can follow Stand by Me on Facebook and Instagram.

Canberra Breakfast Project: Superfine, Civic

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

It is pretty tough to be inconspicuous when you walk into a cafe with a DSLR and start taking snaps of your food. And not just photos but photos from every angle, moving cups and plates around and trying to get good light. I use to take my photos with my iPhone to avoid such situations but I know my photos turn out so much better when I use my camera, even if i honestly feel like a bit of a wanker at times. I always wonder if I should introduce myself and ask if it is ok to take photos but generally I want to draw as little attention to myself as possible.

Today though I got caught out by one of the lovely owners of Superfine Cafe in Civic, when I was trying to get photos of my chia muesli and I am glad I did as I don’t know what I worry about so much. Zuzi was lovely and once I explained to her all about my blog she was so accommodating, letting me take as many photos as I liked and even offering to let me into the kitchen to grab some photos.

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

I rarely buy breakfast on a weekday preferring a leisurely brunch on the weekend but sometimes I forget my breakfast or we have no food in the house and it can’t be avoided. I love Superfine Cafe because they serve healthy food that you can grab on the run – something that can be difficult in the city in a morning.

The chia pudding is really filling and can keep me going until lunch – it is made up of a layer of chia, yoghurt, muesli and banana and best of all is served with a small pot of maple syrup which gives it a subtle sweetness. Other options include bircher muesli, freshly made sandwiches, toast, banana bread, baked goods and cold press juice. Though I love the chia pudding so much I haven’t tried anything else yet. I must change this. Zuzi says that she makes all the food to taste exactly the way she enjoys it at home. The coffee is from Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters and is smooth and creamy, with a slightly earthy taste.

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

Superfine Cafe Canberra www.thegirlhassparke.com

The fit out is eclectic, furnished with crates and corrugated iron as well as vintage chairs and tables. It feels warm and inviting like visiting a friend. The warm service and nutritious but fast food will keep me coming back.

Superfine Cafe is a little hidden treasure (quite literally) it is tucked away next to Tonic in the bus interchange on the corner of Mort and Bunda Street. They are only open on weekdays which suits this location and their product. You can follow them on instagram here.

Canberra breakfast project, mocan and green grout, New Acton

Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparkeBreakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparkeBreakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke Breakfast review, Mocan and Green Grout, New Acton www.thegirlhassparke

Finding somewhere to eat in Canberra during the Christmas/New Year period is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. Zoe and I had just walked up Mount Taylor last Friday and were heading to Braddon to find something to eat when we decided to head to New Acton instead and discovered that Mocan and Green Grout were open. Mocan and Green Grout is located under ‘The apartments’ building and prides itself on using local ethical and sustainable produce resulting in seasonal dishes.

There were lots of people out the front and we thought we might need to wait to get a table but we were shown to a table in the shade straight away. Our waitress was friendly and efficient giving us menus and taking our coffee orders straight away – a large soy flat white as per usual for me.

We had some time to peruse the menu and there was so many appealing options which meant we were both tossing up between a couple of dishes. The waitress was really helpful and provided detailed descriptions of each dish to help us decide. Zoe ended up going with the tripoli baked eggs, hummus, spiced radish and I ordered the smashed eggs, mushroom, goats curd and black garlic.

My coffee arrived and it was strong and delicious. We probably had to wait another 15 minutes for our meal  to arrive but it was busy and the weather was beautiful so we didn’t mind sitting around to enjoy it. Our meals were delivered at the same time and they were delicious. I have to admit when mine first arrived I thought I would still be hungry afterwards but it was just the right amount.

My scrambled eggs were creamy and tangy with the goats curd mixed in with the eggs. The black garlic cream was surprising sweet and contrasted well with the tangy goats curd. The mushrooms were cooked to perfection The toast, made at A. baker only a few doors away, was deliciously fresh and thick. Zoe’s baked eggs were rich and creamy with strong, sweet tomato flavours offset by the saltiness of the hummus and tanginess of the fresh lemon. Zoe had this to say,

The eggs were cooked perfectly. The hummus was smooth and the seasoning was just right. The bread was the perfect companion.

Overall Mocan and Green Grout serves fresh and innovative breakfast meals. The service was friendly, efficient and knowledgble, plus the setting was relaxing, vibrant and eclectic. Zoe and I have already made plans to go back and try their dinner menu.

Mocan and Green Grout is located at 1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Canberra breakfast project: Eighty/twenty food, Braddon

The girl has sparke_eighty/twenty review

Breakfast at Eighty/twenty Food with my good friend Mat last week nearly didn’t happen. My 6.30am bus didn’t arrive but I managed to run to the bus stop nearly a kilometre away and get the 6.45am bus. Anyway that is probably unnecessary information but lets just say by the time I made it to breakfast I was definitely ready to eat.

