This is my first time at The Cupping Room for breakfast. Honestly it’s taken ages for me to come here considering how much everyone raves about it, but I’m going to put that down to me being too cool to go to the new hip places. Yep. Definitely that.
Though I should mention that I have been to The Cupping Room once for dinner when they first started serving it. It was fine, average, all that kind of stuff, I guess I just want to say that it didn’t blow me away. It makes sense in hindsight seeing as no one ever raves or even talks about The Cupping Room’s dinner. Additional, I think The Cupping Room doesn’t do dinners anymore. So I decided to give it a second chance and have breakfast and as an added bonus we took out a friend who use to work in Canberra but has since moved back to Sydney, so it was new for us and new for them too.
I should probably mention I really didn’t know much about The Cupping Room’s breakfast, outside of knowing that people really love it. I had no idea what the menu looked like or how their coffee was or anything like that. It wasn’t until I looked at the menu on the day that I realised that it was actually quite different to your standard breakfast mebu. Well, The Cupping Room had some standard items like poached eggs, baked eggs and whatnot but they’re all very South American inspired, actually there was also a Japanese element as well, which was a little out of place but the rest was pretty South American to me. Actually as I type this, it has just hit me, there coffee must be great, 1. They do coffee tastings 2. The Cupping Room is owned by Ona Coffee which is pretty loved by Canberrians 3. Maybe the name should have given it away but being a non coffee person it never even came to mind. Well nevertheless I didn’t get a coffee instead I went for a chai and some milkshakes. Typical non coffee people. We’re terrible.
Alrightie, lets talk about the food.
First up, the Hogo botoga ($16) Central American meatballs, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and sourdough toast. These were really interesting, it might not be obvious, but I’m a huge fan of lunch for breakfast. Cool non egg and bacon options always grab me, so if there’s one available, I’m almost always going to go for it. Weirdly enough, I love having breakfast for dinner too.
In any case, these were really quite nice, the addition of the fried egg on top was fantastic, once I ripped into the yolk it just oozed over everything and was just a real joy to eat. The meatballs themselves were really nice, firm and a bit crispy on the outside, pretty much what you’d expect. The sauce was a bit divisive in our group, it’s thick, really rich and really, really cheesy. If you don’t enjoy things incredibly rich, then this could easily get too much for you. I was using the bread to dip into it, and it still kind of got a bit much for me. Just keep in mind you don’t have to finish all the sauce, I think our desire to try and mop up every last drop made us forego appropriate ratios of sauce to bread. Our mistake.
Next up, the Benedito ($17) slow roasted roma tomatoes, wilted spinach, two poached eggs and Guacacassa on toasted sourdough. Wasn’t really sure what guacacssa was but The Cupping Room’s menu had a nice little glossary at the bottom, apparently its a sauce made from fresh avocados and tabasco sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, it was a really interesting and different take on an old classic. It was pretty much a South American style eggs benedict.
There were two big slices of fresh sourdough, on top of that some slightly baked spinach followed by a delicious layer of slightly baked tomatoes which brought a lot of flavour and tanginess to the dish. Finally, two poached eggs and plenty of creamy avocado sauce. According to the description there is some tabasco in the sauce but I don’t remember it being spicy at all, which is a good thing for me. It was just delicious and creamy and went perfectly with the tangy tomatoes. There was also a good drizzle of shallots which added even more vibrant greens to the plate and some lovely flavour. I really do wish that there was more guacacassa sauce, it was just so delicious and I did find that the bread got a little dry towards the end but that may have been due to my poached eggs which were a fair ways past poached, sadly.
Here is a shot of the poached eggs, in the question of poached or pwned, we were most definitely pwned on this occasion. I’m not sure if this was because The Cupping Room overdid the eggs or if I was chit chatting for a bit two long before breaking into the eggs. Both my eggs were pretty closed to hard boiled. There was a bit of yolkiness in the left one but not enough for my sourdough desires, which was a shame because sourdough is quite dry and does really work well with some yolky goodness. Plus, I think the lack of yolkiness made me want more guacacassa. I reckon if the eggs were perfectly poached, this dish would have been amazing, it had all the right elements. Next time, I’m cutting into my eggs straight away, then I won’t have to feel bad through the whole dish, wondering if it was the stores fault or my fault.
For some sweet goodness we grabbed a Cinnamon cronut ($4.50). Originally when I saw these cronuts I thought they were donuts, they’re not exactly puffy and croissant like in any way, I guess I was expecting something like the ones you get at Brewtown Newtown in Sydney or Southland Hot Bake in Mawson. These really do just look like donuts. Look at it! Nevertheless, a friend was craving something sweet and went to order a donut, the staff at The Cupping Room of course corrected us, I kind of just giggled and tried not to be too loud about it.
