Name: Urban Food
Type: Cafe and store
Food et: Hash with bacon and eggs, side of toast, juice, coffee
A friend of mine once told me that her favourite place to "hipster watch " was Acton. Colour me intrigued!
I dragged my friend J and her 14 year old daughter to Urban Food for a "relaxed girls brunch out" - mistake number one.
Urban Food cafe is spread out within the store of the same name, a grocery store stocking gourmet items (mind you I only saw normal stuff, like milo, on the shelf). Actually, spread out might be a generous term, more like 'squashed in'. There are tables of different sizes all over the space, and not much room to walk through it. The space echoes and you can't really hear each other talk, which is not ideal for people like J and I, who talk a lot.
The cafe is packed when we enter on a Sunday around 10:30am. Thankfully I know what Canberrans are like on a Sunday and had the hindsight to book a table. The line to order the food is nearly out the door and we had to line up for a while before placing our order.
If you've read this blog much, you'll know that I am a fan of fried potato - so naturally, I ordered the hash with bacon and eggs. But I'm also a huge sourdough slut, so naturally I also had to get that as a side.
Firstly the main attraction, the hash, was awful. Under cooked (raw potato is not a lovely thing), tasteless and full of onion (which is an ingredient they left off the menu). The hash was also supposed to have bacon in it, but I could only find three tiny pieces in mine. The eggs were fried, pretty standard and hard to get wrong. The toast was served plain with no butter or anything (seriously, who does that?). The best part of the whole dish was the tomato chutney that was served with it, and that was too sweet for my liking.
The meal actually made me feel ill and I was "onion burping" for the rest of the day.
J had the bacon and eggs (served with toast) with a side of mushrooms.
Randomly, mushrooms are not included in any of the meals but cost $5 as a side. They do give you a large portion, but they are cooked with NOTHING. No butter. No salt. Nudda. I like mushrooms, but a big pile of mushrooms can get somewhat bland after a few bites. J happens to be the most Italian person I know, and reacted as if cooking mushrooms without salt was worse than any form of blasphemy.
J's toast was also served without butter, which she couldn't fathom and we ended up grabbing a staff member to get us some butter - even though what they ended up giving us could barely cover one piece. And by the time we got the butter, the toast was stone cold.
J's daughter E decided to get the Tradie's Burger with mushrooms (added to the burger, not on the side.
Turns out simple is best, and this ended up being the best meal of the morning. The burger does what it says on the box, and E was pretty happy with it.
Ironically, the service at Urban Food is really good. Although there is no table service, the staff on the floor where friendly and helpful.
Verdict: Not the kind of place you go for a quiet, lazy Sunday brunch. If you're after a trendy healthy meal - then it's the place for you! Urban Food seems too concerned with what they think people don't want (salt, butter etc) that they end up serving boring food. If people don't want flavour - let them ask for the deductions, don't make everyone suffer!!! And with that sentence I know why I'm so fat. :)