I’d heard it was a temple of feminine delights, prettier and pinker than a John Hughes heroine.
So what are all these blokes doing here?
‘Here’ is Comfort At My Table, a two-year-old cafe on Milton’s Cribb Street. And evidently, its soft rose-coloured walls, vases of flowers and crotcheted cushions are not the slightest deterrent to members of the more hirsute sex.
And when we sit down and take a look at the breakfast menu, we realise why. This isn’t some limp cucumber-sandwich-and-scone teahouse. It’s split into savoury and sweet options (showing a clear understanding of the very specific sweet/savoury desires of breakfast eaters) with offerings such as an open omelette with grilled sweet corn, roasted capsicum, oregano, fetta and parmesan ($12.50), homemade baked beans on toast ($7) and waffles with lemon curd, strawberries and yoghurt ($11.50). The comfort theme isn’t restricted to the food. An unhurried waitress approached us as soon as we walked in the door, bringing water and menus and offers of coffee immediately. Other staff mill around, chatting with customers and encouraging a general air of restfulness. Jack Johnson can be heard playing in the background.
We’ve ordered a plate of Nims’ eggs (named for the co-owner and co-cook Naomi ‘Nims’ Zavackas, whose art can be seen on the walls), with poached eggs, bacon, pesto, banana chutney and roast tomato ($11.80); mushies on toast, with thyme mushrooms, rocket, and house-made labne ($9.50), and french toast with crispy bacon, poached pear, ricotta and maple toasted almonds, $12.80. Attention to perfecting each element is clear: the bacon is crispy (I can’t bear slimy, fatty, undercooked bacon), the tomato only just holding together its juices in its roasted skin, the eggs softly poached, the labne soft and fresh and tangy. The french toast is the best I’ve eaten in a long time - thick toast, well soaked in eggs and fried, with more crispy bacon, a rather alarmingly fuschia but otherwise delicious poached pear, and a generous sprinkling of crunchy almonds. It’s not cloyingly sweet, either.
There's also some decent, strong lattes, and a glass of Brisbane-made Krazy Lemon old-fashioned lemonade, each $3.50. Seated at a large shared table of blonde wood, there's plenty of space for everything. I can see myself here on a weekend with a newspaper, something that's pretty much impossible to do in some of the supercool cafes with their tiny seat-high tables. By now, it's 11am and the clientele is pretty much evenly split into couples and tables of men in suits.
I head to the counter to pay and peruse the glass cabinet full of sweets and baguettes to take away - I don't know what that little tart called a wang wang tastes, but I think I'd like to try it. There are jars of biscuits on the counter for $1 - $1! When was the last time you saw a biscuit in a cafe for a dollar! The sweet, homestyle touches are everywhere - a shelf of recipe books, little pots of flowers on the tables, the basket offering shiny red apples to customers on their way out. Many cafes try to make people feel like they're in someone's home, and Comfort At My Table goes a lot further than most in actually succeeding.
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- (07) 3162 8574
- Prices - Breakfast $4-$12.80
- Chef(s) - Ross Clark and Naomi Zavackas
- Owners - Gideon and Naomi 'Nims' Zavackas
- Opening Hours - Breakfast 7am-11am, lunch 11am-2pm Monday-Friday; breakfast 8am-12pm, lunch 12pm-2pm Saturday & Sunday
- Author - Georgia Waters