In the growing residential area of Newstead, across from Gasworks, is the Lazy Dog Cafe. It is at the foot of one of the residential towers, along with Vespa Pizza and Poppy’s, and seems to have become a regular haunt for some of the locals.
It occupies quite a surprisingly large space, about half indoors, half covered al fresco area. The outdoors covered area doesn’t have fans or heaters, but was comfortably ventilated when we were there by natural breezes down the corridor.
It is furnished with distressed wood tables, and green polymer chairs. The tables are well spaced out, giving the feeling of roominess. Unlike in some other places where you’re packed shoulder to shoulder, you stand a chance of having a conversation and not being eavesdropped on. The colours are mid-brown wood, and white tiles and walls. It is dog friendly, with water bowls at the feet of some tables. Folk acoustic relaxed music was playing at a non-intrusive level.
It is counter service, with some of the food items listed on boards above the counter, and more in the clipboard menus. Similarly, cold water with lemon wedges was available in a drink jar for you to fill glasses with and bring back to your table.
Having seen some rather striking specials on their Facebook and Instagram pages, like scotch eggs with blue cheese and coleslaw, and macaroni, bacon, and cheese fritters, it was disappointing to find there weren’t any available. We subsequently found out that that was due to them preparing for the celebration of their first anniversary of opening the next day.
We began with coffees. The flat white was thought to be nicely flavoured.
They didn’t have cold coffees on the menu, but did make an iced latte when I asked for a cold option. It was nicely chilled, and had a nutty flavour.
In absence of the specials, the brunch menu offered pretty standard options like a breakfast burrito, an omelette, or eggs benedict. We picked the corn fritters, named as a signature dish, and the nasi goreng, also named as a signature dish.
The corn fritters came with a poached egg, cherry truss tomatoes, and a choice of bacon or smoked salmon. They were served on the plate like a fritter sandwich, with the smoked salmon sitting between the corn fritters. The corn fritters themselves had a potatoey texture with a thin crunchy layer on the outside from having been fried. There were plenty of whole corn kernels in them, which added little bursts of sweetness. The smoked salmon gave it a savoury flavour. There was a little corn, radish, and tomato salad on the side, with a red, sweet and spicy relish.
The nasi goreng (fried rice) had chicken, fish cakes, bacon, fried egg, and fried eshallots. It was garlicky, mildly salty, and had small bacon pieces through it. It was also quite oily though. The chicken pieces were slightly dry. The fishcake was alright. There were some crunchy pickled vegetables on the side for contrasting texture and flavour. There was some chilli on the side for those who like it hot. Overall, it was alright, but not particularly special.
There wasn’t really much interaction with the waitstaff, between ordering food at the counter and then having the dishes brought to your table later, so there isn’t much to comment on about the service.
The Lazy Dog Cafe is dog friendly and child friendly, well geared to catering for the young families in the area. They will find enough customers to keep going, with tower upon tower of new residences going up. A number of the specials have looked interesting, but the items on the regular menu weren’t particularly exciting. Not sure I would specifically make a trip out of the way to eat here again, based on the food we had, I’m afraid.
Price point: Brunch items $13.20 to $18.10, for more than an acai bowl or eggs on toast, and excluding additions like bread with your omelette.
Value: Could be better. The dishes were pretty tasty overall, but also pricey for what they were (over $17 each for each of the dishes we had).
Address: 27 Cunningham St, Newstead
Phone: 07 3151 2256
Website: The Lazy Dog Cafe