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Cafe In The House – Breakfast

By ant - 16 March 2009 30

Today I had Breakfast at Cafe In The House, which is the eatery in Old Parliament House.  I was with a group of about 10.

I’ve eaten there before, and always been underwhelmed, and today was no exception.

One standout though was the young lady who was serving, she was excellent: competant and helpful.

Unfortunately we had a young man who while pleasant enough, did not manage to take everyone’s order and did not seem all that motivated to be there. The young chap who was evidently the maitre ‘d showed promise and in time should be very good.

It’s a pleasant venue, indoors and out. It was quite busy this morning, and as lunchtime began and we left, people were flooding in.  The service is reasonably attentive, too.

The food! Well, the breakfast menu is fairly brief. There’s the two poached egg classics, Benedict and Florentine. There’s a sweet pancake thing, and a sweet french toast thing. The people who had these pronounced them OK, although there were no huge raves.  One lady ordered The Muffin Of The Day and some tea, none of which arrived until she re-ordered them. She was underwhelmed with the Muffin Of The Day, sitting all by itself on the plate… not very appetising for breakfast.

I and some others opted for the “Big Breakfast”. Now, at $17 you’d be expecting a pretty opulent breakfast with coffee. Not with this one. In fact, I suspect that it’s made by someone who really isn’t into breakfast.  And coffee wasn’t included, you had to order that separately.

I’ve had big breakfasts, the one at Wilfreds in the National Parks building at Jindabyne is still the stand-out, but essentially when you order something like this, you expect a big tasty wholesome breakky, with buttered toast and nice things.

This was somewhat meagre and grudging. Two small slices of alleged sourdough hid underneath. Some quite nice fried mushrooms but they were really more like lunch mushrooms than breakfast mushrooms. Somewhat austere for breakfast mushrooms. 2 bits of cooked roma tomato, a pile of dryish house baked beans, some unremarkable bacon, and a heated up hash brown much like the ones you buy frozen (it wasn’t house-made, it was moulded).

However, what really irked me was the eggs! I am doomed to have liquid fried eggs whenever I go out for breakfast, it seems.  Steaks should be rare: eggs should only be wobbly and liquid if you ask for them to be so. There’s some creeping egg-snobbery in this town which seems to dictate that fried eggs should wobble on the plate and burst all over the place and gush liquid yellow in all directions when punctured.  This happened at the inaugural Riotact breakfast, and I was careful to ask for my eggs to be cooked fully, please. Nope.

It’s a bit much when the poached egg people have solid eggs and the fried egg people have liquid eggs.

Anyway. It was an underwhelming breakfast.  The coffee was OK, not bitter, not weak, just somewhere in the middle. I had two!

It’s nice how they have papers and magazines lying around for people to look at, that really is a good touch at breakfast.

The venue itself was nice, but once again the food was ordinary and quite overpriced for what it is.

What’s Your opinion?

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30 Responses to
Cafe In The House – Breakfast
Nosey 7:40 pm 16 Mar 09


Thanks for the laugh on an otherwise dull and unhappy day.

Pesty 7:09 pm 16 Mar 09

I guess the breakfast ones need to be smaller or there would not be “muchroom” on the plate?

LaLa 3:37 pm 16 Mar 09

I think the review was fine, I like knowing where not to go but I do have to say…

+4 for runny fried eggs

What’s the difference between breakfast mushies and lunch ones?

Granny 2:12 pm 16 Mar 09

Cake for breakfast! Mmmmmmm! I love how they have trays of donuts there for breakfast too. Amazing and fascinating donuts.

mutley 1:05 pm 16 Mar 09

Muffins were invented so Americans could have cake for breakfast

Granny 12:44 pm 16 Mar 09

I find the food reviews very helpful in deciding where to eat, especially important functions like somebody’s birthday where I really want to get it right.

I had my last birthday at a place reviewed by ant.

I thought the review was very fair and balanced and far from a rant. Whilst I have had two great experiences at Cafe in the House, that is not my kind of breakfast menu and certainly not my idea of a big breakfast so it is helpful for me to know that. We’d be looking at spending $100 as a family with those prices. That’s not nothing, and if you’re going to spend it you want to spend it well – to have a wonderful experience and memories for what you have invested.

I really don’t see that a restaurant review is any different by a member of a public than by a food critic, and is in actual fact probably much kinder.

I love the food reviews – johnboy and ant’s are two of my favourites – and I hope to see many more in the future.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to share that with us.

GB 11:42 am 16 Mar 09

Thanks for the review. I sometimes end up eating at places I would not have chosen myself – particularly when in a group. So previous underwhelmment does not necessarily mean no return business.

Let’s face it, very few places can, or care to, do a breakfast as good as you could cook yourself. So, if I want it just so, I eat at home!

I think you might be a minority of approximately one with your eggs rant. Fried eggs come standard in Oz with solid whites and runny yolks (roughly “sunny side up” is US terms, though definitely with solid whites). Anything else is a special order. If I ordered eggs in Australia without special instructions, and they came solid, I’d send them back. I think you might have to get used to making your special order a special order.

Nambucco Deliria 11:39 am 16 Mar 09

The bastards. Fancy giving you Lunch mushrooms instead of breakfast ones.

Furry Jesus 11:13 am 16 Mar 09

Hmmm. Young male staff lacking motivation in the morning. How strange.

Holden Caulfield 10:38 am 16 Mar 09

+3 for runny eggs.

Danman 10:11 am 16 Mar 09

I’ve eaten there before, and always been underwhelmed, and today was no exception.

One has to question why you went back and furthermore, why you are telling us.
Always been underwhelmed suggests to me that you have been there several occasions previous to this. You sound like Bart Simpson vs Hamster trying to get the electrified muffin.

She was underwhelmed with the Muffin Of The Day, sitting all by itself on the plate… not very appetising for breakfast. – A muffin was ordered – what did you want it to come with ? When I order a muffin, I expect a muffin. If it was an English Muffin, sitting on a plate all on its lonesome, then that is a different story, but it seems you are talking of what us adults call cupcakes.

Also -1 points for the underwhelming overuse of underwhelmed, I found that a little underwhealming.

Maybe you need to change you rpseudonym to (r)ant.

I saw a duck once.

mirage3 9:55 am 16 Mar 09

Runny eggs for me too, can’t see how anyone can eat them hard.

Jim Jones 9:48 am 16 Mar 09

There’s a cafe out at the AIS that does a kickass breakfast, a bit on the expensive side, but well worth it. Their big breakfast has rosti, haloumi and spinach as well as the usual bacon, eggs, toast, tomato, mushrooms kind of thing.

peterh 9:39 am 16 Mar 09

there was an inaugural riotact breakfast? wow! OT, the service i receive at the OPH eatery has always been exemplary. Thoroughly enjoy going there…

grundy 9:27 am 16 Mar 09

I like my fried eggs runny.
And have expected as much with any breakfast I buy out. (And always arrives as such)

You’re just strange!


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