A few months ago, I was suitably devastated to hear one of my favourite spots in the city, Venn Bar and Cafe, was closing down. It had a regular haunt for a while, one of those places where you felt just as at home having an easy breakfast before work, to having a couple of glasses wine after work on a Friday (or any day of the week really!). Plus, the avocado butter was insanely good. Unfortunately it all had to come to an end, but it wasn’t all bad news as it soon re-opened under Andy Freeman’s management as The Flour Factory and looked like it was shaping up once again to be a fun little spot.
Grabbing a mid morning coffee there recently, I noticed that a small breakfast menu had popped up that wasn’t around when they opened. Besides a few staples like eggs on toast and granola, what really caught my eye was a breakfast hotdog ($13.50). Now, hotdogs feature rather extensively on The Flour Factory’s lunchtime menu, but a breakfast hotdog was another story all together. Simply described as having eggs, bacon and the works, I was intrigued as to how this would work. With this in mind, Ollie and I hopped out of bed a bit earlier than usual this week, and got ourself over to The Flour Factory to try the delights that were on offer.
When we got there at about 7.20, the place was mostly empty and we chose to sit outside to take advantage of the relatively cool morning. We ordered at the counter (although I think they will take your order at your table if you wish) and settled ourselves down.
Seeing as I have embarked on an effort to put more healthy food into my body throughout January with the aim of changing some long term habits, I decided the breakfast hotdog probably wasn’t the meal for me that morning (despite my heart telling me otherwise). Luckily, Ollie was coming along with me and I could convince him to have that, while I had something slightly healthier – the 6 seed honey baked granola with yoghurt and fruit ($7.50). I realise this was probably full of sugar and not as healthy as I would like to believe, but at least it had some fruit right? I chose to have this accompanied by a coffee ($4), while Ollie, who doesn’t need caffeine to function like a normal human being in the morning, ordered an apple juice (approx $6).
The apple juice was well worth the price we paid – served in a generous sized glass, it had a strong, zesty flavour and tasted as though it had been freshly squeezed from some granny smith apples. It was so refreshing, and I would go so far as to say it might do an even better job at waking you up than a coffee.
My coffee was very pleasant, smooth, creamy and served at room temperature as I normally find they are here. The waitress had splashed a little over the side of the first one she bought out, and although I would have been entirely happy with it she insisted in going in and making another which added to the big tick The Flour Factory got for great service.
The food was bought out very promptly – I doubt there was even 10 minutes between ordering and having the food put down in front of us. This was probably helped along by the fact that we were there very early, and that they have a small, simple breakfast menu, but it was appreciated nonetheless.
First out was Ollie’s meal, which looked as though it was going to fill all expectations.
With soft, buttery scrambled eggs inside, a reasonable amount of bacon, a crispy fried sausage and the requisite tomato sauce, this was a hotdog that inspired a lot of envy. So much so that I broke my no-bread-for-January rule for a sneaky bite. I know the saying is ‘better to have had a bite and tasted than to never have eaten at all’ (or something along those lines), but I’m not sure whether that small bite relieved me of my food envy or compounded it. The bread was incredibly light and fluffy (or is that just the deprivation talking?) which meant that the dish as a whole didn’t feel too heavy.
I cant complain too much about missing out though, because my granola was pretty amazing, and an absolute steal – given it only cost $7.50 I couldn’t believe how big the bowl was! Fresh, brightly coloured fruits including blueberries, raspberries, pear and mandarin and a generous dollop of vanilla yoghurt covered the yummy honey granola beneath. The acidity in the fruit did a good job of cutting through the sweetness of the yoghurt, and the crunchy granola along with the almonds, pistachios and dried apricots in the granola made for a winning flavour and texture combination. This is definitely a fresh summer dish I would go back for.
Breakfast at The Flour Factory was a big success, thanks to the no fuss menu with simple food and ingredients served flawlessly. My only complaint for the morning would be that the music, inside and outside, was a little loud for the early hours of the morning – or maybe I’m just getting old! Now the only thing left to do is re-visit in the evening for some charcuterie and sherry in the upstairs bar.