Smashed avocado and fetta on toast has come into focus recently as the cause of Australia’s housing affordability problems. And you can see why. Either embellished with roasted tomatoes, poached egg and dukkha, or served simply by itself; what’s not to love about this dish? But housing in Canberra is the most affordable in country, so how does that affect the quality of our smashed avocado? I set out to investigate, sampling smashed avo from the hipster inner-north, unaffordable inner-south and the suburbs. Here’s what I discovered.
Fox & Bow
I started in the suburbs at Farrer’s Fox & Bow. Here smashed avo is called Fit Fox and is served on spelt toast, topped with roasted heirloom tomatoes, hazelnut dukkha and served with whipped Meredith goat’s cheese fetta on the side (see above). It is delicious and, if you have kids, can be eaten in relative peace as the kids shoot hoops or hit a tennis ball against a wall in the lane the cafe opens onto [assuming the ACT Government hasn’t yet taken the basketball hoop away, see our story: Save Fox & Bow’s basketball hoop from the fun police]. Find out more at: foxandbow.com.au
At old Kingston’s Penny University, the smashed avo (pictured at top) is served with chevre on nutty toasted dark rye bread, topped with charred corn and quinoa tabouleh, drizzled with chilli oil to give the avocado a little bite, and served with a 65/65 egg … If you have swapped going out for brunch for a mortgage, you may not know what a 65/65 egg is. It is an egg slowly poached in its shell resulting in a silky smooth white and a yolk that is moist but not runny. It’s an amazing dish. Find out more at: pennyuniversitycafe.com
Lonsdale Street Roasters
Arriving in Braddon mid-Sunday afternoon, Elk and Pea’s kitchen had closed, so I headed to Lonsdale Street Roasters as a staple of the Braddon cafe scene instead. This cafe serves two variations of smashed avo: LSR Avocado Toast, and Quinoa and Avocado Toast (both above). The LSR Avocado Toast is the stronger of the two dishes, served with roast tomatoes, roquette, salsa and olive oil. Despite an enticing menu description for the Quinoa and Avocado Toast, which is served with Spanish onion, corn, tomato, coriander, lemon juice and Brazilian kiss peppers, I found the dish a little dry and lacking in flavour. Both dishes could have done with a more generous serving of avocado. Find out more at: lonsdalestreetroasters.com/eatery
If you prefer your smashed avocado understated, try Lava in Phillip. It serves a simple but delicious version of smashed avo and feta on toast, egg and bacon can be added if you like. This place is a staple for me because of its proximity to kids’ music schools, reading clinics and dance studios. It has a relaxed atmosphere and great coffee. Find out more at: facebook.com/Lava.Espresso.Bars
Fyshwick Markets (DIY smashed avo)
Finally, for those who want their smashed avo and mortgage too, a great option is to buy the ingredients at the markets. Here’s my version from the Fyshwick Markets, with olive sourdough from Crust Bakery, avocado and roquette from Wiffens, and Persian Fetta from the Deli Planet. Find out more at: fyshwickfreshfoodmarkets.com.au
While the best smashed avo on this list did come from the unaffordable inner-south (maybe Bernard Salt has a point), it was closely followed by the suburbs. But let me know, where do you go for smashed avocado in Canberra?