Breakfast at The Grounds of Alexandria

I have a confession… this post has been sitting in my drafts folder since March… I was debating on whether or not to post it considering I came here so long ago, but I took so many photos it would have been a waste if I didn’t. So, here you go! (Five months later…)

I visited the cafe at The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney earlier this year when I picked my boyfriend up from the airport. It was the perfect breakfast stop before the 3 hour drive back to Canberra, and oh my, was I amazed. I didn’t realise how huge the establishment was! I believe the area used to be an industrial car park which the owners transformed into something really special. Not only is there the cafe but a restaurant, called The Potting Shed, as well. They also bake bread and pastries in-house and roast their own coffee beans.

As you walk in you are welcomed by a vibrant green walkway.

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There is a carnival-like atmosphere as you make your way through to the cafe passing carts filled with colourful desserts. Although not pictured, there was even a doughnut vendor cranking out fresh, doughy balls of fried, sugary goodness.

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I had to resist all the desserts on offer since we were about to eat breakfast but I definitely need to try some next time I visit! Kinda regretting that I didn’t get some to-go… ah food regrets.

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They even had a homemade lemonade cart right outside the cafe.

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Our Signature Avocado

I ordered the Ground’s signature avocado dish which came with avocado two ways; smashed and sliced, heirloom tomato, two poached eggs, a huge slab of feta, pomegranate seeds, a sprinkling of za’atar and mint on house baked bread. Yes. I love it when cafes add cheese to their avocado dishes. Cheese makes everything better. I liked the pops of sweetness from the pomegranate, and the za’atar gave it a nice tang.

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Breakfast burger

My boyfriend ordered the breakfast burger. It’s hard to go wrong with bacon, eggs, avo, lettuce, cheese, tomato relish and smokey mayo on a brioche bun. Let’s just say he was pretty satisfied and demolished it in about five bites (although not before I stole a sneaky nibble). The smokey mayo was pretty damn good and worked really well with the tomato relish. To make the dish even better, we got a side of crispy polenta chips with the burger. Unfortunately all the photos I took of them were horrible, but trust me they looked good!
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How could I not order a coffee at a coffee roastery?

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While we waited for our breakfast, I wandered over to the front counter and found this marvellous array of bread. Mmm carbs…

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I loved the homely feel of the cafe with rusty signs, brick walls and wooden surfaces.

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Oh and I forgot to mention, there is a florist right next door too! IMG_1066IMG_1078

The Grounds of Alexandria is really something. I’ve never experienced breakfast quite like it and I’d totally recommend a visit if you’re ever in Sydney.

Details for the cafe at The Grounds of Alexandria:

Opening hours:

Weekdays

7:00am to 4:00pm

Weekends

7:30am to 4:00pm

Address:

Building 7a, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria NSW

 

Lunch at Muse

I love truffle, and after seeing an Instagram post from Muse about their Truffle carbonara special I knew I had to try it. So, last Sunday a few friends and I ventured out into Kingston to enjoy a relaxing lunch.

Located at the East Hotel and attached to a bookshop, Muse promotes good food, good wine and good books. The restaurant itself gives off a very modern and minimalist vibe with books piled high, cushion-lined booths and a grand piano in the corner.

Table

Chair

Things are done a bit differently here at Muse. You choose either a big or little plate of a main course. The little option gives you a choice of one side salad, and that of the big gives you two choices.

Smoked duck breast

My sister ordered a big plate of the duck breast to which I stole a few bites of… that’s what sisters are for, right? The duck breast itself was absolutely delicious. I’m generally not a huge fan of smoked meats because often I find them too overpowering, but this duck had a subtle but present deep smokey flavour. It came with a carrot purée which unfortunately didn’t have a distinct flavour, but it added a nice vibrancy to the dish’s visual appeal. My sister chose the Asian broccoli, broccolini and green bean and roasted pumpkin and quinoa side salads to accompany her duck. Both salads were served cold which kept the dish fresh, but considering that it’s winter we thought warmed salads would have complimented the dish more.