Well on a positive note, these cronuts may look like donuts but they do taste quite nice. I definitely wouldn’t call them a cronut but they’re not your typical donut either. I find that cronuts are pretty much croissants but in the shape of a donut, here at The Cupping Room however, it was more like a super fluffy and airy donut, without any of the standard flakiness. I must say, I don’t hate this at all. I actually enjoyed the cronut here. Flavour wise, it was delicious, there was plenty of cinnamon all over the top to ensure that each bite you take in filled with cinnamon goodness. There was also a lovely creamy custard inside which went perfectly with the doughier donut pastry. Really good overall though not what I was expecting.
One wasn’t enough so we went for another one, this time we got the Caramel cronut ($4.50). I may have bagged out the way the cronuts at The Cupping Room looked but even then I couldn’t resist some extra sugary goodness. The caramel cronut like the cinnamon one had the same lack of puffiness and inside again it was airy and light but not flakey like a croissant which I seemed to have gotten over fairly quickly. I actually really enjoyed it. It wasn’t what I was expecting but who doesn’t like a super airy and light donut?!
There were a thick layer of caramel sauce all over the top of the cronut. It was more of a sauce so it was quite moist and didn’t dry up or anything. The inside of this cronut was filled with passionfruit curd, which was perfect. It went really well with the strong sweetness of the caramel sauce, giving it great balance and tanginess. All in all, a great little cronut. Plus it kept really well. I didn’t end up finishing this whole thing at The Cupping Room and saved it for later. When I went to eat it about six hours or so later, it tasted like new. Not as pretty but still as tasty!
Finally our drinks for the day, first up the Orange and pear juice ($7). Our friend from Sydney was feeling a little icky that day, so they opted for a refreshing juice instead of the milkshakes. This drink shouts refreshing, look at that massive stalk of vibrant green mint, might just be some visual games they’re playing with us, but we’re suckers for that kind of stuff, it worked.
Before our friend started digging into the juice, I got a little bit of a sip. This drink was indeed refreshing, it had more of an orange taste to it, the pear element was simply a mild pear aftertaste to it which really helped to balance it out and keep it from being overly acidic. I really enjoyed this juice, it wasn’t overly sweet but there was just enough to make it really enjoyable.
Originally when I was ordering the juices and milkshake, it did cross my mind that $7 is pretty excessive, especially for a juice but they sure didn’t skimp on it, its a pretty big glass. I love those cool little hipster jugs as much as the next person, but seriously, they’re not that big. I was glad to get a tall glass like this one.
For our milkshake, we got the Salted caramel & popcorn king shake ($7). This was awesome, you don’t even need to love caramel to enjoy this. I mean, I don’t hate salted caramel or anything but I can find it overwhelming sometimes hence, at times I tend to opt for something lighter. This time I decided to go for it and ordered the The Cupping Room’s salted caramel and popcorn king shake and was left thoroughly impressed with what I received!
A massive cup of salted caramel goodness with caramel popcorn all over the top. Visually this was just a really really cool drink, that reminds me a lot of the caramel popcorn dessert from eightysix, which I also loved the look of. The milkshake was ice cold and perfect to cool us down from the warm weather we were having.
It was really creamy and quite thick, but came up the straw really easily. I hate thickshakes so thick that you can’t even drink them through a straw, so I was happy I didn’t have that issue here. It had quite a bit of sweetness to it but nothing unexpected from a salted caramel milkshake.
The major highlight for me was the salted caramel sitting on top, at first I just picked away at it and having it on its own, which was fine but then I decided to mix it into the milkshake. This just took the drink to a whole new level. I then started spooning bites of popcorn with the milkshake, you ended up with this super creamy thick milkshake with crunchy bites here and there which was great. I thought this would only last a little while since the popcorn would start going soggy but I guess since they were coated in a hard layer of caramel they lasted throughout our whole drink. Really awesome drink, would definitely get it again and recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Finally something more coffee like, a Chai latte ($4.50) nothing like a good old classic. The chai at The Cupping Room was quite nice. There was a good amount of chai flavour to the drink and plenty of frothy goodness on top. The chai was nice and balanced, not too sweet and overwhelming. I love the teal cups that The Cupping Room uses, really contrasts their brown tables well and brightens up the whole meal. Nothing much to add here, it’s a good chai, and I’m sure that’s recommendation enough.
I really enjoyed my breakfast at The Cupping Room, its nice to see places that take the old classics and really jazz them up, next time I come back, I’m going to have to try their breakfast take on the Japanese okonomiyaki or Japanese pancakes. It sounds super creative and I’m getting some good vibes from it! I can’t see my next breakfast trip being too far away, I’m already craving their amazing salted caramel and popcorn milkshake again,