I hadn’t been back to Maple and Clove in Barton in years (basically since it first opened) so I made some time to go back and rediscover. I see that the signage out the front now looks better with the green vines growing over the wall.
The inside looks modern but down to earth with black ceilings and furniture, timber flooring, a mix of communal tables with stools and regular tables and chairs. A shelf holding bottles of wine and plants acts as a divider with more intimate tables for two on the other side (it’s a lot quieter too). The kitchen runs along the back wall where you can peek in at the chefs. There’s free wifi available for diners and the password is written up on the blackboard above the kitchen.
There were so many interesting drinks available from the menu. I chose the green smoothie ($9) of green apple, kiwi fruit, banana, cucumber, celery, mint, lime, spinach and ginger. It’s thick, green and healthy. Can’t help but glow after drinking this. I also ordered the dandelion latte ($4.50) because I’ve never seen that on a menu before and it peaked my curiosity. I don’t know how to describe it. The latte was bitter but there was a pleasant roasted flavour. After doing some research, I realised that there was no caffeine in the latte. Instead, the dandelion root is dried and roasted. There’s alleged health benefits associated with dandelion root as well.
With the current menu accessible online, I had already picked my breakfast. The Maple whole waffle ($16.50) is a wholemeal spelt, zucchini and sweet corn waffle served with slow cooked eggs and a side salad. I added in some smoked salmon ($3.50) to the dish. I really loved this wholesome savoury waffle which was crispy on the outside giving that lovely crunch when you cut into it, yet soft on the inside. I never knew spelt could taste good. The poached eggs had been cooked perfectly with oozy egg yolk that I let spill over the waffles. I was happy with my addition of salmon to give the dish a hint of saltiness. The side salad was fresh and crunchy with various leafy greens, carrot and celery dressed in aioli. I loved every element of this dish.
I went back for another visit to try some more items on the menu for food blogging purposes 🙂 This time I ordered the matcha almond latte ($5) which uses almond milk. This was a lot more bitter than the one I get at Duatti. I don’t know the reason for this difference and haven’t actually looked into it. Duatti only uses matcha powder and there is no added sugar as staff tell me the powder itself is already sweet. And it’s true, it’s sweet enough on its own. I guess it varies with the quality and range of matcha powder that can be bought. I had to add some coconut sugar to the matcha latte at Maple and Clove, however I was still happy with the creaminess and frothiness of the latte.
I ordered the free range egg white omelette ($18) with green asparagus, baby spinach and zucchini that comes served with Snowy Mountain smoked trout, crunchy jicama and apple salad, and rye bread. The smokey paprika and parsley button mushrooms were hard to resist and added this ($3.50) onto the plate. The omelette was smaller than I thought it would be, taking up about a quarter of the plate. However, it was packed with flavour and well seasoned.
The apple salad was fresh, sweet and just superb. I wanted to ask for another bowl of it! There was a good portion of smoked trout which tasted fantastic with the apple salad. I could see the paprika on the button mushrooms but it was only very lightly coated. This was another healthy and delicious breakfast at Maple and Clove.
Service was good – I was allowed to choose where I could sit, provided with a menu and tap water immediately. I was checked on about 5 minutes later for my order. I only had to wait 5 minutes before my drinks arrived, and another 10-15 minutes for the food (though I was there before 9am). I was left alone the rest of the time while wait staff attended to other customers.
For healthy eating, I’d recommend trying out Maple and Clove. Their dishes seem to be nutritious, filling and tasty, and there’s variety on the plate with the addition of a small side salad. The website states they use healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado and extra virgin olive oil. Food is free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and sweeteners. There are a variety of drinks to choose from, such as matcha lattes, sticky chai latte, herbal tea, smoothies and fruit juices. Again, all pretty healthy. If you want to leave brunch feeling good about yourself, this is a good bet.
If you want to feel even better about yourself, Maple and Clove also has its own runners group which meets twice a week to run 5km. Or you could just go for a run later in the day. Why not end the day healthy too?
Maple and Clove is located at Realm Park on Burbury Close in Barton. It’s open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.
Value for money 9/10
FPJ score 26/30
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