I'm not much of a market person when it comes to shopping for my fresh fruit and veg. Living on my own (and being a bit on the lazy side) means my weekly grocery shopping task isn't worth the hustle and bustle of a market; a quick trip to Woolies and I'm done. But when I got tipped off that Bean & Grain at Fyshwick is in fact worth the trip to the markets I had to go and check it out. And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
Bean & Grain is a small bakery/cafe making good use of a very small space. There's a handful of tables out on the sunny footpath along with a long communal table. Inside, there's a row of small tables squeezed in together as well as a long window seat. If you manage to nab one of the inside tables expect to get very cosy with your neighbours as it really is a tight little place. And it is wildly popular amongst market goers so prepare to wait if you come after 9am for breakfast.
You order and pay at the counter where the service is cheerful yet rather rushed; understandable given the high turnover of tables and the never-ending takeaway line. The cabinet full of baked goodies as well the shelves piled with fresh loaves of sourdough and all sorts of bagels would a beautiful sight to those gluten tolerant folk out there. And then there's the ceiling of the fake blue sky is an interesting design element.
My flat white arrived in record time; points for that given how busy the place was. It wasn't very strong, but had a good depth of flavour so I enjoyed it nontheless.
Food took a little longer to arrive but once it did, I was in eggs Benedict heaven!
Here we have my salmon Benedict in all it's oozing glory; 2 poached free range organic eggs and cured salmon on a house made English muffin with shallot chilli sambal and lemongrass hollandaise. The eggs were poached perfectly, the amount of smoked salmon was very generous, the muffin was light and fluffy, the hollandaise was delectable with a subtle lemongrass flavour and the chilli sambal provided a unique little kick to the whole dish. A little more of the chilli sambal would've been much appreciated but it was a perfect eggs benny regardless.
All cooked breakfasts come standard with a complimentary smoothie shot and a potato croquette, which is what's on the left and right of the plate. The smoothie shot was refreshing but I didn't care much for the dense potato croquette at that time of the morning; but the complimentary gesture is a nice one.
So the verdict: I didn't have any expectations from Bean & Grain so I was rather pleased by the overall experience. This is not a place to linger over a long and relaxing breakfast but if you are in the area and after a quick and tasty meal and a loaf of bread to take home, I highly recommend you give this little place a go!