There’s something about The Grounds of Alexandria…and no, it’s not the fact that they’re slowly taking over the whole suburb with their constant expansion! Perhaps its the weekend market stalls, the kid-friendly gardens, the delicious pastry stands, the amazing coffee…or maybe it’s just Kevin Bacon, the resident pig? Whatever it is that makes The Grounds so magical and a real go-to destination for a weekend brunch is simply undefinable!
From experience, I know there’s always a wait at The Grounds. We arrive early one Sunday morning with an interstate friend who we pick up from the airport and I hop out of the car to quickly put our names down on the waitlist for the restaurant as K drives off to find a carpark. At 9.30am, the estimated wait time is an hour – not bearable for anyone who gets hangry! I’m ready for the wait though, and use the time to show my friend around The Grounds and nearby Salt Meats Cheese. These multi-coloured roses at The Grounds flower stand are just stunning.
We walk past and eye off all the delicious pastries as well. I resist…for now!
Once our table is ready and we take a seat, K’s first order of business is to order a coffee. As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, he loves the extensive coffee menu available at The Grounds and always enjoys their brews. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, I can only take his word for granted!
I struggle trying to pick a single dish off the menu to try – it all looks so good! In the end I opt for a healthy breakfast option of a quinoa cake with cucumber salad, beetroot, smoked trout, and a soft boiled egg rolled in dukkah. There’s no money shot here, but the sight of the warm egg yolk oozing over the dish was truly a beautiful sight to behold. The pickled cucumber salad also provided a nice contrast to the other warmer and sweeter elements on the plate. Definitely a dish to order again – it was very hearty, and I ended up leaving the side of toast that it comes served with as I simply couldn’t fit it in!
K orders the pea falafels, which he thoroughly enjoys. “It’s just nice to have something different for a change” he says, and it’s certainly not the type of dish you would find on the menu at any standard cafe! Despite how nice the dish is though, he doesn’t think that it quite measures up to the corn fritters at Bills, which remains his ultimate measure of an excellent breakfast.
My friend N orders the famous Turkish-style eggs baked with tomato-y beans and veggies. It comes served with two slices of the Grounds best crusty sourdough on the side – perfect for soaking up remnants of the egg yolky beans.
Needless to say, I didn’t manage to resist the sweets for much longer after we finished our meal! Before we left The Grounds, I bought three tarts and a muffin ($20) to take to K’s parents house that night for a family dinner…as well as a Nutella doughnut for a snack on the way! K’s dad couldn’t stop raving about the salted caramel tart, his mum loved the fresh fruit tart, and his aunt enjoyed the lemon meringue. Unfortunately, the mango and coconut muffin wasn’t as much of a hit as it was a bit too dry.
Overall, The Grounds of Alexandria always provides not only a fantastic brunch experience, but a well-rounded weekend morning experience. The market stalls on site are always tempting, and I never walk away without finding something to enjoy! We’ll definitely be back to The Grounds.