On a cold grey morning, some friends and I decided to brunch at the recently opened Tranquilo Espresso, which replaces Four Buds cafe. Located on the ground floor of the Mode 3 building on Lonsdale Street, the small cafe faces Autolyse and Lonsdale Street Roasters 23.
The cafe is in a small nook with just enough room for a long counter, bar tables by the windows and a few stools. There’s minimal seating outdoors at the front of the cafe with a couple of wooden tables, and a comfy cushioned bench in the corner. Smaller tables are provided in the corridor of the Mode 3 building – perfect for 2-3 people to sit around.
I like the counter with different shades and textures of wood. The small vertical garden brings a bit of nature inside (though I’m not sure how much sun it will get being inside a building?)
A glass cabinet stands at the end of the counter displaying fruit for the freshly squeezed juices, and a bunch of sweet treats on top.
Lunch specials are written up on the blackboard.
The cafe is prepared for the cold with an outdoor heater and a pile of blankets sitting on a wooden buffet outside that anyone can grab. Our waiter kindly offered to fetch some for the table and I placed it on my lap to warm myself up.
I thought breakfast prices were pretty cheap for Canberra, with the most expensive item being the big breakfast at $18.
I ordered a regular soy mocha ($4). This was average but nice and warm on a cold morning. There’s some tough competition with Lonsdale Street Roasters across the road.
I decided to try the French Toast topped with sauteed banana, maple syrup and macadamia crumble ($12). The presentation was lovely. I’m drooling just looking at this photo again. The bananas were warm and soft but not mushy. There was just enough maple syrup for me – not too much that it soaked through all the toast and overpowered the meal, and not too little that it was too dry. The macadamias provided a bit of crunch and I thought was a great pairing with the dish. Very happy with this. Not to mention the cheap price.
A closer shot – yum.
My brunch companions both ordered the home made baked beans with smoked pork hocks served on sourdough ($12). This was a very generous serving piled high with beans and came out still steaming. The rocket on top adds colour and freshness. Using butter beans, this dish was tasty and perfect on that cold morning. I couldn’t really taste any smokiness in the hocks but I’d still choose to eat this hearty dish next time. One friend commented that the bread goes a little soggy from all the sauce but that’s the only downside.
I couldn’t resist trying one of the melting moments ($4) that I could see in a glass jar inside. Staff had forgotten I’d ordered this so I had to walk back inside to ask for it. A staff member brought this out soon afterwards. These were GIGANTIC – bigger than my palm.
It looked like a mini burger. Both sides of the shortbread were super thick, moist and buttery. There was just enough icing in between too. Yummo!
Lunch also looks relatively cheap price-wise.
All orders are taken and paid for at the front counter. I was really happy with the prices and generous portions of both dishes. Not to mention the thick slices of toast on both dishes. As the cafe is relatively new, it wasn’t packed but I’m sure it will pick up as words spreads. Noise levels are low as people sitting outside chat quietly amongst themselves or read the morning paper. I noticed many people walking in and ordering coffees to take away. Staff are always smiling and very helpful. We didn’t wait long for our coffees or our food either.
Check out Tranquilo’s Facebook page for updates.
Tranquilo Espresso is located at 24 Lonsdale Street in Braddon. Minimum eftpos $10.
Opening hours are Mon-Fri: 7-3, Sat-Sun: 7.30-3