Casual quirky, authentic with an intelligent food offering, Willow & Spoon on busy Samford Road is the sort of café everyone would like to have as their local.
There’s no pretence about the footpath entry which screams suburban café and it’s much the same once you navigate past the tables into the café. The décor is funky recycled meets urban chic with attitude and the staff friendly and efficient.
The vision explodes as you walk through the busy kitchen to more seating at the rear where the tables are set in the large outdoor courtyard which overlooks the back yard. It’s actually the underneath of the house above. There’s totem tennis and a pile of toys for the kids and parking which is a boon in the busy location.
There’s something very Queensland about sitting in cool, dim light on a patchy concrete floor surrounded by a forest of white painted concrete stumps and rabbit warren of multi-level, makeshift rooms.
Generations of Queenslander’s have grown up appreciating this ambiance, not because of its stylish appearance but for the sheer practicality of creating an extra space without much cost which is so much cooler in hot, steamy weather. Throw in an old comfy lounge, a Laminex table and vinyl chairs and a downstairs loo and it’s home sweet home. Add a creative menu with an emphasis on great produce and friendly staff and you’ve got Willow & Spoon at Alderley run by Tracey Mooney and Keith Nunns.
We were there for breakfast and it was a delight to explore the menu. Think highlights like drunken pig, basil-scented labna, garden pea sauce and white Russian butter – not altogether of course!
Although it sits firmly in the café category, the food here is lifted beyond the norm with plenty for the keen foodie to enjoy. There’s so much to take in the chef has kindly developed a glossary for each menu item which offers a full explanation on the food provenance for many dishes. Fascinating reading!
This is a place where you will return over and over to eat your way through the menu, but you’ll need to be quick because it also changes frequently.
On the menu glossary, the description of my breakfast of The Willow bacon and eggs with watermelon and mint granita, corn bread and cultured butter was expanded with tantalising details revealing the black forest bacon comes from a small smokehouse in NSW and the granita was served in the form of a shooter.
Although the cafe is not open at night, it is available as a functions venue for the very cool and retro inspired.
There’s nothing I would change here except to perhaps make the mellow blue sky coffee a little stronger.
Willow & Spoon is not Alderley’s first cafe but it’s the first in a new breed of eating places that will answer a need for this fast growing hub.
Bottom line: Recommended
Willow & Spoon
Shop 2, 28 Samford road, Alderley 07 3113 3810
Tip: Check the Willow & Spoon facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/willowandspoon?sk=wall) for their special events.
Kerry Heaney likes blogging almost more than chocolate and is dedicated to finding the perfect cupcake, the best brekkie and the ultimate lunch. She has eaten her way around Australia and enjoys dining on all bush tucker except possum, which she deems to cute to eat. Kerry is a writer, editor and publicist and writes regular food columns and feature stories for a range of publications. See where she has been lately at www.eatdrinkandbekerry.blogspot.com
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