Dining columnist WENDY JOHNSON rejoices at being out for brunch in special place…
BRUNCH is just brilliant on a picture-perfect day at a café with a magnificent view… especially when you haven’t dined out on brunch for yonks because of covid.
And so it was that we landed at the Museum Café, National Museum of Australia, on one of the outdoor balconies right on the water. Add to the experience stunning architecture, cultural institutions now open and the Museum Shop, a fabulous shop featuring an ever-expanding range of quality Australian-made gifts, home and lifestyle, clothing and other items.
The café is run by the museum’s exclusive caterer, Broadbean Catering, which is truly committed to sourcing local produce and ramping up menus each season.
We found it difficult to decide what to order, not because we’re out of practice but because the brunch menu is delish, making the ultimate choice challenging.
In the end, I settled on the Cypriot grilled haloumi and free-range egg roll with an intense house-made tomato jam ($13.50). The haloumi was chewy and salty, just as I love it, and the eggs cooked perfectly – not too hard and not too runny. It hit the spot. My only comment (and personal preference) is the quantity of jam was a bit overboard and, therefore, a bit overwhelming.
My friend was thrilled with her avo, poached eggs, zucchini, seeds, herbs and goat’s cheese dish ($19.50). The avo was a super generous serve and lovely and creamy. The dish looked stunning on the plate and the ingredients popped with flavour and crunch.
Other brunch options include eggs benedict ($18.80), eggs cooked your way ($12.50) and buttermilk pancakes with berry compote and maple mascarpone ($17.50). Add as many extra elements as you’d like. We indulged in bacon, which came wonderfully crispy ($5).
Toasties and light meals and snacks are also on the Museum Café’s menu, and lunch looked intriguing, too.
You order at the counter at the Museum Café and this is where we spotted a line-up of drop dead gorgeous looking treats. We couldn’t resist so we picked up one each to take home.
My raspberry and dark chocolate tart was divine, and not too sweet. The balance of tart raspberry and chocolate was perfect and the crumb on top elegant ($7.90). My friend reported her rosewater and pistachio meringue ($5.50) was crisp and light on the outside and a perfect texture on the inside.
Other treats include a chocolate and caramel biscuit ($5.90), lemon and blueberry polenta cake ($7.90) and an orange and almond cake ($6.90).
Service was friendly and super-efficient and a big thanks to the large bike club that arrived just before us. They kindly let us jump to the front of the queue so we wouldn’t have to wait too long. Nice one.
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