Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cafe Siena

Cafe Siena
Shop 1098, Westfield Shopping Town, Carindale

Everyone loves 2-for-1 deals, including my parents. Whenever they shop at Woolies in Carindale, they'll religiously check the back of the receipts to see if there's anything good. Cafe Siena frequently offers buy one get one free hot drinks, so much so that you start getting too used to the freebies.

In fact, there have been times (I will admit now) that we were originally couponless but made special grocery shopping trips specifically to get a receipt with the intent of gambling on the chance of acquiring a drinks voucher.

I would hang my head in shame if not for the fact that it's human nature to feel inwardly self-satisfied whenever getting a bargain of ANY SORT. You too. I don't apologize for representing the normal.

One weekend, we were soaking up aircon in Carindale shops when mum and I made a coffee stop. It turned into a snack stop that progressed into a lunch stop.

At first, mum and I ordered a latte each. She told me that the last time her and dad were there, they though the chips were good and asked if I wanted to try some. Well... I am not known for refusal of food.


The coffee was reasonable but nothing spectacular.

Beer-battered chips with aioli

Our small bowl of chips arrived. You can get them with tomato sauce, sweet chili or aioli (which is what we got). These are beer battered chunky chips and mum was right on the money when she recommended them. The chips are crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. Chips are an integral part of cafe and pub cuisine yet so many places offer stale, substandard samples. This definitely hits the mark and goes right above your expectations.

We were encouraged by the bowl of chips to try more of the food at Cafe Siena. When dad arrived, I was given the task of ordering a few more nibblies. I chose a plain scone for myself and a smoked salmon bagel for the team.

Plain scone with jam and cream

The scone was decent but like the coffee, not a standout feature.

Scone bite shot

It was served with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

Smoked salmon bagel

On the other hand, the smoked salmon bagel went down a treat. It was a perfect blend of salmon, cream cheese, capers and tart salsa in the filling.

Inside of the bagel

Salmon and cream cheese is already a dreamy combination. The addition of capers a la NY bagel-style only serves to push the level of awesomeness up even further.

In the past I always through Cafe Siena was a bog standard shopping center cafe - the type you resort to when you're run off you feet from shopping and want some food that isn't from the food court. This lone experience has changed my perception drastically. I think Cafe Siena holds its own with the quality of its food. It's the little, simple things that make a difference, such has having fresh chips crispy to perfection. The service is lovely too and though this place gets mighty busy in peak hours, we didn't have to wait very long for our orders.

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