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One Saturday, just after picking up our City2Sea race packs, myself, the other half and the other half’s cousin, J, were wandering down Gertrude St trying to find a place for brunch. Generally when we go out, I have always done my research and have a place in mind, but this time I had no idea where to go.

As we meandered down, we passed numerous cafes that were either too full to get a table at, or too empty for us to have any confidence in them. Eventually we stumbled upon Arcadia. It had a reasonable crowd, but there were still some empty tables, and the menu looked interesting enough for us to give it a go.

We sat down, and grabbed some water from the table behind us. Not long afterwards, menus were handed to us and we set about deciding on what to have. We decided against coffees. We were running the next day, and it was probably a smart decision to stick to water for maximum hydration. Plus it was basically lunch time, so coffee really wasn’t necessary.

J stuck with his standard choice of a muesli variation. We always laugh when he goes out and orders muesli, but he loves it, so who are we to judge! This time he chose a porridge. It was an eclectic mix of oats, quinoa and chia seeds, combined with pepitas, sunflower seeds and almonds and topped with a poached pear, cranberries and pomegranate molasses. He was very impressed with his dish, even going as far as to say it was pretty close to his own muesli mix which he makes, and prides himself on. The serving was huge too, which was appreciated.

Whilst J’s choice was a traditional breakfast choice, the other half went the opposite way and chose a clear lunch option, the Arcadian burger. This burger was described with lots of flowery language on the menu: a Angus beef burger infused with spiced basil and tomato salsa, topped with cheddar on a bed of leaves and tomato, drizzled with baconnaise and served with pickles and hot mustard. The other half pretty much stopped reading when he came across the word baconnaise, because according to him, nothing could go wrong if it had baconnaise. He had never had this mystical baconnaise but the knowledge that bacon and mayonnaise were two of the greatest ingredients on earth gave him confidence that baconnaise must be amazing.

Alas, when his burger arrived, he tasted it and the baconnaise was really that much of a key ingredient. He commented that his burger was good, but not amazing, and definitely not at the lofty heights he had hoped it would reach.

I decided to order fried eggs with red and green salsa and spicy beans on stuffed cheese and jalapeno corn tortillas. Firstly the dish had us somewhat confused. It was listed on the menu as ‘Huevos (fried) eggs.’ Now, huevos is Spanish for eggs, so was I going to be having Eggs (fried) eggs? Perhaps double fried eggs? Or maybe an egg wrapped in a fried egg? It was confusing. Nevertheless I put a stop to the questions in my head and ordered the dish anyway.

What arrived was infact fried eggs on stuffed tortillas with beans and salsa. Just standard fried eggs. Not that I’m complaining, I love fried eggs and these eggs were good. The beans were also OK, but they definitely didn’t reach the spicy heights that I was hoping for.  But the real problem of the dish was the tortilla. As I attempted to dig in, armed with a knife and fork, I realised there was no chance I was going to be able to cut my tortilla. It was as hard as a rock. I think would have struggled to make a dint in it, even with a steak knife. As a result, my meal was a bit of a disappointment. Having to struggle so much to even eat my meal, meant my level of enjoyment was seriously hampered.

Other than the food the café was quite nice. The décor was pleasant, the staff were friendly and the service was prompt. It was unfortunate that the food didn’t hit the mark for me, although J was impressed and the other half was satisfied. Perhaps I had just picked a bad dish. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Arcadia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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