77 Grey Street, South Brisbane
I was very excited when I heard a new cafe had opened up in my neighborhood, by the brains behind Sourced Grocer no less. When reviews started popping up online, I was intrigued by the photos and menu descriptions I saw. Black garlic bread? Buckwheat waffles? Curiouser and curiouser.
I arranged to have breakfast at Gauge last Saturday morning with my old friend Pizza from Toowoomba. We hadn't made a booking but it was fairly early so there wasn't any drama getting a table. Gauge looks sophisticated inside and out with neutral tones and clean, contemporary lines. It's full table service so I sat down, ordered a coffee and perused the breakfast menu.
Soy latte and flat white
The coffees are small but good. I ordered a soy latte as usual and Pizza went for a flat white.
The menu is remarkable. Forget age old avocado on toast and bacon and egg combinations, Gauge has come up with many more interesting and inventive options. I had a hard time honing in on just one thing I wanted to try.
Smoked king fish - with spiced pearl barley, soft egg and parsley
I ended up ordering the smoked king fish. I didn't read much on the menu beyond smoked king fish so that might explain my shock over the unusual presentation. It arrived as a plate of hemispherical white foam with sprigs on herbs sticking out at odd angles. I was "taught" how to best way this dish, which was to cut through the middle, breaking the soft egg that was hidden under the centre of the dome, then eat everything mixed up.
Peak-a-boo egg porn
The egg in the middle of my dish was soft and gooey and the yolk served to dress the pearl barley and fish pieces. I can't remember what the description for the foam was but it was creamy and light. Surprisingly, everything went perfectly well together. The dish looked like it might be too gluggy but the pearl barley provided body and bite and there was ample king fish to add interest to each mouthful. I really liked this dish!
Cucumber kim chi - with house seeded bread, soft egg, cured pork cheek, skyr and confit heirloom cherry tomatoes
Pizza ordered the kim chi and cured pork cheek on seeded bread. This was also served with a soft egg. Pizza commented that the kim chi cucumber was interesting and that the whole dish was a good serving size. She was expecting a meatier form of pork cheek but in actual fact it's more like prosciutto.
I loved my meal at Gauge. Just when I thought I'd tasted every type of breakfast food, Gauge manages to inject something new to this otherwise overdone morning meal. Every cafe knows how to poach an egg and toast some sourdough. I'm glad that there are restaurants out there that can offer a fresh alternative.