Spending so much of each year travelling I rarely get time to spend exploring what’s new and changed in my home town of Cairns. So during my regular “Rusty’s Ritual” that I manage to do whenever I am home over a weekend I decided to explore the Grafton Street Cafe precinct to grab a lazy breakfast.
The Grafton Street block opposite Rusty’s is the closest Cairns gets to a funky food strip, cafe’s have come and gone in many shapes and forms over the years, and the area itself has ebbed and flowed over time going through it’s hippie and feral stages to now being a sort of backpackerish cross local coffee hang out. So Saturday morning, the busiest time for the cafe strip, I stuck my head in a couple of places that weren’t there last time I looked to find they were full, then I struck Candy Cafe Bar that had an empty table just for me.
You are immediately struck by the decor, it’s kind of funky and kind of hard to describe. A sort of false plastic hedge covers the front counter and strange paintings on the wall. The decor doesn’t do it for me but it really makes no difference. Upon being seated I immediately receive a glass of water and the two menus, one for drinks and one for food. Immediately upon reading the menu In knew I was on a winner. Each dish had it’s own quirky name and the ingredients and descriptions were really tasty sounding and vey innovative. Wagyu mince, various egg styles with groovy accompaniments, all kinds of funky combinations this sounded great!
I chose an ensemble entitled “Duck Duck Goose” which is shredded duck leg confit, zucchini fritters, a poached egg and beetroot jam. I can’t say I have ever seen that combination on a breakfast menu before but it sounded good. Whilst waiting for the meal I sipped on a perfect ice coffee and browsed reviews by others on Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor on my smart phone. The other reviews were highly positive, a couple of negatives on the service I read, but I certainly couldn’t fault the service, especially since Cairns is notorious for terrible service and there was no sign of that here!
Duck Duck Goose! Breakfast Delight….
The two thick zucchini fritters on the bottom were perfect, the ample quantity of shredded duck was not dry like duck can be and had a couple of pieces of crispy skin hidden in there to add effect, and the poached egg on top was poached perfectly with just the right amount of runny yolk a poached egg should have! The beetroot jam was just sweet enough to enhance the duck and bind it all together without taking over the flavour.
Brunch Menu Examples
Caramelised French toast w/ pink baked pears, mascarpone & pistachios
Bacon, poached eggs, garlic mushrooms, rosemary tomatoes, black pudding, truffle oil, muffin
Daddy of them All
Bacon, eggs, tomato, mushrooms, spinach, kipflers, kransky, labna, toast
'Candy style' porridge w/poached dry fruits, tablelands honey, mungalli double cream & walnuts
Bubble & Squeak
Smashed dutch creams, pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, poached egg & ciabatta w/ chipolatas or garlic mushrooms & avocado
Savoury wagyu mince, grilled cheese, toasted ciabatta, poached eggs
Pesto scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, sopressa, button mushroom ragout, ciabatta toast
B & E Stack
Bacon & egg stack, tomato relish, aioli, Dino's wood-fired loaf
Roast pumpkin, toasted ciabatta, spinach, poached egg, whipped fetta
Duck, Duck, Goose
Zucchini fritters, shredded confit duck leg, poached egg, beetroot jam
House made baked beans, mushrooms, spinach, poached eggs, ciabatta toast
Homemade fruit toast w/ spices & chunky dried fruits
In these days of smart phone aps if you aren’t using URBANSPOON yet you should be! This neat little app will suggest where to eat and more. The “shake” function lets you select from some variable such as location, price and style of food then hit “shake” and get a random suggestion to try out. With reviews and other handy tips, for a traveller looking for good food options in an unknown place, you can’t go wrong with URBANSPOON.