Brisbane Cafe Review: Pompidou, Balmoral

Pompidou is a quaint French themed cafe in the leafy suburb of Balmoral.

It’s a Di Bella account, and they do an admirable job of producing drinkable coffee from their 2-group Wega. My double shot flat white was strong and rich, Di Bella style. I’m starting to think that Di Bella probably works best as a single shot. It can be quite overpoweringly full bodied if prepared well as a double. My dinepanions said their coffees – a cappuccino, and a piccolo, respectively, were tasty.

The coffees were good. The breakfasts were fantastic.

What follows are pictures of my pork belly with poached egg, spicy relish, haloumi, bread, and baby spinach, with a hash brown on the side, the “pan meal” which is pretty much the ultimate big breakfast, a ratatouille with bacon and eggs, and an Eggs Benedict, with the hollandaise on the side. Each meal was delicious, and well worth the price of admission.

We’ll be back on the strength of the food alone, and the coffee wasn’t too shabby.


Brisbane Cafe Review: Brew, Brisbane City

I’d read good things about Brew somewhere. Somebody said it was Brisbane’s answer to a Melbourne alley cafe. And it is certainly tucked away. It’s basically down an inner city driveway/lane and under a building.

It’s a great use of space – and there’s a takeaway bar as well as a coffee lounge/bar area. It’s very hip. It’s air conditioned. And it has a nice range of beers too. I can imagine spending a day studying or reading in a pretty comfortable setting – but to do that, the coffee would want to be pretty good…

Brew uses Di Bella – and until I ducked in here for a morning pick me up one Saturday, I didn’t rate Di Bella particularly highly, they’d become a little too mass produced for my snobbery. And now I feel like I have to repent.

When I got there on this particular Saturday, the place had just opened, and because it doubles as as a bar the staff must have to burn both ends of the candle – because the barista wasn’t in yet. I was happy to hear they had a designated barista. The chef told me he could make coffee, and because I had to get to a meeting, I said yes. And if this was the type of coffee the chef can produce, then I have no hesitation in recommending their work. It was a tasty, sweet and full bodied coffee at an almost perfect temperature. It restored my faith in Di Bella. It was rich and chocolatey, and everything a blend should be. I still prefer drinking single origins because they’re endlessly interesting – but this was good. And if you’re at the right end of town, it’s not a bad stop…

Especially because it looks like a fun space to hang out.


Brisbane Cafe Review: Stellarossa, Milton

Just down the road from Bunker Coffee on Railway Terrace in Milton was this rather sharp looking Stellarossa Cafe – it’s the central warehouse for a Brisbane franchiser specialising in Di Bella Coffee. Its spacious, trendy, and modern fit out offers a stark contrast to Bunker Coffee. There’s heaps of room to kick back, comfy seats, and plenty of tables… sadly, the coffee also contrasts Bunker Coffee. It was depthless. Boring. Though not unpleasant or bad. It didn’t need sugar. It just didn’t set the tastebuds alight like the Blackstar Beans on offer at Bunker (Bunker Coffee also have “guest roaster” slots on Wednesdays – this week they’re featuring a single origin from Cup).

The coffee was probably slightly too hot – though having just enjoyed a couple of coffees at Bunker our palates were probably a little fatigued. I need to learn my limits for the number of coffees I can adequately review in a day – because there’s no doubt this suffered by comparison.

I did like the Rip Curl latte art.

And the hanging, framed, coffee bags.

On the plus side, there’s plenty of food on offer in the cabinets, and the shiny Nuova Simonelli is more than capable of producing good, drinkable coffee. The service was friendly, though I’m always slightly concerned when a barista offers to put sugar in my coffee.


Bean here (excuse the pun)? Rate it: [five-star-rating]

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