Tucked away in Bailey’s Corner in Civic, lies cute newly named cafe Tree Eighty3, replacing the Yum Yum Tree. One of my blog readers contacted me to check it out. So on a free Saturday morning, I headed down with my partner for brunch.

At first, Tree Eighty3 looks like a take away shop with its long curved counter filled with food. A portion of the front counter is a dedicated ‘Pork Bar’ and I hear its pork rolls are pretty good. Chalkboards against the wall advertise various burgers, schnitzel rolls and chips.

To the right, a vertical herb garden hangs against the large windows in the cafe.

The cafe has its own organic farm garden in Gundaroo where vegetables are grown – love fresh produce!

one side of the herb garden

There were only two benches and a few stools along the window. Then I looked to the left (across the other side of the arcade) and there’s plenty more seating. I do like the feature wall and the quirky borders painted around each poster.

We were told to take a seat and the Saturday brunch menus would be brought out to us. Bottles of water and glasses are provided along with the menu.

I’m happy to find that nothing on the Saturday breakfast menu is more than $15.

The specialty coffee used is 5 Senses coffee. I was going to order my usual when the Bahen & Co. hot chocolate ($5) caught my eye. ‘Specialty chocolate makers delivering a single origin cacao from Brazil that will rock your world’…That sold me.

The hot chocolate came out in a trendy double wall insulated glass accompanied by, not marshmallows, but caramel slices! The hot chocolate itself is a little bitter but I got used to it the more I drank. It’s very creamy and quite thick which I really liked. Not your typical sweet hot chocolate, but the sweet caramel slices helps cut through the bitterness.

My partner ordered a smoothie of banana, mango and strawberries with honey, natural yoghurt and cinnamon ($6.50). This came out in a massive glass and is big enough to share between two. Very thick and fresh.

I like the weirdly shaped spoon which sits on the glass rim.

I ordered the baked eggs hollandaise ($15) with individually baked eggs, capers, house made hollandaise and blanched asparagus on a thick brioche. I was expecting a typical baked egg dish served in a baking dish, but this was not the case. I initially thought I’d received the wrong dish.

Then I cut through the round pattie like item and saw that it was the baked eggs and capers.

One of the eggs was overcooked but there was plenty of hollandaise sauce to ensure the dish wasn’t dry.

The brioche was thick, soft and sweet. The capers, which were baked into the egg, provided a nice tartness to the dish balancing out the sweetness of the brioche. The asparagus were blanched perfectly and still had some crunch to it. Although this isn’t your typical baked egg dish, I did enjoy it.

thick brioche

My partner ordered the ‘caravan classic with a twist’ ($9.50) consisting of bacon and fried egg on a turkish roll with house roasted tomato, roquette and caramelised balsamic. There was plenty of bacon and the tomato was fat and juicy. The sweet caramelised balsamic was a good addition to the roll. He was happy with it.

Both meals were of decent portions. The smoothie couldn’t be finished – it was just too large and a meal in itself. To compare the size, the below photo shows the glass standing next to the 1L bottle of water with nearly the same circumference.

The sweet treats at the front counter are all house made. I like the fact that those with gluten intolerances and vegetarians can be catered for here.

The cafe is in an awkward location but they’ve done well with the space they have.

Service is friendly and quick. The above menu is only valid on Saturdays (the cafe is not open Sundays). Prices are cheap and less than $15 for a meal. Smoothies are massive and great value too. I’m definitely going back to try the breakfast bruschetta…or maybe the sweet crepes with seasonal fruits and ‘syrupped’ ricotta.

So what’s behind the name Tree Eighty3? Thanks to the same reader of the blog, here’s a bit of history about the place. Ralph, the owner of Tree Eighty3, worked for a food truck ‘The Doghouse’ back in the late 70s/early 80s (similar to the old Brodburger working out of a caravan). Noticing a niche in the market for more upmarket products, he opened up a food truck in 1983 called ‘Ralph’s’. He sold roasted meats (pork, lamb and topsides of beef) and veggies, pastas, burgers and hotdogs with a range of gourmet toppings. In the early 90s, he bought a small cafe called the Yum Yum Tree in Bailey’s Corner (which had been there since the 70s), to turn the food truck into a permanent site. The name Yum Yum Tree was retained for quite a while, and it was recently decided to mix things up and rename and renovate the cafe. Ralph’s establishment date (1983) was going to be used in the new cafe’s name as ‘Eighty3’, however, Eightysix in Braddon had just opened up which threw a spanner in the works. So as a salute to the former cafe, Tree Eighty3 was born. I love understanding the history behind a cafe/restaurant.

To check out this longstanding site, head to Bailey’s Corner in the city (between London Circuit and the merry-go-round) and visit Tree Eighty3’s Facebook page.

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Foodgasm 7/10
Tree Eighty3 on Urbanspoon

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