This new cafe in Bulimba picked quite the attention-grabbing name. A place called Wow Breakfast certainly sets up expectations of how much you will be impressed by their food. It piqued our interest enough for us to head there one weekend brunch time.
Wow Breakfast is located at the end of Bulimba’s shopping strip of Oxford Street (the non-jetty end). The first thing you see is the outdoor deck area, framed by a white fence. Water misting sprays took the edge off the heat of the day, pleasantly cooling both patrons who might want to dine outside, and giving passersby a reason to slow their pace in front of the cafe.
We decided that we would rather be in the cooler indoors though, and walked past the sliding doors into the air conditioned interior. The entrance was done up to look like a garden setting, with a stone path running between astroturfed sections, and lush artificial green walls on either side. There were seats in that area, so you could have your meal there in a pretty faux garden setting which was a comfortable temperature (which was a nice option when it was about 35 degrees outside).
Further on in, there was an area with more typical modern cafe decor, with cool white walls and tables, and Eames-style chairs. Gold accents on the light fittings and wire shelving added warm tones. There were pots of greenery scattered through the space as well (we didn’t poke them to find out if they were real or artificial). Music played softly in the background at a non-intrusive volume, although there was a run of aggressive hip-hop that disrupted the relaxed vibe.
As we approached the service counter, staff invited us to sit wherever we liked. We chose to be in the greened section. Menus and a corked bottle of cold water were brought to the table.
The menus consisted of pages of food and drink items printed on colourful paper, held together by a small cork clipboard. Fringed by watercolour drawings of palm fronds and monstera leaves were All day breakfast items, and a few lunch items that are available after 1130. They also have your typical coffee options, as well as smoothies and juices. We started with coffees, and eventually settled on a couple of the dishes that had little icons next to them (we assumed they either meant recommended or popular).
The soy iced latte was brought out in a tulip-shaped wine glass, the swirled coffee and milk topped with foam, so it looked quite like a cocktail. Unfortunately, the flavour did not live up to the presentation. Whatever soy milk they used had distinctly alkaline, bitter notes, and there was no discernible coffee flavour beyond that.
The flat white fared slightly better. It had just light coffee flavour, without the richness we sought. It had a slightly strange finish, almost like it too had been made on the soy, but to a less overpowering extent.
The Crab Island was listed in the menu as having crab claw scrambled egg, rocket, jumbo croissant, fried onion, and hollandaise sauce. It was prettily presented, with the scrambled egg heaped between the sliced croissant, and bright pink radish slices adding a pop of colour to the plate, contrasting well with the otherwise yellow and brown hues of the other elements. The croissant was on the soft side, with a bready texture rather than crisp flaky layers and buttery richness. The buttery hollandaise drizzled over the dish did somewhat compensate in the richness stakes though. The scrambled egg was soft and well-folded, with visible amounts of crab meat in and on it. It was appropriately seasoned as well, rather than just relying on the presence of crab meat to carry enough flavour.
The Green Benny dish comes with spanish onion relish, two poached eggs, avocado, hollandaise, sourdough, potato hash, and the choice of bacon, pulled pork, smoked salmon, or haloumi, as the feature protein. We chose the smoky pulled pork. This too was appetisingly plated, with rings of yellow hollandaise around the other elements a striking contrast against the black plate. The neon pink radish slices made another appearance here.The poached eggs, caramelised onion, pulled pork, and avocado were layered atop a thick-cut sourdough slice. The sourdough was not toasted, so it was soft, apart from the crusty edges. The bread had a good chew, and a slight sourdough tang. The poached eggs had runny yolks. The pulled pork was moist, and the meat fibres came apart easily. It had meaty flavour, without being gamey, and the sauce had a slight tartness to counter potential heaviness of the meat. We enjoyed the potato hash in particular. The squat cylinder of thinly shredded potato was crisp on the outside, and the nest of potato strips soft and lightly held together inside. Its construction was more like a little rosti than the denser typical hash brown made of potato cubes.
Overall, Wow Breakfast has promise. The coffee needs work. The dishes we tried, though not perfect, were tasty, and they certainly plate up well. They have created a nice setting that no doubt will be a draw for those who like taking pictures, either of themselves or food. It is also dog-friendly, with a penned area in the outside section for patrons to park their pets.
Food: 3/4 (but 2.5 if you include the coffee)
Price point: Breakfast items $15.90 to $20.90 for more than toast and spreads (our dishes were $18.90 each). Lunch items $15.50 to $24.90.
Value: Alright (for food).
Address: Shop 11, 205 Oxford Street, Bulimba
Phone: 07 3062 7218
Website: Wow Breakfast