Dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON reveals her list of Canberra’s top five restaurants for 2017.
Photos by Maddie McGuigan
MAPLE + Clove bills itself as a wholefoods operation, serving delicious, natural goodness to power your mind, body and spirit. How could I resist?
Perched in a perfect spot in Barton, the café enjoys the northern sun and has a décor that makes you feel like you’re in a place that worships food for the soul. The large and comfortable outdoor area is marvellous this time of year.
Like most clever cafes, Maple + Clove focuses on seasonal produce, fresh and local. Served all day is a great range of dishes such as a savoury spelt waffle ($20), poached eggs and goat’s cheese ($19.50), sweet potato hash brown with ham and scrambled eggs ($19) and a simple banana bread ($7).
My friend, who is at Maple + Clove often, can’t get enough of the “Fresh Start” ($19) and that’s what she chose on our visit. It looked beautiful on the plate – so colourful with the rich, red tomatoes, vibrant green, sliced avo, smoked salmon and a crusty seeded rye bread. You can opt for slow-cooked eggs, if your heart desires, for an extra $4.
Lunch is served from 11.30am, with the menu featuring eight regular items, many gluten free and dairy free ($18 to $24.50).
I’m a big fan of ocean trout, especially at lunch since it’s not too heavy. It sounded yummy, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the execution. I found the fish overcooked and, although I adore kipfler potatoes, I found this component confusing. The capers and other goodies mixed within overpowered the wonder of the kipflers and the ocean trout itself (at least for my tastebuds). Perhaps next time I’ll give the grilled barramundi salad a go, or just stick to the raw green salad, which will no doubt make me feel super-duper healthy.
There’s no doubt that Maple + Clove truly strives to serve food that’s loaded with immune boosters from antioxidant-rich ingredients. That includes milk-based smoothies, fruit and veg-based smoothies and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Its loyal regulars are big fans, no doubt.
Maple + Clove, open seven days for breakfast and lunch (various opening times but closes at 3pm). Licensed (beer and wine). Realm Park, 7 Burbury Close, Barton. Call 6162 0777.