Gramercy Espresso in the Wintergarden in Brisbane’s CBD is a popular favourite among the slightly more hipster of the city working crowd. I for one always enjoy the food and it’s a nice start to your average week day. Now they have opened a little ‘sister’ cafe around the corner, called Irving Place.
Irving place is a nice, pretty, hip addition to the nice, hip, pretty designer style of Wintergarden. It looks like it fits in very well. The menu is small with only 8 options, some items moving across breakfast and lunch. I have been to Irving Place twice since it opened.
For breakfast I chose the avocado with whipped feta (really?) and parsley dukkah. Not sure if it was a strict definition of ‘dukkah’ but it added tasty spice to the meal and why they wanted to whip the feta I’m not sure, but there is no denying that it was smooth and tasty, rather like a tart ricotta. Most enjoyable and a good size and price match ($7.80).
I’m lightly lactose intolerant, and while I don’t let this stop me eating important foods such as cheese, I avoid ice-cream, milkshakes and I have soy in my coffee when not having espresso. So I was surprised and not wholly impressed when I was told they didn’t stock soy (apparently neither do Gramercy anymore) but they offered Zymil or their own almond milk. I chose Zymil and what a palate shock that was! Se very sweet! Not sure what I’ll do next time, as the coffee at both institutions isn’t the best, thus why I choose a milky coffee over black. Perhaps filter would be the way to go.
My friend (over at Braking for Breakfast) had the muesli, which is her standard breakfast as avocado on toast is mine, and while it was good and generous, coming with a whole poached pear, to her personal taste it was quite sweet and the muesli was more sesame seeds than anything else. Gluten-free muesli perhaps?
A few days later I was at Irving place for lunch with three friends. I chose the maple-baked pork fillet with brussel sprout and apple slaw on a baguette. It was tasty and filling but not really what I was expecting. My limited impressions of anything with the word ‘maple’ have been sweet and rich. I was expecting pork with a sweet glaze but the bake was savoury and spicy. The slaw likewise was very savoury. Overall a very tasty sandwich but still unexpected.
Overall impression was good, I would be happy to go again. While personally I enjoy the heartier meals at Gramercy, the lightness of Irving Place might be perfect on hot summer days, not to mention the air conditioning.