Dining / Relaxed, unpretentious and inexpensive

THE hospitality industry continues to chop and change, including at the Kingston Foreshore. Bean and Table has popped up where Merchant Brasserie used to be and we thought we’d give it a try.

Breakfast is served all day on weekends at Bean and Table. It was Mother’s Day and we wondered how the service would go, but it was pretty efficient given the crowds and the staff operated without being stressed to the max (or at least they didn’t appear to be).

Bean and Table has plenty of sunshine sweeping over its outdoor dining area, which is quite large. You rock up to the long, long counter area at the back of the café to order.

My friend craved the smashed avo bruschetta ($19). Some say smashed avo dishes are going out of style. I don’t think they ever will. This came with tomato salsa which my friend didn’t want (she has a thing about tomatoes, which is fair enough). The poached eggs were cooked to perfection and the dish all the more exciting with caramelised balsamic and parmesan cheese. The extra side of bacon came crispy as ordered and was a generous serve.

I was in the mood for mushrooms ($16) which were sautéed exceptionally well and nicely sweet with balsamic. They appeared on top of rye toast and fresh spinach with bits of creamy goat’s cheese. My poached egg was cooked to perfection also (I have a thing about them being too runny or hard).

What we both eyed passing by to several other tables, which caused a severe case of food envy, was the Red Velvet Hotcakes (vegetarian) for $18. They looked sensational and so colourful with fresh raspberries and chocolate crumble. Bet the mascarpone gelato was amazing and, of course, who cannot do anything but worship maple syrup, which is pure liquid gold in my books. As I say, it was Mother’s Day so it was no surprise that so many were rolling out of the kitchen.

The “good start bowl” also looked appealing ($17) and is packed with goodness – quinoa, brown rice, kale, spinach, broccoli, haloumi, poached egg and almonds. If you’re not wanting to kickstart the day with anything substantial, good old toast is on the menu ($8) and you can select sourdough, rye, seeded loaf or fruit load. Banana bread with butter is also an option, for the same price.

Coffee beans are by ACT Black Mountain Coffee and made on a La Marzocco machine that was working overtime during our visit. They were good coffees but late in coming (have I mentioned it was Mother’s Day?). And Bean and Table is great for those wanting gluten-free, dairy free or vegetarian options.

Bean and Table is relaxed and the food not pretentious or expensive. Give it a go.

Bean and Table, 3/2 Trevillian Quay, Kingston. Call 0481 972775. Open seven days, 6.30am-4 pm. Surcharge of 10 per cent on Sundays and 15 per cent on public holidays.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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