Across the road from the Belconnen Arts Centre and with pretty views of Lake Ginninderra, Black Pepper scores highly on location.
It also meets my key criteria for a brunch venue: it offers all day breakfast on weekends. Commit this to memory for the next time you need a late morning fry up after a big night.
Black Pepper is a regular haunt for runners and cyclists at breakfast time, so you can turn up in activewear with confidence too. That said, the interior is more sophisticated than your average café, and I imagine it attracts a better-dressed clientele at lunchtime.
On this visit, I arrived red-faced and a few minutes after my running mates having accidentally taken a wrong turn on the other side of Lake Ginninderra and run 2km more than I’d intended. It took me a while to catch my breath and get my bearings, and by the time I was ready to order, everyone else’s food was arriving.
The café offers table service, but no one noticed my late arrival so after a few minutes I went to the counter to request a menu, then back to the counter to order. On the plus side, this meant I was able to check out everyone else’s meals before making my own selection. With 18 dishes to choose from, I needed a recommendation.
The Smashing avocado looked great but the report was the avocado had been smashed a fraction too much, losing its texture, and that the dish was a little bland in comparison with examples elsewhere.
One friend had ordered the strawberry crepes, and having just burnt 800 calories on my run I figured I could treat myself. They looked delicious on her plate, with lots of fresh strawberries as well as a strawberry compote filling and a little pot of cream on the side. I can’t be sure but I thought I spotted a sprinkling of icing sugar as well.
When mine arrived a few minutes later they featured a few less strawberries, no pot of cream and no icing sugar garnish. Was this my punishment for ordering from the till rather than waiting my turn? It seemed very odd. Maybe they ran out of cream, but if so, shouldn’t they have asked me whether I’d rather change my order?
After one bite of the rather dry crepe, I spotted a short black hair underneath it and lost my appetite for the rest. To their credit, the staff were very apologetic, assured me that kitchen team all wore caps (they did, I could see through to the window), and did not charge me for the crepes. These things happen, I know, and I’m sorry for Black Pepper that it happened to them on the day RiotACT was passing through.
The hot chocolate was perfect and everyone else at our table was very happy with their meals. Despite my experience on this occasion, I have enjoyed myself previously and will go back. The team are friendly, the ingredients fresh and the menu modern with plenty of delicious-sounding choices.
Black Pepper is available for functions. It can seat 70 people inside, or 100 standing, with 30 people outside. The outdoor tables looking out across the lake look like a great spot to celebrate Christmas or an occasion with friends on a balmy evening. They also offer a catering service and will deliver to events in the Belconnen Town Centre free of charge.
Where: 63/1 Beissel Street, Belconnen ACT 2617
When: 8am-4pm (breakfast till 12pm weekdays and all day on weekends, lunch 12pm-3pm)
Phone: 6251 0922
Got a brunch recommendation? The Brunch Run prefers cafes near running tracks so we can burn calories before we treat ourselves. Next week, we’ll be at Westside Acton Park after a run around Lake Burley Griffin.