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breakfast, casual, fortitude valley, restaurants and cafes, under $20

HOT: Depot Emporium, Shop 31 Emporium, 1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

Depot Emporium Fortitude Valley

When I told CazM how much I enjoyed my breakfast at Buzz Bistro, she suggested that I give its neighbour a try.

Depot Emporium is an altogether more glamourous beast, with a four-sided centre bar presiding over a large shaded open space, plus a smaller indoors area housing a coffee station with a jagged mirrored wall as its backdrop.  Being 10am on a busy weekend, we didn’t have any choice of tables but were quite happy perched at the high marble bench scanning the plates being run out of the kitchen and observing our fellow diners – a mix of sleek trendseekers, young families and up-market retirees.

Depot Emporium Fortitude Valley

First order up was a caramel milkshake ($5.30). I noted with approval that it was served in large steel cup – the most suitable kind of milkshake vessel as it keeps the contents icy cold.  Tick.

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Foodwise we were a little limited by the egg-dominated menu. Perfect for Atkin dieters. If, like us, you’re not a huge fan of eggs, then your choices are muesli, baked beans, French toast and a vegetarian dish. Fortunately, while the kitchen puts a large emphasis on eggs, the non-eggy options were executed very well. My terracotta ramekin of Depot beans ($14.50) was a robust combination of red kidney beans, tomatoes, onion and thyme baked with a herb and cheese crumb crust. The Mexican-inspired dish was accompanied by two small slices of Turkish bread that were nice but not strictly necessary given the filling heartiness of the beans.

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RM was initially concerned that his selection, French toasted chocolate brioche served with ice cream and poached strawberries ($15.50), would be sugar overload. However, the lightly fried bread was saved by the lack of the usual maple syrup, so the dish was sweet without being tooth-decaying. The large pile of strawberries poached in cloves and star anise were a highlight, as the cooking had subtly changed the texture of the strawberries to almost jammy on the inside, and the extra effort in adding the spices lifted the dish beyond the ordinary. Finally, note the proper vanilla bean ice cream, not the horrible fake vanilla stuff often doled out at cafes.

All in all, our breakfast at Depot was excellent. If I had to choose between Depot and Buzz, I’d say go to Depot if you have a date or visitors to impress, but if it’s just food you’re after, go to Buzz because I think the food there is as good, and it’s just that little bit cheaper.

Update: It seems that Depot has changed hands, and it aint that good anymore. Check out CazM’s most recent review of Depot.

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Discussion

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  1. I have eaten here before and thought the venue was good but the food took awhile and by the time we got it I was after something a lot more satisfying.

    Posted by Graphic Design Brisbane | August 12, 2010, 2:42 pm

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