Its always nice to see new restaurants opening up in non hipster hotspots. It seems to be one of my favourite past times of late; seeking our suburban foodie gems and writing up about them. I guess you’ve probably heard it to death now from me, so I won’t blabber on about it too much. But needless to say, its probably one of my favourite things about Canberra. Being able to live out in the burbs and still get good food. Its not something you can get easily in Sydney, you either brave the traffic or train system or stick to ethnic food which is readily available outside of the city (awesome but sometimes you just want some flowers on your porridge and kale in your juice).
The Drawing Room in Crace is another one of these awesome cafes outside of your typical hipster hot spots, i.e. Braddon, New Acton and Kingston. Its a new cafe located just before Gunghalin and in the brand spanking new suburb of Crace. When I first saw that we were heading to Crace, I assume we were going to the south side. Oh how bad my Canberra geography is. Like everything else in Crace, The Drawing Room is modern, clean and sleek with elements of hipster here and there but surprisingly very child and family friendly. That was probably the first thing I noticed, lots of big families with young children. I guess The Drawing Room kind of caters to it as well, they’ve got the basics like high chairs and what not but they’ve also got a ‘games room’ where kids can hang out and run a muck, all away from the actual cafe. The game room apparently has two PlayStations as well!
Not only do they look modern and sleek, The Drawing Room is also super tech savvy as well. I know that sounds kind of stupid, who cares right? Well, nothing is more awesome than typing in a new restaurant into your Google navigator and hey presto, you’re on your way. No need to fiddle around on their Facebook page or website to work out the actual address and then typing it in. Not only that, you can also find the full menu online, as well as a Facebook page and an Instagram for all your pre eats research.
For our trip to The Drawing Room, we decided to munch on a couple of things from their breakfast menu. First up, the Blini ($16) potato and shallot fritter with wilted spinach, tomato chutney, bacon, a poached egg and some lemon infused olive oil. This was a pleasant surprise, and it was entirely due to how uncultured/unknowledgeable I am, so all you blini aficionados out there, please excuse the next couple of sentences. When I saw that it was a fritter on the menu I was expecting something big, chunky and greasy. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have liked that, I love all things greasy anyway but this was much cleaner and actually felt almost healthy which is really hard to do with a big slab of bacon sitting atop it.
I actually thought that this was just The Drawing Room’s take on a fritter since it wouldn’t be out of the question for a nice cafe to try and make things healthier where it can. I didn’t realise until later that a blini is actually a thin type of pancake, and upon learning that it all made sense for me. As for the blini itself, it was flatter than a normal fritter, but still just as fluffy, and much less greasy than a normal fritter, so you can put this away and still feel decent afterwards.
The bacon wasn’t cooked fully crispy but had a nice char to it and to be honest, it was better this way. I generally love my bacon super crispy but it wouldn’t have worked as well for this dish just due to how heavily the textures would’ve contrasted the spinach and the blini itself.
If there are poached eggs, then there has got to be poached or pwned and here it is for the blini. The poached egg on this blini was perfect! The perfect amount of gooey liquid, not a sign of any hard egg yolk at all and at the same time, not undercooked either. I would definitely pick a slightly undercooked poached egg over a pwned egg any day but lucky here at The Drawing Room, its not something you even have to consider. This isn’t the last of poached or pwned either, more coming in a short second.
Another poached egg dish from The Drawing Room, the Eggs benedict ($13) two poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on an English muffin, add either double smoked ham, smoked salmon, bacon ($4) or sauteed spinach ($3). Here I went with the smoked salmons for an extra $4. I kind of liked this concept. Pricing for just the plain poached eggs then you can add which ever topping you want. I know heaps of places give you the option between ham, bacon, smoked salmon and spinach but this way, you can get poached eggs with just hollandaise sauce. I don’t know how important it is for anyone but I’m not a massive fan of spinach so if I ever feel like going vegetarian this place is perfect for me.
As for the dish itself? Its pretty awesome. Nothing too special but everything is done well and comes together like a good eggs benedict should. Originally when I saw that this came with an English muffin I hesitated slightly. I like a good English muffin but they can get a little dry. Needless to say, the crew at The Drawing Room know what they are doing. The dryness of the English muffin was perfectly counteracted by the hollandaise sauce and the poached eggs. Well, I guess thats a bit of a spoiler alert for the next section.
