Breakfast at Leaf Espresso Bar

Having lived in one area the last four years has made us lazy and complacent about our repertoire of eateries. Rationally, I know Brisbane’s food scene is exploding and we should do our little city justice with more exploration, but it sometimes seems so tedious to hop in the car and hunt distant suburbs for good eats on the weekends. What if they’re closed? What if they don’t have a table? And heaven forbid, what if the food or service is crap?

Ever feel like that? If change makes you gulp, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

But what if a place is not too far from family (therefore there’s an alternative excuse for heading out that way), is open from 6am for breakfast and has some pretty snazzy photos of cute baristas? Sound tempting enough?

Leaf Espresso Bar is truly a hidden gem. It wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to think it’s unlikely anyone who does not live in the suburb would think to find this cafe bar, because it is well nestled in the greenery of mature tree lined suburbia. Even the frontage seemed initially unassuming. Leaf Espresso Bar sits at the end of a very short row of shops, so enjoys a corner office with outdoor decking, umbrella protected al fresco seating. It’s only when you walk past the counter and kitchen that you get a glimpse of the Nordic interior design elements within – round glass globe bulbs dangle like snow globes from between the massive tree branch suspended from the ceiling and the Christmas ornaments still attached to the branch.

Leaf Espresso Bar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coffees that Saturday morning seemed extremely popular, so it made sense that Mr Barista would face out towards the clientele to maximise his cheeky smile and warm ‘What can I get you?’. Oh, if only I wasn’t a married woman…

But at 8am, coffee should never be a wallflower – breakfast is practically compulsory on an empty stomach. Leaf Espresso Bar’s breakfast selection is wide and varied.

For the simple breakfast customer, there were a selection of Danishes, croissants (regular, icing sugar dusted and chocolate) and muffins on top of the cool display. We picked up a chocolate croissant, a blueberry muffin and a custard latticed pastry to take to the in-laws for morning tea. The croissant doesn’t have that crisp buttery flake that reminds one of dry autumn leaves as a very traditional croissant, but it is still quite light and fluffy. And the custard latticed pastry didn’t last 2 seconds.

Leaf Espresso Bar

Leaf Espresso Bar

Leaf Espresso Bar

If you wanted to up it a notch, there were sausage rolls, sandwiches and bacon and egg muffins that one could order to be heated and consumed on-site or whisked away in a paper bag.

Leaf Espresso Bar

Leaf Espresso Bar

But if you really wanted to go super swanky, you can order off the menu. The menu items are by no means ho-hum. There were the classics – raisin toast with maple butter, mix and match muesli with seasonal fruit, avocado on toast with ricotta and lemon… And then there’s the slightly fancy smancy stuff – breakfast bruschetta (sardines with caper, dill, radish and lemon relish or poached pear and almond with cinnamon creme friache), mushroom medley wilted spinach with parmesan and poached egg on ciabatta and balsamic glaze, etc.

Leaf Espresso Bar

Potato pancakes with smoked salmon, grilled asparagus with a salsa verde. AUD$17.50

The SO was keen to have fish and decided to take the great adventure one step further by ordering the potato pancakes with smoked salmon, grilled asparagus with a salsa verde. We’d never had potato pancake before and I conjured up the idea it might’ve been like a Spanish omelette. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Leaf Espresso BarThe potato pancake’s smooth and firm texture was much more ‘firm tofu’ than chunky potato and definitely not as punchy as a Spanish omelette flavour-wise, but with the smoky crunch of asparagus and salty salmon, it made for a much better complementary companion on the plate.

 

Leaf Espresso Bar

Breakfast Bean Burrito with corn avocado salsa and poached eggs. AUD$14.90

I went with the breakfast Bean Burrito with corn avocado salsa and poached eggs upon recommendation that it was a popular breakfast item. When finally presented before me, my nose twitched at the strong whiff of cumin. I personally love cumin and have no qualms about flavouring anything with this aromatic spice, but if you’re expecting a plain ole baked bean flair, this one might be a surprise for you. I highly recommend splitting open the poached eggs to allow this golden ooze soak into everything.

Leaf Espresso Bar

Leaf Espresso Bar

Zucchini hash. AUD$4

The biggest disappointment was the zucchini hash. I had noticed them frying on the grill when I walked past the kitchen and their angry sizzle coupled with the charring aroma was too tempting to ignore. For AUD$4, we got two discs, which had a gorgeous crisp crunch to the outside, but was still soft gooey batter on the inside. The flavour was amazing, so I’m undecided if the uncooked batter centres is a forgivable trespass.

Service was inundated by the morning rush for caffeine, so it was understandably slower. But we didn’t have anything else planned for the day, so waiting a little on a Saturday is just a good excuse to kick back and relax.

 

Leaf Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

 

Disclaimer: We breakfasted as invited guests of Leaf Espresso Bar and Publicity Depot.