One of my work colleagues is a regular bruncher at the National Museum of Australia cafe which is catered by Broadbean Catering. I’m constantly told great things about it so on a free weekend, some friends and I organised a bike ride around the lake and brunch at the Museum cafe. I had made a booking and our reserved table was by one of the back doors. As it was only 2 degrees that morning, and people kept walking in and out of that door, we decided to move to a warmer spot. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to go outside. The views looking over the lake are amazing and this must be a very busy place in summer.
Cups and cutlery had been provided on each table, with bottles of tap water available. Menus were not supplied and could only be found at the front counter. Unfortunately, they were placed right in front of the queue of people ordering, so most people had to awkwardly sneak to the front to steal one. Brunch is available until 2.30pm with just six items on the menu, however there was also a specials menu, toasties menu and a light meals menu. So much choice! Vegetarian, gluten free and gluten free on request dishes were clearly marked. Prices were decent with meals under $19.50. Oh, and there were cakes, biscuits and pastries at the counter.
After figuring out what I wanted and joining the queue, I spotted some homemade jam doughnuts and Italian cartocci that were too hard to resist. Since I can never finish all the jam in a jam doughnut, I purchased one cartocci ($5) instead. This was the first to arrive and it was fat with a thick smooth custard cream inside encased in a delicious doughnut pastry covered in sugar. Exactly what I needed after a ride and there was definitely no sharing. I thought my small soy mocha ($4.20 with 50c soy) was expensive but it did have a creamy coffee to chocolate ratio.
A friend and I both ordered the baked eggs with Spanish tomato sugo, chorizo, olive tapenade and grilled sourdough ($17.50). This smelled great! The two eggs were slightly overcooked but they were still soft and moist. The tomato sugo didn’t have much depth in flavour and was still quite acidic however there were several large chunks of chorizo in the mix. I’m not a fan of olives so I pushed the tapenade over the side. I loved the thick piece of buttered sourdough to go with it. Overall, a satisfying dish though I think the sugo could be improved.
My other friend ordered the black forrest bacon and free range egg roll with home made tomato jam ($12.50). It was a small but tall burger filled with two runny eggs. My friend said it was a nice bacon and egg roll, but didn’t have enough fatty goodness in the bacon.
For great views and a decent menu, including an assortment of cakes and pastries, the National Museum cafe is a pretty good option. There was about a 10 minute wait in the queue to order food with only one of the two registers open. With the number of people dining in, it was naturally loud inside with so much chatter, but not loud enough that you couldn’t hear each other speak. We quickly learnt that our relocation to the warmer side of the cafe meant that my friend was sitting in an awkward spot in a high traffic zone where a long communal table jutted out at an angle towards our table. This meant he was constantly shifting around for people to pass through. Lesson learnt and we will try to remember to pick another table next time. Overall, we had a pleasant brunch and I would like to go back to try out the other items on the menu.
The National Museum of Australia cafe is open everyday from 9am-4.45pm. Entry is free and you don’t have to go to the museum if you don’t want to.
Note: There’s a 10% surcharge on Sundays, and a 15% surcharge on public holidays.
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 22.5/30
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