Posts tagged review
Posts tagged review
I’m very excited to share my first post as a contributor on HerCanberra. Enjoy! x
Coffee and panini with scrambled egg, tomato and bacon.
Whole chorizo panini, with other delicious stuff, but let’s be honest, the chorizo is rather distracting.
I went to Lonsdale Street Roasters again this morning. I had been a few times before, after it opened in late 2010. But it wasn’t in full swing yet. Last year when I first went in, there were a few menu items- hardly any- and it was all a bit haphazard. Sure, I was charmed by the polished concrete, hanging bikes, street art and exposed beams inside, the relaxed staff in flannel shirts and of course the excellent Single Origin coffee. But it wasn’t a well-oiled, reliable machine yet.
This morning I arrived at 7:15 and it was bustling with people. Anywhere that can do this in Canberra has to be a winner. Full of cyclists on the oh so Surry Hills-esque stools outside and the pre-work Inner North crowd on the inside, there was barely a seat to spare. I noticed a few finishing touches missing from the interior on previous visits- fun brightly coloured sugar bowls dotted with vintage/antique looking spoons and kitchy, arty cushions.
There is an extensive range of panini here, spelled out on a charming blackboard with magnetic letters and a specials board to the side. I’ll let my friend, and excellent food writer, the Capital Gourmand, go into more detail, as I know he has sampled many more of them. Suffice to say, they bring the ‘panini’ as we know it in Australia, back to life. So often dry and unappetising from your everyday cafe, they are revitalised here with flavoursome and interesting ingredients in wonderful combinations. There’s a slow roasted pork shoulder one. Today I almost ordered one with mushrooms, among other things, and truffle oil. Among the options I settled for the whole chorizo panini. How can you say no to the most delicious of sausages in a Roasters panini? And my breakfast companion opted for a breakfast one - scrambled eggs, bacon and tomato.
It’s been a long held gripe of mine that cafes fail to do the simplest of things well. Sandwiches are a no brainer. And the combination of excellent bread, ingredients and toasting goes down a treat. It reminds me of a place on the edge of the markets in Modena, Italy, where I downed many a panini. This place was literally two squared metres and would invent fresh combinations daily based on the market ingredients. The bread would be crispy and delicious. And the ingredients, often with incarnations of the native balsamic vinegar, were off the charts. Of course, they cost three euro and you ate them on a street corner with a glass of Lambrusco (a brazen sparkling red native to the centre-north of Italy).
Roasters also do dessert and a few other small and interesting things (muesli among them). And well there’s the main feature: the coffee. Served in those stylish old school brown cups, it’s rich, the milk isn’t overdone, and it’s sublime perfection really - so rare in this town. It’s got to be the best in the city. Or among the best. Harvest and Tonic are excellent too. But I’m going to say Roasters has an edge. A panini-themed edge at that.
It hasn’t taken long for locals to be convinced. I’m sure, soon enough, people will be flocking to Braddon from the wide expanses of our nation’s capital to get in on the deliciousness. Interstate food critics are noticing - Simon Thomsen mentioned them in his piece on Canberra in this month’s issue of Delicious magazine. If the crowd was anything to go by today, it’s onwards and upwards for the cool cats at Roasters.