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 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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 😀
- 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