Taking over the old Grande’s spot in Manuka, is 1 or 2 Cafe. I was warmly greeted when I entered the cafe early on a Saturday morning. The family-run cafe was small and cosy – the front counter’s display filled with pastries and sandwiches, and the back wall loaded with fresh loaves of bread.

Who’s checked out @1or2cafe in Manuka already!? ☕️ #doitnow #coffee #cafe #canberra #local #dining

A photo posted by OutInCanberra (@outincanberra) on

I had no other plans that morning and sat outside to watch the world go by. My soy mocha (approx $4) was a wonderful balance of coffee and chocolate. I finished that pretty quickly as it was a little chilly that morning. There were some solid options for breakfast such as ricotta pancakes, poached eggs, and scrambled eggs, with plenty of sides like potato rosti, avocado and bacon to personalise your meal. Lunch looked relatively light with plenty of salads as well as a beef burger and fish and chips. There were also daily specials written up inside. It’s unclear from the menu whether gluten alternatives are provided, so it’s best to ask the staff.

To warm me up, I chose the Spanish eggs ($19) which consisted of homemade tomato sauce, bacon, basil and chorizo sausage served with toast. I was greedy and ordered a potato rosti ($4.50) on the side. The Spanish eggs were a massive dish and I was really happy with it and not just because of the portion size. First, it looked amazing! The lightly buttered pieces of toast were crunchy and wonderful dipped into the tomato sauce. The sauce itself had a lovely balance of sweet and sour from the tomatoes with diced vegetables added to the mix. It was great to see that both eggs were oozy when poked which can be difficult to perfect in a baked egg dish. There were plenty of large chunks of chorizo hiding at the bottom of the pan. I found it was a bit too fatty for me and was just as happy without it. The whole dish had such a nice homely feel to it. The potato rosti were a little disappointing as they looked like regular hash browns, but I did receive 3 of them so again the portions were generous.

Service was warm and friendly. My mocha arrived shortly after ordering and there wasn’t a huge wait time for my Spanish eggs. It was early in the morning so I found the atmosphere quite peaceful sharing the cafe with a gentlemen reading the paper, a small group of cyclists and a family.

1 or 2 Cafe can be found at 19 Bougainville Street in Manuka (on the lawns area). I believe it’s open seven days for breakfast and lunch.

Note: 10% surcharge on Sundays.

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

FPJ score 25/30

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