16 Eva St, Coorparoo
I admit to a bout of transient slackness last week. I left my Mother's Day planning till the last minute. It's bloody hard trying to secure a booking for the most popular breakfast Sunday of the month when it's already Saturday! I went into frenzy mode, short-listing nearby popular cafes from Urbanspoon, sorting them into my order of preference and laboriously phoning each one, one by one.
Ave Cucina was actually the first on my list and when I called, was told they had a cancellation at 11am so I could go in then. I had a movie commitment in Chermside at 12 so that was out of the question. The lady on the phone was extremely friendly and sympathetic and offered to take my name down, along with the time and wanted and she promised she would see if she could move things around a bit.
After that glimmer of hope, I went ahead with the remainder of phone calls and either got 'we don't take bookings' or 'we're fully booked'. In a state of panic, I compiled a list of emergency walk-ins in case I ended up with no alternative.
Luckily, late afternoon on Saturday, I got the call from Ave Cucina saying they could get us in at 8am. Perfecto! I was so happy!!
I picked up mum and dad from Carindale and we headed on over. I never new Ave Cucina existed but Google tells me that the owners won season 1 of My Kitchen Rules. I never watch anything that's not on Channel Ten (a habit formed from once upon a time when I had a tiny TV that only had good reception on Ten) so I don't know much aboput the show... but, cool!
Ave Cucina is a small, quaint cafe located off Chatsworth Rd in Coorparoo. It's space is divided up across a small split level and you get the feeling that it's bigger than it is because of the open window-front bar seating. I personally love that feature in a cafe.
We were seated deeper into the cafe. The place was full to capacity but it wasn't overly noisy. I guess the Mother's Day crowd is generally well behaved.
Two lattes and a cappucino
We ordered coffees to start with: a couple of lattes for mum and I, plus a cappucino for dad. I really enjoyed my coffee. It was rich and full-flavored. In fact I liked it so much that I ordered another before the meal ended. I had woken up that morning with the biggest hangover headache (rare for me) and the coffee seemingly cured it. Dad also commented on the nice foam art.
Sliced banana and local honey on lightly buttered pane toast and nut sprinkle
Mum didn't actually know I was taking her out for breakfast so she had eaten something that morning (the downside to doing a surprise meal is the risk of the surprised party eating before you get there) and ordered a small dish of bananas on toast. It was simple in theory: sliced bananas and slices of toast with pistachios, honey and a dash of icing sugar. I thought it was a very nice combination though. Too sweet for me to have at breakfast (I'm enjoying savory breakfasts more now) but I think it would make a nice afternoon snack.
Bacon and egg sandwich - bacon and messy eggs on toasted pane with greens and ave tomato relish
Dad went for the bacon and egg sandwich, comprising of crispy bacon, messy eggs (Ave's version of non-dairy scrambled eggs) and relish on toast.
Omelet - with caramelised onion, goats cheese, rocket and walnuts
I went for one of the daily specials - an onion and goats cheese omelet. The omelet was large and cooked well (not at all tough). It was topped with rocket, which I found nice and refreshing. Mum had one taste and pulled a face because she doesn't like lamb and by association, can't stand goats cheese. I, on the other hand, can't get enough of the stuff.
Close-up of omelet
My only critisism is that the marinated onion was a bit too sweet. In theory, it should've been compensated by the saltiness of goats cheese and peppery rocket... but the sweetness was overbearing.
Ave Cucina is a delightful little cafe that luckily for us, is quite easy to get to. The service was flawless - so friendly and efficient. I'm extremely impressed by the way I wasn't handled a 'sorry, we're booked' response like so many other cafes nearby. Instead, they went the extra mile to try and accomodate what I needed. The food was fresh and tasty and the coffee was fantastic. I'm definitely keen to go back for more.