I’ve always found this a little confusing, probably because I’m not a coffee person and don’t really pay attention but there are two Lonsdale Street Roasters. I never knew which was which and for a while, I thought they were actually owned by different people! I thought the one opposite Civic Pub was Lonsdale Street Roasters and this one, the one near Autolyse and Elk & Pea was Lonsdale Street Eatery. Well it wasn’t until this meal that I worked it all out.
So, they’re actually owned by the same people. The one opposite Civic Pub is known as Lonsdale Street Roasters 7, it mainly serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches, rolls and some small meals. However, LSR 7 revamped its little coffee store, it now has an upstairs area and it looks like they’ve expanded their menu too. But this post is about their other store, Lonsdale Street Roaster 23. This one is much larger, serves their generally always great coffee and has a full menu and kitchen, plenty of indoor and outdoor seating space too.
I’ve lived in Braddon for a while now, yet I’ve never eaten at Lonsdale Street Roasters, I’ve actually never had breakfast or brunch at Elk & Pea or Autolyse and I love them both a lot, I just can’t seem to wake up before breakfast ends, and if its lunch time, I might as well get a lunch dish! Well, the same happened this time and we didn’t get to LSR 23 until about 1PM but lucky for us, they do all day breakfast! We actually bumped into one of our friends at LSR 23 and she told us that we came on a good day or maybe time, since there was ample available seating on the inside and outside.
Anyways, onwards to the food at LSR 23, we managed to mix it up with some brekkie and lunch dishes this time so um, get ready for slightly more variety than we normally do.
First up, the Royale with cheese ($13.50 + $4.50 side of fries), hand ground beef patty, American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and special sauce. This was actually a surprisingly nice burger! It was pretty basic, nothing overly different or fancy but together the ingredients worked well and it tasted delicious. Inside two toasted brioche buns there was a generous amount of super fresh tomatoes and lettuce, coupled with a nice big beef patty. The patties felt like they were cooked using the smash method, which gave it a really nice smokey and charred crust. I probably should explain the smash method of patty cooking, since it’s really obnoxious when we say something like ‘smash method’ and expect you to understand what that is, seeing as I don’t think its actually official terminology or anything, just random language we pick up from here and there. Anyway, you pretty much get a patty, put it into a ball and cook one side down, then flip it, cook it a bit more, then smash it down flat with a spatula! This is how I cook all my burgers, and it ends up being perfectly charred with the best chance of a pink centre, though I’m no burger savant, so there might be a way better method out there, but that’s mine!
Finally, to top it all off, there is some melted cheese and a some pickles. I really wish LSR 23 put more than two pickles in their burgers, but I’m just a terrible pickle fiend so don’t take that too badly. I just feel that they give a lovely contrasting sourness to balance off the richness of the patty and cheese.
Here is a close up of the burger, since I figured it’s actually a pretty good looking burger and what not. Look at that super vibrant and fresh lettuce and tomato, and lack of pickles. If you look closely enough, you might be able to see that the patty edge is quite rough and jagged, and that’s what made us assume that LSR 23 uses the smash method to cook their patties.
Oh and if you add an extra $4.50, you get a pretty decent serve of french fries along with some tomato and mayo sauce. LSR 23 cook up their chips just right too. Lovely and crispy but not overly oily or heavy. Really nice all round.
From the all day breakfast menu, the Eggs florentine ($15.50) with rye bread, creamed spinach, brown butter hollandaise and kale chips. This was an interesting dish. Nice but probably not the best eggs florentine I’ve ever had, though that’s probably mainly my fault. The eggs were great, two nice and large eggs, poached perfectly. The bread was good too, two generous pieces of rye bread which had that hint of sourness that offset the creaminess of the yolk. The hollandaise sauce was fine too, creamy, buttery and delicious. Finally, the kale chips were a nice addition, bringing great texture and crunch into a dish that was rather mushy all round.
My only issue with this otherwise really nice dish was the creamed spinach. Taste wise, it was quite nice, it was like a mix between pureed spinach and fresh bits of spinach. It brought extra creaminess to the plate and lush greenness as well but there was just so much of it. There was a thick layer of creamed spinach under each egg and it just completely overwhelmed everything else. I just felt like I was eating bread and spinach, I could see the egg but I couldn’t taste them. I personally don’t mind spinach but here it was just a little too much. So a word of warning, unless you love spinach, this probably isn’t the dish for you or maybe consider going halves with someone else.
Outside of the crazy amount of spinach, the rest of the dish was quite nice, especially the two poached eggs. Both were perfectly poached, with plenty of oozy and creamy yolk goodness. To fix the spinach issue and to truly enjoy these perfectly poached eggs and brown butter hollandaise sauce, I just ended up scrapping all of the creamed spinach off from one of the eggs and setting it aside. I then shared the remaining creamed spinach from the other egg between the two. With this much creamed spinach, the dish was actually quite nice. Just enough spinach to bring the healthy, green and clean taste while still maintaining creaminess and flavours of the eggs, hollandaise and bread.
Of course, here is the other perfectly poached egg. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way as me, but nothing ruins a breakfast quicker than poached eggs that come out semi boiled. I know most places get it right so I shouldn’t place such a heavy emphasis on it when poached eggs are perfect but I’ve been to a couple of very nice breakfast joints in and around Canberra and ended up with overcooked eggs instead of poached eggs, very much poached egg pwned. Yes, I know I can just asked for the kitchen to recook it but I find that really awkward, so I just suck it up and sadly and slowly eat my hard eggs.
Finally to top it all off, a Chai latte ($4.5 large). We couldn’t leave Lonsdale Street Roasters without a drink, especially since they are famous and completely loved by most Canberrans for their coffee. So, of course, I got a chai — the most uncoffeeiest drink out there but its the closest thing I’ll drink to a coffee and legitimately enjoy. I’m just not quite there yet, coffee is really weird for me, it actually makes me sleepy whereas black tea keeps me up at night, I learnt that the hard way with a late night Chatime once.
Anyway, the chai here was pretty nice, on the milder side but there were hints of spices throughout it and it was quite sweet without adding any extra sugar and to be honest, if you’re ordering a chai over a coffee or tea, chances are you like your sweet stuff.
Overall, I liked Lonsdale Street Roasters, my dish wasn’t great but that was probably a choice thing more than the dish being bad or anything and we really did enjoy the burgers. Next time I drop by, I’m definitely getting the mushroom burger or maybe a sweet brekkie dish.
Lonsdale Street 23
23 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Monday to Wednesday
6:00am to 4:00pm
Thursday to Saturday
6:00am to 4:00pm
7:00am to 4:00pm