Candy Cafe Bar, Grafton St
Last week MS and I were looking for somewhere else to go for breakfast (somewhere other than our usual options anyway) so we decided on new cafe Candy in Grafton St. Candy is a new venture by owners of The Raw Prawn on the Esplanade, a restaurant that I have been to many times for an enjoyable and scrumptious lunch. This new little cafe/bar is located a couple of doors down from the ever busy Lilypad Cafe with a couple of sets of chairs and tables out the front, a big open window looking onto the coffee machine and heaps of chairs and tables inside. Situated where the old Italian restaurant Il Sorrento was (if my memory serves me correctly), Candy has been newly fitted out with green artificial topiary walls on the shop front and green artificial planter pots around the tables on the footpath as well as inside, just for something different. The fitout, although unfinished, seems to have a bit of vintage theme to it and you certainly can’t miss the place when you walk past.
MS and I perused the menu, which seemed to be both a breakfast and lunch menu in one. There was a total of 14 items on the menu, 6 of which could be considered breakfast items and there is even a selection for the kiddies such as a Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Lamb Sticks with Cucumber, Chicken Skewers and Grilled Fish with Salad (don’t know how many kids eat cucumber and salad but hey) all for AU$9. I was tossing up between The B & E Stack – Bacon and Egg Stack, Tomato Relish, Aioli and Toasted Turkish for AU$11 or The Madam – Mushroom Tart, Roast Garlic, Thyme, Spinach, Poached Egg, Pesto Goats Curd for AU$16 and after some umming and ahhing I ordered The Madam. MS went with the closest thing to a big breakfast that he could find on the menu so aptly named The Usual – Bacon, Poached Eggs, Garlic Mushrooms, Rosemary Tomato, Black Pudding and Truffle Oil for AU$15 but being the big sook that he is decided to forgo the Black Pudding in exchange for some extra bacon as confirmed by the waiter. I was happy to steal the Black Pudding off his plate and eat it myself but he wanted extra bacon. We ordered two cappuccinos and waited for our breakfast. Our cappuccinos took a little while to arrive and when they did the Barista apologised and explained that he was still getting used to the coffee machine. We appreciated the apology but our coffees were cold. One thing I did notice about the coffees was the ornate collector stirring spoons that came out on the saucer. Very cute and a nice little added touch to go with the vintage theme of the restaurant.
Our meals arrived not long after. MS thought his breakfast was very disappointing and I tend to agree with him. I’m not sure if they gave him extra bacon or just took the black pudding off because if that is the chefs idea of extra bacon well he is going to have some tough opposition from the bacon lovers out there. The bacon that MS did have was nice thick cut bacon but he would have liked just a couple more rashers for the price.
My meal was small but nice. I guess I had different expectations when I read ‘Tart’ on the menu. I was expecting some sort of pastry tart but instead it was a tart made only out of mushrooms (I know that is also considered a tart in some culinary circles). The mushrooms that made up the ‘tart’ however were big and juicy and the pesto goat’s curd matched perfectly with them. But, one of the things that I do judge a restaurant or cafe on is their ability to poach an egg properly. Poached eggs should be runny. When you pierce a poached egg with your knife the yolk should ooze out of it onto the plate. Unfortunately the eggs that we were both served were more like hard boiled eggs and there was certainly no oozing yolk in sight.
All in all the meals were good but the servings were very small and we were both pretty disppointed by this. In stark contrast, the Lilypad Cafe next door serves ridiculously large breakfasts and although I wouldn’t expect the same from Candy they may need to up the ante a little if they are going to try and steal some of their customers. I know that the owners are still waiting on their liquor license to be approved and are also planning on opening up for dinner in the near future. The fitout of the restaurant hadn’t been completed yet and I did noticed that the place looked very unfinished. Just a suggestion but maybe they should have waited until the Barista’s were trained up properly and the fitout had been finished before opening their doors. I will come back to try the enticing lunch menu in a couple of months when they have smoothed out a few creases. Having said all that heres hoping that considering the success of The Raw Prawn, Candy will come into its own soon enough.
Candy Cafe Bar
70 Grafton St, Cairns QLD
Ph: (07) 4031 8816