It’s not easy to find good brunch places in Canberra. To be a truly decent brunch place, a cafe has to be worth getting out of bed for.
Mocan and Green Grout is one such place, although their serving staff could probably do with a bit less attitude. The menu has some solid staples with a twist – rose scented granola with rhubarb yoghurt, spicy baked beans with labneh and tripoli baked eggs with hummus, to name a few.
Set in a corner of an apartment building, the decor is vintage industrial and would have no trouble fitting in any Melbourne back alley or Sydney side street. French strawberry picking baskets are scattered in amongst the plants and the cafe even has it’s own little garden boasting tomatoes and a variety of other herbs. In their spare time, just because – they hand make bicycle frames. But be warned, they’ll set you back around the $1750 mark.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the naked man’s butt in the background, it’s a sculpture by award-winning artist Tim Kyle.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Mocan & Green Grout is that the kitchen is the centrepiece of the restaurant – a giant bench is set in the middle of the serving space and staff prepare meals surrounded by customers.
It boasts a takeaway espresso bar too, and the coffee ain’t half bad. – N puts it on par with Hideout and Harvest. His short mac looked a perfect 30ml and was just stained with foam – just how it should be.
We ordered grilled chorizo, fried free range eggs, corn and avocado ($16). I must admit I was disappointed by the portion size – there was only half a chorizo, two dollops of avocado puree and a smattering of corn – but the eggs were well-cooked and perfectly oozy in the middle, and it’s worth noting that the chorizo wasn’t your average supermarket variety. It was a small serve and satisfying, but not quite filling. My friend who ordered it had to have a follow on second breakfast.
This was followed by spicy baked beans with labneh ($14) which was served on sourdough. The baked beans were well seasoned and had a good kick of spice, and were undoubtedly some of the best homemade baked beans I’ve had out.
Lastly we had Tripoli baked eggs with hummus, spiced radish and yoghurt ($15). It’s a good twist on traditional baked eggs, and the eggs were lovely and oozy in the middle.
All things considered, Mocan & Green Grout is a cool new dining venue with a interesting menu of twists on brunch favourites.
Is it good, or good for Canberra? It’s good, and you’d be happy with this in any major city. Prices are reasonable; all menu items were under $20 – with the trade off being that portions were a bit small for my liking. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re up for contending with the sullen faces of staff who seem very inconvenienced by your choice of dining at their cafe.
Mocan & Green Grout
19 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton
+614 0652 5229
Monday to Saturday 7am to 6pm, Sunday 8am to 4pm