I’d say out of all the restaurants and cafe’s that I dine at I only actually end up blogging about a quarter of them. I always have the best of intentions to do all these posts and then time gets the better of me. One thing I do find that in order to write these posts I need to be in the ‘zone’ so to speak. There must be no noise (especially not wind chimes) or other distractions in the nearby vicinity when I decide to get my laptop out and do something other than stalk people on Facebook or make a vain attempt to log into my work email.
I’m not one of those people that could ever study with headphones on or the TV in the background. When I was studying at uni the only time I was actually able to get any study done at all was when I took my pen, paper and bag of textbooks to the Cairns City Library and basked in the silence of like-minded people. Even then I found myself staring out the window all too often.
When I was in Grade 6 I played soccer in an all girls team. We were terrible and only got one goal all year – unfortunately against another team from the same school. We screamed like a bunch of girls none the less. My dad would claim that our pathetic goal scoring abilities were not aided by the fact that during our games I was more concerned with who was playing on the field next to us than my own game. So the point of my story is that my attention span is about that of a gold fish. It’s not my fault that I need to hear the deafening sound of tinnitus in my ears before I can actually concentrate on writing a post and unfortunately for me lately that’s been few and far between. Lucky for me I’m currently on the other side of Australia with nothing but time on my hands (in the evening anyway) and having run out of episodes of Ray Donovan I guess I have no other choice but to concentrate on writing a post about what has recently become one of my favourite cafes to visit in Cairns…
After a late Sunday coffee and homemade lemonade at one of Edge Hill’s newest (ok newish) cafe’s, Ten One Twenty, I vowed to return the next day for lunch since the menu sounded ridiculously enticing. Sadly for me though the next day was Monday and Ten One Twenty isn’t open on Monday’s. Tuesday it was! Named after it’s address on Collins Avenue Ten One Twenty is the newest brainchild of the good folks at Caffiend. On Ten One Twenty’s Facebook page it’s touted as a gelati and espresso bar but after visiting for lunch last week I found the food was also worth a mention.
MS had promised to take his elderly father out for lunch before he left for work later that afternoon. It’s something we both like to do about once a month since his dad isn’t very mobile and doesn’t get the chance to get out much so he gets a bit lonely. A little after midday the three of us shuffled into Ten One Twenty and took a seat at one of the tables near the window. We had a look over the menu whilst not so secretly trying to figure out what meals the two ladies next to us were eating – in the end they overheard us talking about their food and kindly divulged what they had ordered, followed by how delicious it was. Finally we all made a decision and I moseyed on up to the counter, next to the large cabinet of baked sweets, to order lunch and coffee for the three of us.
Like clockwork the coffees came out first of all and with a smile from the guy that took my order. A friendly guy with good calves to boot. Another 10 or so minutes later our meals arrived. MS had ordered the Poached Free Range Chicken, Chilli Mayo, Tarragon and Rocket Gourmet Toastie for AU$11.90. $11.90 is a little on the steep side for a toastie in my humble opinion but I guess you are also paying for their prime location in Edge Hill. I’ll admit I did have a taste of MS’ toastie and it was jam packed with flavour – plenty of sweetness from the Chilli Mayo to go with the bitterness of the rocket. MS gobbled his toastie up that fast that I’m not sure if it even touched the sides going down. It was probably only a light meal for a man his size but more than enough for the average eater.
Over on my side of the table I had ordered the dish that I spied on the menu two days prior that prompted my stealthy return – the Healthy Green Salad with Raw Kale, Broccoli, Corn, Herbs, Preserved Lemon (AU$14.50), plus I added some Poached Chicken for an extra $4.50. When it arrived I did think it was a little bit smaller than what I had pictured in my head. This salad was the best salad I have had in a long time. The flavours were subtle but it was lovely and fresh with a beautiful mix of crunchy veggies, cherry tomatoes and herbs with small pieces of poached chicken flaked amongst it. I have to admit that this is only the second time I have ever eaten kale. The first was a shitty attempt at making kale chips in my oven at home. They ended up tasting like a big bowl of salty ash. This time my kale experience was much more enjoyable and I am keen to get back and try Ten One Twenty’s breakfast version with a poached egg on top in place of the chicken.
MS’ dad, who shall go by the alias of Papa S, had chosen the Japanese Style Smashed Chilli Egg on Sourdough with Ponzu Cucumber and Zucchini Salad (AU$15.90). I’m not quite sure why he chose a dish with chilli in it because he can’t really handle chilli that well. He then proceeded to add extra chilli from the small bottle of chilli sauce that was placed on our table – before tasting his lunch mind you. He’s a little forgetful in his old age bless him but he did get a nice little surprise with his first mouthful, and second, and third. etc, etc. Not quite sure why this dish was called Japanese Style Smashed Chilli Eggs because I thought they somewhat resembled what I would call ‘Scrambled Eggs’ but hey they still looked great. His dish was also lightly scattered with Goji Berries – at least that’s what MS and I thought they were. Funnily enough Papa S swore they were kidney beans. I can assure you they definitely weren’t but MS and I weren’t about to correct with him and were just happy to leave him enjoy his lunch – kidney beans and all. After we had all finished our lunch Papa S raved about this Chilli Eggs. You know the ones sprinkled with ‘Kidney Beans’? It’s easy to tell when he likes something because he raves about how ‘lovely’ it was time and time again.
It doesn’t take a foodie like me to know there is more than a handful of places of go in Edge Hill for breakfast, lunch and a caffeine fix but Ten One Twenty is my pick of places to go. Best part is it’s not overwhelmingly busy unlike a couple of other popular places in Edge Hill – they shall remain nameless. Although this was only the first time I had been to Ten One Twenty for food I have been there multiple times for coffee and always found the service friendly and efficient. The atmosphere is relaxed with a rustic but eclectic vibe and an interesting mix of people coming and going including plenty of families stopping by for a scoop or two of gelato. The food at Ten One Twenty is simple, fresh, innovative and a little bit fancy all at the same time. Another thing to look forward to other than gelati sandwiches and ‘sketti jaffles’ (with two different types of cheese) is their gelati parties including live DJ’s on Saturday afternoons. Get amongst it!
Ten One Twenty Café
10/120 Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4032 1010
Opening Hours: Tues – Sat 7am – 4.30pm, Sun 8am – 4.30pm