My friend and I met up for lunch at Bookplate in the National Library. I hadn’t been to Bookplate in about 5 years but knew that it had been revamped in the last year or two. The menu has certainly been updated with some trendy items for lunch such as baos and chimichanga. For breakfast, there is a green brekky bowl, banana smoothie granola bowl and an American pancake stack. The chef’s pick for lunch are the grilled chicken burger and the fish and chips, and for breakfast the Italian scramble. There should be enough on the menu to please most. I started off with an icy cold watermelon and mint juice (around the $7 mark).
We were there for lunch and I wasn’t that hungry so I ordered the BBQ Beef Baos ($19.80) thinking these would be a good entree sized serving. These were filled with a Texan style pulled beef with house made BBQ sauce and coleslaw. I was honestly expecting a small platter with a few baos lined up, but received a huge bowl with a mountain of coleslaw in the middle surrounded by three baos.
I’m quite glad the portion was bigger than expected as it’s quite a hefty price for three baos. The pulled beef was OMG amazing – fully marinated, so tender and juicy. I loved that BBQ sauce! This was also not your usual small serve of shredded meat, rather thick straps of beef had been stuffed into these baos and the good cuts too. The only let down was the white bao bun. Though the opening of the bao was soft, the very middle was rock hard meaning it wasn’t fresh, and maybe microwaved from frozen. I was expecting regular coleslaw so was pleasantly surprised to find a hit of chilli and onion, making this a great spicy and punchy slaw.
My friend ordered the special of the day, the gluten free frittata and side salad (unsure of the price) and was happy with his healthy meal.
Orders are taken and paid for at the counter. It only took about 10 minutes for our meals to arrive and bottles of tap water were constantly being provided. I would like to go back to try out more of the menu. And there’s something special about the stained glass windows surrounding the indoor sitting area.
Bookplate is located in the National Library of Australia, to the right of the main entrance. Open seven days for breakfast and lunch.
Recently launched is Bookplate’s pop up bar out on the terrace called Picnic. It will be open every Friday night until 18 March serving Asian themed bar food such as yumcha baskets and egg noodles. Read this Goodfood article for more information.
Value for money 7/10
FPJ score 22.5/30
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