Bread and Circus | Alexandria

I think it’s safe to say that in this day and age, the zeitgeist of eating healthily and its association with stigmas of severe compromises in taste and enjoyment is long behind us. Most readers are probably well aware of many ways in which they can improve their eating, with minimal to no consequences to its recreational aspect.

Restaurant menus have become more health-conscious, salads have become more attractive, with more thought put into their creation that can sometimes even make signature dishes. Many cafes promote healthy eating, but then you have Bread and Circus.

Quite possibly the epitome of great tasting food that doesn’t bust another notch on the belt.

Date Last Visited: 18/4/14
Address: 2-3/21 Fountain St Alexandria, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): daily plate

What do the words “wholefoods canteen” elicit? For many, it’s a healthy, wholesome meal. For me, it evokes memories of giant meals, regardless of health. After all, I can only be “whole” when I’m “full” 😛

Bread and Circus

Bread and Circus attempts to be a bit of both – great food, ample portions, but also with an emphasis on healthy eating. Does such a combo even exist?

Bread and Circus

Queues, the signature bane of any place worth its weight in salt

Quite possibly, given the queues at the place. Yes, this is another one of those – love them for what they signify, hate them for their existence. Fortunately, our wait was less than 15 minutes, which is comfortably within tolerance.

Bread and Circus

Produce. Produce everywhere

With the emphasis on wholefoods comes an emphasis on produce. There’s lots of stuff you can just buy off the shelf here – primarily a large variety of condiments, but also several pastries to boot. Apparently some of the cakes are even famous!

Bread and Circus

Plenty of seating, but also plenty of people

The cafe’s size is decent, which I’m most thankful for – a major gripe I have with other cafes, that doesn’t exist here. The brick facade, while getting quite old (I mean that literally, not that I’m getting sick of it), actually suits B&C very well, given its location in industrial Alexandria.

The menu changes – and I kid you not – every single day. You know you’re serious about your daily fresh produce if that’s how often you revamp.

Bread and Circus

Cappuccino ($4.5) & Something green – kale, spinach, apple, lemon & pineapple ($6)

Juice is always on the menu, but the ingredients always vary. Our daily version of the something green included kale, spinach, apple, lemon & pineapple. This is the juice you get to delude yourself into thinking you’re drinking pure health gold.

Kidding – it really is quite healthy. One problem: the taste was far too sour for our liking! There’s a specific audience that’s into this stuff; people who eat lemons and unripe pineapples for fun belong to this group. Seriously, far too sour for us. You may get a variant with less of the sour stuff on your visit, so be sure to take a look if you’re still curious.

Bread and Circus

Never thought pink would look so good

Coffee is a constant in the changing menu. I only order cappucinos when I visit cafes (lattes only at work), as I’m a sucker for the art. Can’t complain when it looks so darn good, eh? Taste-wise, I felt it could have used a bit more strength, but that’s more to do with how used to double shots I am by now.

Bread and Circus

“The Feast” Left – “The Daily Plate” – slow roasted lamb shoulder w/lemon thyme, garlic & served w/daily salads ($27) Middle – caramelised fennel & pumpkin salad ($10) Right – sandwich box: mustard mad biodynamic egg salad w/avocado & tomato ($13)

Look, I’ll forgive you if you just scrolled down to this section – it’s pretty much the food porn you came for.

The combination of the pink crockery and the sheer volume and colours of the food makes it one of the most amazing sights to come across a cafe table for me in a really long time, or ever, really.

After several solid minutes of marvelling at, and taking photos of the food, we finally dig in.

I start with the daily plate (yep, different every day!), which comprises of lamb shoulder, brown rice and a delicious low-fat coleslaw of two cabbages.

Yep, it’s amaze. The salads are crunchy, full of texture and flavour, while the brown rice provide a gelatinous texture that went with the cabbage very well.

The lamb was super tender, though I found a fair bit of fat on several pieces which should have been trimmed. Serving the lamb a bit warmer would have been nice as well – I’m just not used to tepid lamb. The other downside is that the dish actually does get somewhat oily, so it’s not exactly water-level healthy – live a little.

If you’re at B&C for lunch, my solid recommendation is to get whatever the daily plate is, provided you’ve no disagreements with any of the ingredients on it.

Bread and Circus

Perfect for grabbing and going

B&C also does a series of sandwich boxes. The name doesn’t like – it’s literally a sandwich in a box…with a twist. It’s not made for you – so you can eat it however you like. A deconstructed sandwich? That might be a bit far, but a salad with bread seems like a good moniker as well.

The mustard egg saladn is the star here, with a classic egg mustard mayo, it harmonises with its salad like a good geometric mean should (terrible math jokes aside…). The bread is great too, made onsite, and, well, can you go wrong with bread from a cafe which employs it as its namesake?

The make-your-own sandwich box would make a terrific vegetarian (though not vegan) option. I can’t guarantee it’ll be there when/if you visit, but plenty of choice is always available.

Bread and Circus

To the beach now?

B&C also does their salads for small or large portions, depending if you want it as a side or as a main. We took advantage with a side portion of the pumpkin & caramelised fennel salad. I totally digged this salad, as I’m quite fond of pumpkin, and fennel, when caramelised, tastes deliciously sweet (the texture is why I love caramlised shallots, leeks etc. as well).

Bread and circus

Must return

Still think healthy eating a bore? Please, only because you haven’t been to Bread and Circus yet. You there yet?

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

Awesome:

  • Healthy eating never tasted so good

Not so Awesome:

  • Lamb is not as good as the dish it sits in
  • Ever changing menu means dishes can vary in quality
  • Traumatised by anything green going forwards

7.5/10 Caesars

Bread & Circus on Urbanspoon

24 comments on “Bread and Circus | Alexandria”

  1. Keren (Just One More Spoon) Reply

    I love Bread and Circus. I’ve been there quite a number of times and to be frank, the food has been consistently good! Their salad never disappoint but I agree with your comment about their green smoothie, I’m not a fan. Mine was a bit watery and not as ‘green’ as I’d like it to be. As far as healthy eating goes… yep this is the place to go too, if you don’t mind waiting and paying a bit more for fresh seasonal produce.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Chopin,

      I assure you that you will not have to wait that long at Bread & Circus, unless you go at the most inopportune of times. We went on a long weekend, and even then the wait was only 15 minutes.

  2. Padaek Reply

    Great place – looks so hip/buzzing/colourful! Food looks fresh and delicious – love the idea of a deconstructed sandwich in a box! 😀

  3. missklicious Reply

    yum! those salads look amazing! not sure if I’m in the minority, but my favourite lunches usually consist of a giant salad. Must get around to trying bread & circus!

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