The foodie scene has been a bit muted this year, but Plentiful Cafe in Graceville has been one of the openings despite the uncertainties of 2020. Located just off the busier stretch, it was easy enough to spot, with the name, “Plentiful”, in bold letters at the front of the eatery. Tables and chairs in the covered walkway area were another clue that this was a place for a feed.
A sign at the entrance indicated to wait to be seated. As is commonplace now, there was a table with an information sheet with a QR code for dining patrons to register their details. We were greeted by a staff member and after clarifying whether we wanted to sit inside or outside, shown to a table. We were given menus, and told that it was counter service, so to go up and place our orders when we were ready.
The food menu was printed on a single laminated A4 size sheet, with most items in the All Day Breakfast section, and a few in the Lunch section (available from 11am). There was a good range of options, from light items like granola with pudding to heavier dishes like potato rosti and pork. There were touches of Asian flavours, like the use of Hoisin glaze and miso. Having perused the menu beforehand, we had already decided what dishes to order. We ordered the Spiced Lambo, the Pop-It Chicken Croffle Benny, and coffees.
We had opted to sit outside, as it was a pleasantly cool, overcast day. The festoon lights zig-zagging overhead gave it a festive feel. The open large windows made the inside and outside feel like one. The interiors had modern decor. Warm hues of wood-coloured tiled floors and ochre bench seats were offset by cooler grey-blue walls. Slightly abstracted expressionist paintings hung on the walls, making it seem that much more grown-up. There were also warm halo-style lights on the walls, which were a nicely stylish touch.
The marble-look tabletops were a savvy choice in the current age of everyone taking photos of their food. Modern gypsy-style music played over the speakers, initially adding to the cheery atmosphere, but after some time it did get a bit jarring.
Drinks were first to arrive. The flat white was smooth and chocolatey, with a velvety finish.
The soy iced latte was brought out in a beveled glass, and it showed off a good gradient of coffee hues. It had good nutty notes to it, and was properly chilled.
The Spiced Lambo had lamb kofta, kale and quinoa salad, labne, house-made spiced hummus, garlic tortillas, pomegranate, and olive crumb. It was tidily presented, the components the picture of freshness on the plate, with the colours of the salad and the golden hummus a bright contrast against the lamb kofta. The tortilla pieces were fanned out across part of the plate, but off the hummus, so they didn’t get soggy. The lamb koftas were meaty, without being too gamey. There was a good balance of spice flavours, without being too heavy-handed. The tortillas were light and crisp, but not too brittle, so you could put other components on to compose a mouthful without it breaking. The salad leaves were dressed evenly, and the light touch with the couscous meant that it was not too grainy.
The Pop-It Chicken Croffle Benny was an immediate Yes from the menu, as it featured a croissant waffle. an intriguing fusion of two items that always catch our attention on a menu. It also had popcorn chicken, chipotle hollandaise, a poached egg, jalapeno maple, toffee walnut, and fresh melon. This dish was presented as quite a neat stack, belying how filling the components could be. The popcorn chicken was coated with a fine, crunchy crumb, and was well-seasoned with salt, spice, and peppery flavours. The chicken was tender inside, rather than being dry. The croffle was buttery, and retained flakiness on the outside. It managed to tie together characteristics of both croissant and waffle. There was a bit of heat to the chipotle hollandaise that coated the poached egg, and the jalapeno maple hidden in the croffle crevices. The honeydew melon pieces were an atypical addition for this type of dish, but the fresh sweetness actually worked well with the other flavours.
We thought Plentiful Cafe served up tasty dishes that were thoughtfully put together. There were creative touches that elevated the dishes from typical brunch fare, but importantly, they also got the basics right. Definitely worth visiting, and revisiting.
Price point: $13.50 to $22 for the brunch items more substantial than eggs on toast. Lunch items $20.50 to $29. Our dishes $22 and $18.50 respectively.
Address: Unit 2/7 Park Terrace, Graceville
Website: Plentiful Cafe