The Bearded Bean in Civic has been open for a couple of months and has made a huge impact to office workers close by. It’s always packed with people queuing up to place their coffee orders or grabbing a quick breakfast in the morning. One morning, I noticed a sign out the front advertising specialty hot chocolates in flavours like ferrero, mars bar and bounty. They had me at ferrero!

The Bearded Bean hot chocolates

I made a breakfast date with a friend and ordered the ferrero in milk hot chocolate (I think it was around the $4.50 mark). This was delicious and really did taste like ferrero rocher chocolate in liquid form! Personally, I would prefer it a little thicker but that’s because I love my Italian thick hot chocolates. My friend ordered a flat white ($3.70). I read an article about the Bearded Bean’s Bean Bar where you can build your own coffee by picking your bean and choose from 4 different types of extraction.

The Bearded Bean drinks

I tried the potato rosti with poached egg, chilli jam and balsamic glaze ($17.50). The wrong order came out but it was quickly rectified and the rosti presented in front of me. I loved the thickness of the potato rosti and the crispy edges. The egg was perfectly poached and oozed all over the plate. The chilli jam wasn’t spicy at all but provided a nice sweet contrast to the other elements on the dish. But it was the balsamic glaze that really tied everything together. I felt the rosti needed another element on the dish to balance out the carbs. I  recommend ordering the salmon (extra $4) to go with it as I was still a little hungry afterwards.

The Bearded Bean potato rosti

My friend ordered the smokey house made baked beans with a poached egg topped with cheese and toast soldiers ($17.50). This looked like a very filling meal – look at all of that bread! A very generous portion.

The Bearded Bean baked beans

They also have weekly specials like these corn and coriander fritter stack with smoked salmon, avocado and a crumbed egg. How good does it look?

I am always teased by the yummy specials written up on the chalkboard. There was once a 12hr slow cooked beef rib dish but I was too slow to take advantage of that. I finally made it there for lunch with another friend after seeing pumpkin risotto as one of the specials. Personally I hate chopping up pumpkin, and also dislike having to make risotto as I’m too lazy to stand and constantly stir the pot. I’d much rather pay for someone else to make it for me 🙂 The pumpkin risotto ($17.50) with spinach and fetta was a great combination. The risotto was cooked al dente, there was a slight amount of creaminess without that overly sickly cream feeling, no gluggy texture and a good portion size. I was definitely full after that.

The Bearded Bean risotto

My friend ordered the Cajun chicken burger ($18.50) with spiced grilled chicken breast, bacon, swiss cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and aioli  which also came with a side of fries. He ranked the burger very highly and the fries were just like Maccas fries! Crispy, salty and tasty. There’s also a potato rosti burger (not on the menu) which I might need to try next.

The Bearded Bean Cajun chicken burger

I have been to The Bearded Bean a few times now (mainly for coffee) and service has consistently been very friendly and fast. I liked that there were at least 2 people taking orders during peak periods. It didn’t take long for our drinks and food to arrive. The cafe is quite small with limited seating available inside. Large communal timber tables sit out on the pavement but with no protection from the cold, they are usually left vacant. Nevertheless, I can see it being extremely popular in the warmer months! It got loud very quickly as the cafe filled up with customers, however it’s a nice buzzing vibe and you get great food and great coffee.

The Bearded Bean is on Genge Street (the ATO building) open Monday to Friday from 6.00am – 4.00pm.

Foodgasm 8/10
Value for money 7.5/10
Service 9/10

FPJ score 24.5/30

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