Like with the blini, both these poached eggs were indeed poached! No pwned eggs here at The Drawing Room. Out of the two eggs, both were really good. One was completely poached, with a good amount of gooey egg yolk with no under cooking to be seen. The other egg was ever so slightly overcooked, giving it a 70/30 split between gooey goodness and slightly hard cooked egg yolk. But considering the crew at The Drawing Room got two out of three, thats pretty darn good and better than what I’m used to sadly. Plus, that one out of three that was considered slightly over cooked wasn’t even that bad! I mean, I’ve gotten pwned a few times already in Canberra, even once where I had a completely solid yolk where I struggled to believe that the chefs didn’t notice they were overcooked when it was going out, like the yolk broke and there were hard boils bits spilling out of it!
Our final dish from The Drawing Room, the Big breakfast ($19) eggs, sausage, bacon, potato, mushroom, roasted tomato and soy and linseed toast. Again, like with the other dishes we’ve had at The Drawing Room, another classic done well. You won’t find any crazy dishes here with popping candy or fairy floss, instead you’ll find lots of traditional and hearty dishes, all of which are done well. This big breakfast is no exception to that rule. Every part of the dish was cooked and seasoned perfectly, from the roasted tomatoes to the bacon. Of course, the best and most important part of this dish? The scrambled eggs of course! These were perfectly cooked with just the right amount of creaminess and fluffiness throughout. Plus, those sausages, man were they good! Nothing like a good old tasting English style sausage, really meaty and tasty – not a hint of herbs or spices here, instead these sausages let the meat do the talking and boy are they good.
We got a few drinks as well during our time at The Drawing Room and one of our first drinks was a Peppermint tea ($4). This was pretty standard as far as teas go so I’m not sure how much I can say about this one really. It’s served in a mason jar which is pretty par the course for any cafe these days, and is a lovely Madame Flavour teabag. To be honest, I’m not one for fancy tea brands and I’ve always been pretty shocked at how much good tea goes for, but this was actually really nice and would make me actually consider getting nicer tea in the future.
Our next couple of drinks were the two smoothies, the Tropical mango and passionfruit ($6) and the Berry with banana and oatmeal ($6). These were pretty vastly different so I’ll start with the one I preferred a little less, the berry and banana.
The Berry and banana smoothie was really cool and refreshing, as you’d expect. The little bits of ground up oats in there gave it some fantastic texture as you drank it while giving it some creaminess as well. However, I did find it a bit bland for my taste and whilst the flavour of the fruits in there came out strong, the banana especially, it wasn’t very sweet at all, at least to my taste which is sweeter than most. I actually made a mistake on this one, and it’s a mistake I make fairly often which is a bit embarrassing. When I realised this wasn’t sweet enough for me, I tried to get the sugar that was on the table for the coffee, and tried to sugar up this drink myself. If you’ve never tried this before, I recommend you steer clear, because trying to mix sugar into a cold drink just leaves you with sugar chunks all through it.
The Tropical mango and passionfruit smoothie on the other hand was really sweet and delicious. It was equally cold and refreshing but didn’t have the cool chunky texture from the oats. This smoothie was extremely icy, almost like a slurpee but with a much smoother texture. The mango was easily the most prominent flavour on show here, with the passionfruit a cool sour aftertaste that helped to cut through the sweetness from the mango. Overall, I definitely preferred this one, though I’m sure the previous drink was much more healthy for you, so maybe keep that in mind when choosing what to drink.
The Drawing Room is a great little cafe in a quiet suburb that was surprisingly beautiful when we pulled in. Beautiful enough that we felt the need to actually start exploring Crace on foot after we finished our meal. The Drawing Room was a pleasant surprise and took some basic breakfast staples and just did a great job with them. If you’re someone that’s tired of some of the crazy breakfast options out there today, and just want some bacon and eggs done extremely well, then this is your place! I’ve never seen poached eggs come out as good as the ones I’ve had here at The Drawing Room!
The Drawing Room
Corner of Abena Ave and Galore Street, Crace
Monday to Tuesday
7:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday to Sunday
7:00am to 11:00pm