Friday, April 13, 2007

Cream, Cnr Bunda and Genge Streets, Civic

Cream, Cnr Bunda and Genge Streets, Civic
Friday 13 April, 2007

I had been told that the hottest new place in Canberra was Cream. So, this morning I dragged myself out of bed (after a celebration the night before) and walked into Civic for breakfast.

Open for only 5 weeks, the look is sleek and opulent whilst having a relaxed, welcoming feel. The owners describe the place as,

"In a huge, open-plan block on the corner of Bunda and Genge Streets, Cream is a venue that will become an integral part of Canberra's CBD life - offering early-morning take-away coffee, through to breakfast, lunch, dinner, functions and after-work drinks and tapas. Late at night, after dinner guests are invited to enjoy Cream's transformation into an inner city cocktail bar.
The menu offers the classic staples to create, internationally inspired dishes for the most discerning foodie. The food is light, broad-ranging, fresh and affordable.

Securing the future as an enduring favourite, Cream designers have created a 'timeless' art deco fit-out. The fun but conservatively used art deco design was inspired by a bar creators Soc and Omar fell in love with on the Spanish island Majorca, on a reconnaissance trip looking for ideas for their newly-secured restaurant space. A feature custom-built ceiling light is based on a design seen in an art deco-era New York building.

As well as a love of art deco - and food - Soc and Omar share a desire to 'push the boundaries' in regards to hospitality venues in Canberra - raising local standards to meet innovations found in the northern Hemisphere, and in Sydney and Melbourne."

I entered and started flipping through one of the complimentary papers at a raised table. Shortly afterwards I was invited to sit along the side wall and take the paper with me. There was a long cream leather lounge that ran the length of one wall with a range of tables for 2 and more. There was a decent breakfast crowd and I found my place and got settled. The trouble with tables for 2 is that the morning papers are far too large and spill over the sides. I had people on either side of me so had to carefully fold the paper in order to read it.

I was left alone for ages and was starting to think I was invisible before a diner at the other end of the dining space walked up to the barista and asked if was possible to get some service.........this century. Ouch! He did a quick scan of the dining space, called over the wait staff and pointed out 3-4 tables that needed service ASAP. Mine was one of them.

Not surprisingly I couldn't go past the Eggs benedict - free range poached eggs on toast with ham & hollandaise plus coffee. The coffee was seriously good and I ordered another straight away. I got talking with the barista who explained he had moved from Sydney after working at Cafe Clovelly for years (no wonder he knows how to make a good coffee!).

The Eggs benedict was OK. Don't get me wrong I ate it all, however, the eggs were not runny and the toast was a little burnt. Maybe I've had one too many serves of eggs benedict in my time to be objective but I was disappointed. I think I picked badly as nearly everything else that came out from the kitchen looked fabulous.

The service was good and it was fun to watch one of the staff train a new staff member in the art of carrying 3-4 plates at once. The crowd was diverse with plenty of business people, students and tourists. I would definitely return for the coffee and to try something different on their menu.

Cream - Cnr Bunda and Genge Streets, Civic - (02) 6162 1448


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review Steph but I found it surprising that they dare to say they want to go head to head with Sydney and Melbourne.
Atrocious just doesn't do justice to Canberra's eatery.

Rainbow style Asian restaurants that only appeals to Anglo taste bud, why can't they be like Melbourne and Sydney and offer real exotica!.

Not to mention countless inexperienced pubes with their salary package trying to operate restaurant. Of course, you want pedigreed restauranteur not unscrupulous operator who knows nothing about restaurant business.

I do recommend you stay away from Canberra (unless you have good reason to visit, of course)

For every one Canberra open, Melbourne and Sydney will open at least 5-10 similar if not better standard places anyway. Why spend your money in that kind of place ?

FYI, in your next Melbourne visit try
1. Bar Lourinha,
2. Jamon Sushi with their Blackmore Wagyu degustation,
3. Tempura Hajime with their tempura. they only seat 10 people so be assured of satisfaction,
4. Da Noi for Italian. It's like VDM for Italian i.e. no menu.

1:35 am  
Anonymous Me Delev said...

Nice use of the English language Mr or Mrs anonymous.... NOT! After spending some time deciphering your comment it seems you are having a go at the Canberra food & wine seen? Maybe you should get in your little car, make the trip up/or down to Canberra and try out something other than the "cook your own steak" at the Civic Pub. Through work commitments I spend plenty of time in Canberra and can honestly say it is full of some fantastic dining and drinking destinations, admittedly some are easier to find than others but they are there. I have spent over 15 years in the food, wine and entertainment industries and consider my opinion an educated one. I feel for you, get off the band wagon. Mr Delev

2:12 pm  

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