Not a place you just stumble upon. Not a place you will forget.
It was Tuesday.
“Just another café”, I thought, but hey, why not give them a try? It’s not like there’s much else of note in the commercial end of Newstead. Well, I guess there’s the newly revamped Waterloo, but I don’t particularly feel like fighting for service today – and so I mosied on in.
The place is small. There’s no doubt about that. But there’s something about it which isn’t quite… normal. Firstly there’s a chef-lookalike person in the kitchen. If you’ve ever worked in this area, you know this is a rare sight. He surely can’t be real. Secondly, the wait staff are all smiling, and are really friendly. Before I know it, I have a menu in hand, a table, and a glass of water.
I peruse the menu and a few things catch my eye. All day breakfast. Not my thing, but I know a few who would be over the moon. Then I flipped over the menu and there it was – the word, “Chilli”, twice – combined with the word, “Chicken”. This was destiny.
Chilli Chicken with Potato Salad
… and it nearly made my stomach explode. It’s a half chicken AND a choice of salad. It’s tender, succulent, tasty, and they provided an extra bottle of chilli in case I wanted more. They could they read my mind. It’s not spicy hot, just delicious hot, and an hour later I fell into a food coma. The rest is a bit fuzzy and before I knew it…
It was Sunday.
I suggested to the breakfast crew that we give these Symposium folk a chance. They’re new, they’re friendly, and they make great chicken. Surely this would translate to great breakfast? Fortunately it seems on Sundays, they manage to expand their alfresco seating. It makes the place feel much larger and more Sunday.
Once again I examined the menu and realised something was amiss. There were new things that weren’t present on the weekday menu. New and interesting things, and mouth watering things such as a…
Filo Parcel lined with Prosciutto & filled with Creamy Scrambled Eggs, topped with Hollandaise Sauce
An edible pastry cube lined and filled with the things I like, in my mouth. When I read ‘parcel’, I thought triangle, or at most a square – not a deep 3D square!
It tastes as good as it looks and is now one of my favourite breakfast dishes ever.
And then there is this monstrosity.
Ham Soufflé with Wholegrain Mustard & Cheese Sauce
It really is a reverse cheesy hot pocket. Dip the bread into the sauce. Close your eyes as your taste buds are assaulted. Once you have recovered, cut into the pocket. The pocket is ham and eggs. Brilliant.
I’ve been back several times since. I’ve never been disappointed. Their chefs make great food, and once in awhile their ‘quicker’ food cabinet will ‘magic up’ delicious one-off surprises. The young lads at Symposium are friendly, attentive and have an energy about them. I think it’s because they know they have a great thing going – and it’s about time the rest of Brisbane knew that too.
Shop 2/26 Commercial Rd
Fortitude Valley, Queensland, Australia