I must admit that I tend not to venture outside of my inner south side bubble much in pursuit of breakfast places but Two Before Ten was one such place I made an exception for and was rather pleased with what I found.
In true Canberra style you will know you've arrived at your cafe destination when you spot the strategically placed bikes out the front. What I liked the most was, despite being in the middle of civic, the location has a very relaxing feel to it with the sunny outdoor seating amongst the trees and benches.
Inside, the decor is minimalistic and cosy. Lots of grey of varying textures is seen in the walls, floors and bar tiles. Bright pops of colours are added courtesy of the funky yellow chandelier with the tentacles and the orange design work behind the bar. There are plenty of tables inside and outside, placed somewhat close together to make maximum use of a smallish space. The service was extremely friendly and attentive; none of the too-cool-for-school approach that I find to be an instant turn off.
The menu is a seasonally changing simple one page affair. While the breakfast dishes sounded great, the lunch menu and toasties sounded even better so I have made a definite mental note to return for round two.
My flat white was perfect in every way; creamy, strong and plenty of depth in flavour. An obvious care to the roasting approach was evident from this.
Nik ordered the home made baked beans and smoked bacon with baked eggs, ciabatta and Gruyere cheese. As per usual, I did my taste test and it was a beautifully rich and smokey dish; even though I'm not big on baked beans these beans were in fact rather delicious. The cheese was a nice addition as was the ciabatta which was very useful for mopping up all the goodness of the dish.
I ordered the potato rosti with smoked local trout, soft boiled egg, tomato, pickled fennel and dill. The only thing I didn't like about this dish was the frittata like cold rosti which was not what I expected a rosti to be, but this is my fault for assuming otherwise. Other than that; the generous portion of trout was delicious and the pickled fennel and tomato combination made this a very balanced dish.
So the verdict: An overall, very positive one! 10/10 for coffee, service was just right and the menu is great value for money at very reasonable prices. I will definitely be returning to try the lunch menu as well as the seasonal variations of the breakfast menu in the near future.