- Friendly, helpful staff
- Reasonable price
- Casual, trendy environment
After a couple of really busy weeks, we found ourselves with a free morning this Saturday and decided to try somewhere new for a bit of brunch.
We headed into New Acton after Michael had his Christmas party in the area and noticed a few cafés dotted around there. We don’t head into New Acton very often other than to go to the cinema on occasion. I think the last time I went there was for a family lunch months and months ago at Monster (at some point I’ll try Monster again and review it).
We arrived in New Acton around 10.30. Be warned the parking in the area is expensive, and we mooched around having a look for an option for brunch. There are a few cafes in the area but with the baby and pram, the access to a lot of the places isn’t great and we decided to try Mocan and Green Grout because they looked busy and were pram accessible.
Mocan and Green Grout turned out to be a really nice little spot for coffee and breakfast. A bit trendy and hipster, their website states they source all their ingredients locally as well as bringing in local craftsmen for the café design and decoration. The music was chilled out and was at the perfect volume – noticeable but not too loud to interrupt conversation.
It’s a fairly small space but they use it really well. The décor inside the building is quite dark, there’s a large wooden wall but on two sides, the walls are floor to ceiling windows, covered in shelves and green plants. In fact, there are a lot plants and flowers dotted around throughout the room and while the décor could be considered a bit cluttered, the space feel like a greenhouse, green and light.
The ‘main’ room is dominated by an open kitchen and a large green kitchen bench. Along one side of the bench there are tall chairs you can sit in and watch the kitchen staff buzzing around and on top, there were two huge, beautiful bunches of native flowers. There is a slightly raised area with more high seating at against a counter and a till.
Alongside one of the windows there are brass topped tables, and surprisingly comfortable leather topped stools where we sat. When we first arrived, a staff member helped us get seated with the pram and took our coffee orders (two skim flat whites, one decaf) while we looked over the day menu. In addition to being super friendly, the staff were also very patient with the baby walking round and exploring the café.
The day menu isn’t particularly long and contained a mixture of standard brunch and lunch goodies. The meals are reasonably priced, but additional items like mushrooms or bacon can really bunk up the price.
When the staff member came over to take our order, she was very friendly and helpful. I explained I was coealic and that food needed to be prepared separately to avoid cross contamination, and she was very helpful. She explained she would talk to the kitchen staff and double check, and recommended we try the homemade gluten free bread.
I ordered the Smiths’ Farm free range poached eggs with mushrooms, and Michael went for the salmon gravlax, dill feta, pickled cucumber and caperberries. Shortly after ordering, we got our coffees, and I was told that the food was all gluten free and that it would be prepared separately, including the toast.
The coffee came while we waited for our food, it was strong but creamy. While we were waiting for our food, I had a short conversation with one of the staff about the bread. The bread is made by the café using a mix of flours, mostly buckwheat. This gave it a very distinct flavour. The texture was more similar to cake than bread but this wasn’t a problem. Because we ordered savoury dishes, the bread was very nice and went well with the food. I wouldn’t want to eat it with anything sweet though, the taste would clash. The slices were very small but they only cost $1 extra.
Michael’s gravlax was very nicely plated up. It looked delicious but was a bit on the small side – not bad for the price though. The salmon was fresh and almost creamy, and you could really taste the capers, which added some bite to the dish.
My dish was good too, although it was also on the small side. The poached eggs were
nicely cooked with runny yolks, and there were heaps of mushrooms which were salty and firm. The bread gave the whole dish a lot of flavour, which was very good but I felt the meal was lacking. There wasn’t any butter on the toast and the two poached egg yolks were not quite enough to stop the food from being too dry. It needed something else, like a hollandaise sauce.
At the end of the meal, we I headed up to pay at the counter. The two coffees, and two meals with gluten free bread came to $40.00.
Mocan and Green Grout was a comfortable, casual environment for a quick bite to eat. The staff were friendly and happy to help meet my coeliac needs. While we won’t be rushing back because New Acton is a bit out of our way, we’d definitely stop off for a coffee if we’re in the area, plus there are some interesting things on the menu to explore.
19 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra ACT 2601
02 6162 2909