Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breakfast at Gunshop Cafe at West End

I've been meaning to post about Gunshop Cafe for some time, and I knew I had to get a move on when I found out we were also having a blogger dinner at Gunshop. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to post a before blogger dinner and after a blogger dinner ensuring my first review remained unbiased and thought it could provide a good basis for comparison between the two seperate dining occasions. I will be posting about our blogger dinner a day or two afterwards (if I get my butt into gear quick enough!)


If you live in Brisbane and like food you will have probably heard of Gunshop Cafe in West End. Gunshop has been a well known breakfast haunt for many years, and more recently enjoyed extra publicity stemming from their Delicious magazine award - the prestigious Australian Cafe of the Year. I know the Brisbane food scene was super excited to have the honour go to a Brisbane based recipient!


I had eaten at Gunshop a number of times prior to their awards, but decided to go back after the awards (a fair time afterwards I might add!- Don't blame me, blame the emerging Brisbane restaurant scene.) When my Grandfather and one of his pals came to visit, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to hop over to West End for brekky, as Grandfather and Gus would love to tell all the boys back home that they ate at 'The best Cafe in Australia.'


Luckily Grandfather and Gus are early risers, as I told them I would come to pick them up from their hotel at Southbank at about 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning so we could beat the rush to Gunshop. I didn't want to have to line up with the oldies in tow. We arrived at 8:20 a.m and already a line!! Luckily there were only about 5 people in front of us, and the line was moving relatively quickly, so we only had to wait for about 15 minutes before we were seated- although I must admit, Gfather and Gus were a little bemused by the whole queuing thing-they weren't complaining, just thought it was a little funny.


Gfather and Gus were interested to know a little bit about the history of the actual gunshop but I couldn't really help them out too much and one of the waitresses didn't know much more than I. I have since googled around a bit and found out a bit of info so will share it with them when I'm on the phont next. We settled in with the menus after ordering a juice and some coffees.


Gfather and Gus, decided to have the double smoked bacon and poached eggs for $15.5 so they really could judge if they were having the best breakfast ever- Gfather was tempted by the black pudding (he is an adventurous Gfather) but was probably scared off by the $18.5 price tag. Now, Gfather is by no means a stingy man, he is in fact the polar opposite, but I think he baulked at paying $18.5 for black pudding because he used to eat it all the time when he was a child.


I spied the potato and feta hash cakes with spinach and herb sour cream for $15.5 and C went with the toulouse sausages, sweet potato hash, rocket, poached egg and bush tomato relish for $18.5. It was nice to see some basics with a twish on the menu- something a little more inspired than eggs benedict etc etc. It was clear that the menu was very considered and there seemed to be a really good range of options, both for those who are more traditional and those who want to splash out with a more unique brekky choice.


As the restaurant was so packed, it was a little squashy. After a little bit of waiting, the breakfasts arrived and it was hard to fit them on the tables, but once we did, and I secretly took photos (which is hard to do, given that we were situated just through the 'window' behind the cash register) we all tucked in.


My potato feta hash cakes were good. The crispy outside was just holding together the fluffy, light inside. The herbed sour cream was well matched, but I felt there could have been a little too much cream dolloped on. By the end of the second hash cake, I was starting to tire and would have liked something to 'break it up' a little bit. The lemon helped to cut through the cream. That being said, these were quite good hash cakes.





C loved his toulouse sausages and I snitched a fair bit of his sweet potato hash. I like the bush relish tomato too- the two together made a great flavour combo. The egg was perfectly poached.





Gfather and Gus both enjoyed their bacon and eggs. They thought the bacon was well cooked, but the eggs could have been a little softer. When gus cut his egg open, there was no runny yolk smearing down the plate as he'd have like, so that was a bit of a disappointment. However, by any standard, this was a nice version of the humble but popular bacon and eggs.



The service at Gunshop was good. There weren't really any bad problems, but we did have to wait a long time for the meal to arrive and then for the bill to be brought to the table. I have to admit that the restaurant was packed and I'm sure this had some bearing on the wait time.


The only other problem I had was the noise factor. I don't usually mind a bit of noise, but it was very hard to hear what people were saying. I like breakfast time to be a little less loud, particularly when the oldies are with us. It could help to have some sort of plants or something to try to absorb some of the noise (I'm sure they have probably already thought of this), because with the quality of food and the great reputation, I'm sure they aren't going to be able to count on fewer customers to lessen the noise.


Gunshop has some really good menu options and aside from the noise, is a really pleasant place to eat. I am really looking forward to going to the blogger dinner, as I have never had the privlidge of dining at Gunshop for dinner and am excited to see what they have on offer. I can totally understand why they won the 'Best Cafe in Australia' award- the menu reveals that take their food very seriously but manage to serve it up in a fun and interesting way.


When to go: Why for breakfast of course! Go early though, unless you want to queue.


Tell me readers: Do you like potato hash cakes? McDonalds style or soft and fluffy?


Gunshop Cafe
53 Mollison Street
West End
07 3844 2241
http://www.thegunshopcafe.com
Gunshop Cafe on Urbanspoon

7 fabulous comments:

Steph@LittlePotBelly said...

I've been to the Gunshop Cafe once for lunch and sadly their Thai fish cakes were quite disappointing and the lamb salad was really nothing special. I've heard good things about their breakfast but I still feel the place is overrated. I hope you have a better experience than I did with your upcoming dinner :)

Sharnee said...

I love the interesting touches on their breakfasts - boring breakfast menus just seems lazy. Reading this post has made me look forward to tonight even more :)

eye candy carousel said...

Those hash cakes look great. I'm really not a fan of Macca's hash browns.. The only hash cakes I've ever had were in the U.S. at Denny's. They were massive (as everything tends to be over there!), but quite tasty with a mixture of crispy bits on the outside and more soft on the inside, so I liked them a lot.

The InTolerant Chef said...

It's very hard to get eggs 'just right' when you're catering to more than a couple of people at a time. One place I worked, we would pre-poach the eggs before rush time and then heat them through in water to send out. I don't think that a very good idea, but the boss wanted it.
I like crispy outside and fluffy indide for my hashcakes. Yumm...

Ladybird said...

Gunshoppp!!! I used to go there from time to time when I still lived in BrisVegas! Unfortunately, however, I got terribly put off by the queue out onto and down the street on weekends, plus the fact that they wouldn't accept bookings.

I don't remember it being so expensive though given the portion sizes, etc. Perhaps there was a price hike after the award (?)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You know that's a really interesting concept, seeing a before and after post! I look forward to hearing what you think after! :) And I love crispy hash browns but also buttery roesti.

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Love the look of those fat sausages! And yes, the way I like to check out breakfast standards is definitely by their poached eggs - esp seeing as I still haven't mastered the art of them myself =p

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