One of Canberra’s most-experienced food critics and this paper’s longest-serving columnist, WENDY JOHNSON indulges herself with her top eating experiences for 2018
IT’S cozy, it’s charming and it’s a destination for coffee lovers. Farmers Daughter at Yarralumla shops swung its doors open in 2011.
It’s recently been revitalised under new ownership, offering a fresh take on food accompanied by the same relaxed atmosphere and comfy, quirky décor.
Farmers Daughter has doubled in size since my last visit, with two separate spaces facing each other across an arcade. The bright-yellow bentwood chairs and the rustic communal tables with wooden tops and legs made from old sewing machines remain. In each space, pretty plants in small white pots hang on wire frames forming lovely feature walls. What has changed is the food. It’s been taken up several notches and is more sophisticated (not overly so).
It was breakfast time and a friend and I wondered how the new menu would kickstart our day.
My friend rarely orders prawns for brekkie but the Vietnamese omelette caught his eye ($19). He was delighted with the result. The omelette was loaded with plump prawns, fresh herbs (including the mint and coriander combo Vietnam is so famous for), bean sprouts for added crunch and spices. It was served with a tangy chilli jam in a small white dish. While the balsamic and basil tomato ordered as a side was tasty, we felt it was a bit rich at $4 for half a tomato.
I get tired of ordering Eggs Benedict at cafes, feeling it’s often too “same-same”. However, at Farmers Daughter this dish (gluten free) has a real point of difference. The eggs, perfectly cooked for my liking (I don’t like them too hard or too runny), arrived with salty, tasty pulled ham hock, apple and potato hash, apple cider hollandaise and crackling dust ($18.50). It was sensational and is no doubt a real draw card.
The menu at Farmers Daughter isn’t large but it’s been carefully designed. Other dishes that caught our eye included the pan-fried wild mushrooms. It’s served with port and balsamic onions, blue cheese and a walnut and basic crunch ($18). I wouldn’t hesitate to order the pumpkin and chickpea fritters either, with beetroot hummus (always a taste sensation when prepared well), pepita, mint labneh, coriander, pumpkin chips and sumac salt ($19).
Yummy treats, showcased near the cash register, include a white chocolate raspberry coffee cake ($4.50). Coffee is from Lonsdale Street Roasters. One shot is full bodied so let staff know if you want weaker coffee or hotter (Farmers serves coffee at 65 degrees).
The outdoor area had attracted several families on our visit, gathering around white wooden tables and settled in on yellow plastic chairs. A blackboard sign perched near the front door advertised pie and roll specials, which sounded delish.
Farmers Daughter, 27 Bentham Street, Yarralumla. Open Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm. Saturday and Sunday 8am to 3pm.