Duck 2

Truffle carbonara

Both my friend and I ordered the truffle special which was a fettuccine carbonara with mushrooms, pancetta, basil, a generous sprinkling of parmesan and truffle shavings. Yum. We’ve come to the conclusion however, that we are both greedy truffle fiends, so naturally we wanted more truffle. Maybe a bit of truffle oil would have reinforced the truffle aroma considering it is a truffle special. That said, it was a solid pasta dish with well cooked pasta and yummy crispy bits of pancetta.

Pasta

Orange and rhubarb mille feuille

My sister and I shared a towering orange and rhubarb mille feuille spiced with star anise. The rhubarb was deliciously tart which contrasted with the sweet and juicy orange segments. The pastry tasted bit stale but the mascarpone was a really nice creamy addition that cut through the fruit compote.

Mille Feuille

Sticky date cheesecake

My friend ordered the sticky date cheesecake which came with caramalised banana, vanilla bean ice-cream and dulce de leche. She absolutely loved it and I was extremely jealous that I didn’t order it. She really enjoyed the crunch of the caramalised banana and the creaminess of the sticky date cheesecake.

Cheesecake dessert

They do really good coffee too according to my friend.

Coffee

 

Overall, there was a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere which I really enjoyed. The food was good and if you go, I’d recommend the smoked duck breast!

Details for Muse:

Opening hours:

Weekdays

6:30am to 10:00pm

Saturday
7:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday

7:00am to 5:00pm

Address:

69 Canberra Ave, Kingston ACT 2602

Brunch at Ivy and the Fox

I had been meaning to try Ivy and the Fox after thoroughly enjoying a delicious lunch at its sister cafe, Fox and Bow, in Farrer last year. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. There’s a lovely outdoor seating area that looks out over a field of bright green grass and towering eucalyptus trees -the perfect atmosphere for some brunch lovin’. I had just walked a decent 30 minutes from Hancock library to the café and so I was absolutely famished. Despite it nearing lunch time, I was craving something breakfast-y. I think I associate that feeling of being ravenous with waking up in the morning and desperately needing to fuel my stomach. Luckily for me, Ivy and the Fox do all day breakfast.

Mr Fox

The ‘Mr Fox’ completely cured my hunger. Pretty much a ‘big breakfast’ that you get at your stock-standard café but with a Spanish flair. It came with two fried eggs, mushies, roasted tomatoes, bacon, a giant crispy hashbrown, perfectly charred chorizo and morcilla- a Spanish style blood sausage. This was actually the first time I’d ever tried blood sausage, and I bloody loved it. It tasted like an awesome pork sausage with an extra depth of meatiness. To be fair, it wasn’t my first experience with animal blood in dishes. Growing up with a Vietnamese background exposes you to some really cool but somewhat strange foods.

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Señorita Fox

My friend ordered the ‘Señorita Fox’ and it looked so beautiful I had to take a photo. It came with a thick slice of toasted sourdough, a wedge of avocado coated in black and white sesame seeds, two poached eggs, Tasmanian smoked salmon, asparagus and a decent chunk of grilled haloumi. My friend was incredibly generous and cut off a bit of the avocado for me to try, and I have to say, the sesame seeds really added another dimension to the avocado. It was toasty and didn’t need any salt, which is generally unheard of with avo! Definitely will order this dish next time.

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Kiss Me Katut

My friend ordered this mango, pineapple and coconut smoothie that came with a giant scoop of passionfruit gelato. Sweet, tangy, refreshing and basically a meal in itself.

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Green smoothie of some description

I actually ordered a pear, kiwi, cucumber and kale juice however I received this green smoothie (unless it was just a really, really thick juice). I can’t actually figure out which smoothie this is from looking at the menu, so the more I think about it, it was probably what I ordered but maybe their juicer was broken and they had to use a blender? I tasted a lot of banana (maybe residue from the blender? Totally just making things up now…) which was a bit over powering but it was cold, refreshing and really filling.

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Salted Caramel Cronut

Oh yes. Not much to say but that it was flakey, crispy, sugary and had an oozy custard filling. The perfect way to end a meal.

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Ivy and the Fox may be a bit out of the way, but it’s definitely worth it! Give them a go.

Details for Ivy and the Fox:

Opening hours:

Weekdays

8am to 4:30pm

Weekends

8:30am to 3pm

Address:

Old Canberra House, 73 Lennox Crossing, Acton