I’m most comfortable inhabiting the 10 per cent. I couldn’t bring myself to go when they first opened. The anticipation was excruciating with all that fanfare: celebrity owner, the ironic site transformation from former KFC to groovy café, and that giant mural signposting the arrival.
I was ready to visit after the hype had died down a bit however. But there was nothing suitable on this new world food menu for the young guests I was charged with entertaining at the time.
Almost a year down the track, Born in Brunswick has demonstrated it’s no fad and now I understand why.
Yoga Woman and This Girl have been trying to catch up for ages. In charge of picking the venue, I did my research. I knew it was time I visited when I realised how hard it would be to choose just one dish off their current menu and Yoga Woman would be the ideal match for a venue that boasts local, seasonal and indigenous food.
We arrived early Saturday morning before the hoards. She’d also done her research and we were talking about what we were going to order before we’d both sat down.
The café’s design is remarkable. It’s no overstatement to say that it is filled with light. Its aspect enjoys the full force of the morning’s sun. It’s as close as you could get to sitting outside while enjoying the protection from the elements – UV rays, car pollution, pedestrians. In recognition of their sustainability focus, the walls are lined with luscious plants, literally breathing life into the café. Furnishings are light grey and beech. It’s a big, open space. Everything about the décor is uplifting.
The café has one brunch menu. You could classify the dishes as either conventionally breakfast or as lunch. At this café, you can have them for either. If you’re after safe hands, there’s eggs and sides but this menu offers so much more opportunity if you’re willing and able. There’s wallaby, smoked eel, pickled seaweed, Tasmanian wasabi, pear and pepperberry relish, native basil, wattleseed and ginger hotcake, salted scorched leatherwood and thyme ice cream. At the time of our visit, prices ranged from $14 for the eggs and relish to $26. Respect the ethos, you’ll pay around at $24 for most plates.
With a few plates vying for our attention, we sought expert advice from our table attendant, a self-confessed sweet-breakfast avoider. These people exist?
She was big big BIG on the braised Flinders Island lamb curry, scrambled eggs, lemon myrtle yoghurt, pickled and fresh radishes, sourdough, $24. It was against my better judgement to sidestep the hotcake and the lamb sounded like lunch but that’s what I chose anyway.
Yoga Woman went for house smoked Huon salmon, crispy egg, black sesame gribiche, pickled mushrooms, Tasmanian wasabi, $26.
We had a couple of great coffees and a cold-pressed juice from a local provider.
My dish was fabulous. No doubt. Although I was reassured it was a modest portion with only one slice of toast, it was one slice of toast piled high with eggs and lamb. The eggs were creamy and wet and the lamb was a rich curry of aromatics, melt in the mouth meat with caramelised textures. The dish was perfectly complemented by the yoghurt and pickle.
Yoga Woman was in similar awe of her crispy, panko-crumbed egg that was soft cooked in the middle and oozed its beautiful free-range yolk among the pickled shitakes and salmon.
Both dishes were beautifully presented and the service was great.
Born in Brunswick, I’m sorry I doubted you. I’ll definitely be back and probably soon, their summer menu is out in two weeks.
Find them at 410 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, opposite the State Cinema.