“Catch busts the myth that you can’t get good fish in Canberra. The menu includes ethically sourced fish as fresh as possible to the capital, and it’s good,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON
The couple took over the eating house about a year ago and always wondered how best to use the decent-sized space on the second level. They identified a “hole in the market” in Braddon for a beaut bar and started developing Attic at Elk. It will accommodate up to 30 and be available to book out for functions and corporate events.
But I wasn’t at Elk & Pea for a drink. I was there for breakfast, and on a typically busy Saturday morning.
Elk & Pea dishes up food with Latin American flair.
“We kept many signature dishes that were selling well when we took over,” says Leeroy.
“We removed some that weren’t selling super well and added new ones.”
I happened to order a signature dish, the “Huevos Rancheros” (Rancher’s Eggs), which I loved because it satisfied my inner craving to have something super tasty and refreshingly different.
It’s a traditional Mexican farmer’s breakfast of chorizo, beans, corn, avocado, herb crema and corn chips all topped with a fried egg ($19). I adore the combo of ingredients and the dish has bags of flavour. I find it perfect for brunch ‘cause it gets me through until dinner.
Another popular dish is the hash fritters created, as the menu promises, with a “secret in-house recipe that has won people over since the beginning”. The side of house-made chilli jam marries well with poached eggs, avo and the balanced combo of zucchini moulded with sweet potato ($19).
The “Smashed Avo and Shrooms” is nourishing. Feta and basil do a little dance with the dish ($19). Those with a mega appetite can order “The Grande” ($25). I reckon it would take half a day to eat it. If you’re with a group, give the breakfast banquet a go, available for tables of six or more ($22.50 a person).
The coffee at Elk & Pea is good, although service here can be slow. I’ve been on several occasions and have had my order mixed up more than once. Patience is the order of the day here.
Leeroy and Sophia were living in Sydney before making a lifestyle shift to Canberra. They discovered Elk & Pea, determined it had good structure and bones so jumped at the chance to buy it. They’ve restyled the inside and reconfigured the front but kept the casual, friendly atmosphere. I love the large outdoor area, which captures a fair bit of sun. Heaters help break the season’s icy cold.
Elk & Pea, 21 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including Sunday nights).