We haven’t visited too many cafés since we returned from Melbourne in April. Not that there has been a lack of options; this island has seen dozens of new cafés, with more than a handful opening every month. We had such great luck with the food and coffee down under that we didn’t want our lucky streak to end. Is it obvious that we don’t have much faith in local cafés anymore? Oops.
But we have been hearing good things about Rouse since they opened earlier in the year. So one Sunday morning, since we didn’t have an early badminton session (you must realise that our activities are now planned around our badminton sessions), we headed down to Dunlop Street for brunch. The café opens at 11am and despite spending some time looking for a parking lot, we were the first customers! We had our pick of tables, mini yay. We liked the interior; the distressed/industrial look can get a little tired/pseudo but I think it’s done quite nicely here. But maybe I’m really just partial to peeling paint on walls.
It’s nice not to see eggs benedict on a café menu. We ordered the café favourites: Crabby Patty and Quinoa Quake. While the food took a while to arrive (I suppose the kitchen just opened), the two dishes were both pretty good. The crab patties came topped with a mango salsa with a Caesar salad on the side. Solid patties. None of those watered down shredded crab meat sticks masquerading as the real deal here. The sauce on the patties gets a little too spicy after a while, so if you can’t take too much heat (we couldn’t), ask for less sauce.
The quinoa quake came with smoked salmon and a poached egg, with a side of baby spinach (I think). The patty had a nice crisp, but once the poached egg had done a number on it, became pretty soggy. I would have preferred a sunny side up. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed it.
A note on parking: while street parking is available just outside the café and on neighbouring streets, unless you are lucky or are gung-ho enough to park illegally, it’s quite the feat to find an available lot. Not that that would be a very big deterrent for us heading back for more.