The girl has sparke_eighty/twenty review

The breakfast menu has lots of yummy, healthy sounding items (the eighty) such as bircher museli and quinoa porridge as well as a few naughty items (the twenty) like the Pialligo bacon and egg roll. You order at the counter and your meal is bought out to you which is great when you don’t want to have to worry about splitting bills and all that kind of fuss. Though on the flip side, at times, I have experienced a bit of a line at the cashier when I have gone for lunch,

The girl has sparke_eighty/twenty review

Our coffees came out quickly and they were brewed perfectly. Our meals followed soon after which was really impressive, being able to provide quick meals that are also good for you, is definitely something that will keep customers coming back. I ordered the sweet potato rosti with kale which also came with sweet cherry tomatoes and pesto. The rosti was sponge like and thick with a thin crisp layer on the top, not at all like your normal fried rosti and was really sweet, just like you would expect from sweet potato. This contrasted really well with the acidity from the cherry tomatoes.

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Mat ordered the ’80 Bowl’ which included kale, watercrest, radish, cauliflower crumb, a poached egg and grilled trout. I didn’t try Mat’s dish, I am not a big fan of fish for breakfast unless it is smoked salmon on cream cheese and a bagel so I asked Mat what he thought of his dish.

I couldn’t fault my dish, I thought it was the perfect way to start the day. Well balanced, fresh, healthy and satisfying.The proportions were perfect. Bigger certainly isn’t better in my book.

The girl has sparke_eighty/twenty review

 

I completely agree with Mat in relation to the portion sizes. Whilst the meals are in no way a ‘big breakfast’ I left feeling satisfied and energised. It felt good to start the day with something healthy and nourishing.

I definitely recommend 80/20 if you are looking for something healthy that will be delivered quickly. Though if you have more time the vibe is definitely not one where you feel rushed. The service is friendly and professional and they have created a cafe that I am more then happy to walk to from my Civic work to their Braddon address.

 

 

The girl has sparke_eighty/twenty review

You can follow 80/20 on instagram, facebook or check out their website.

Canberra breakfast project: Brunch at Eightysix Braddon

Freshly squeezed orange juiceI had breakfast at Eightysix when it first opened – gosh probably over 18 months ago. To be honest it wasn’t a great breakfast experience. This was mainly because I was expecting to get poached eggs and got ”65 degree” eggs instead. I can’t handle the white of the eggs being runny so this breakfast was not for me. Not to mention it was back when Eightysix still had a bit of an attitude problem. I think I understand what they were trying to do, to stand out from the crowd (when my friend asked for honey for her chai tea she had a one kilo bucket of honey slapped in front of her) but I much more prefer the friendly but still a little quirky service they offer now.

Anyway 86 didn’t appear to do breakfast for a long time and instead worked on perfecting their lunch and dinner menu (which they have obviously nailed being awarded a hat in the 2015 Good Food Guide). When I heard Eightysix was giving brunch another whirl as part of Good Food month I thought it time to give it another try.

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We headed their last Sunday and I was happy to see that the menu not only included breakfast type food (with a twist) such as soft boiled eggs with vegemite soldiers and black pudding and egg english muffin but also a lot of their popular lunch/dinner options like their delicious duck buns and roasted chicken. A true brunch menu.

I had been most excited about trying the fried chicken with maple and waffles. I had actually been thinking about it all week but because I wasn’t feeling well I didn’t end up ordering it which just means I have to go back and try it next time.

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So what did we have? We all decided to pick something small to try and decide whether to order one of the big plates later on. Leah went for the hotdog which was topped with Japanese mayonnaise and a very generous serving of shredded haloumi. This was delicious – the bun was soft, the hot dog tasted better then any hot dog I have had before and the combination of that with the creamy mayonnaise was scrumptious.

James went with the soft boiled eggs and vegemite soldiers ($12). This was the only dish I didn’t try because I don’t like vegemite (crazy because I generally love salty food) but everyone else said it was a yummy combination (and one we can replicate at home).

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Brendan got a real taste for black pudding while we were in the UK (and to be honest I like it alot more then I thought I would) so he could not go past the black pudding and fried egg english muffin. Again this was another winning combination which also seemed to have that yummy japanese mayonaise for good measure.

Finally, I had to have the duck bun again. They are pricey little things at $8 a pop but I believe they are worth it. The bun is soft and moist and the duck is tender and a little bit sticky, paired with cucumber and chilli sauce. I could eat a whole plate of these if my wallet would allow it.

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We all really enjoyed our brunch at Eightysix and everyone agreed that it was a really diverse and creative menu. We couldn’t fault any of the meals we are and we would have ordered more if we werent off to Mount Majura Winery for cheese and wine.

Eightysix have extended their brunch sessions for the rest of summer but only on Sundays. I was advised that it is best to ring ahead and book to avoid disappointment. I will definitely be going back to try the fried chicken and waffles.

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