The other weekend, the boyo and I decided to make a brave trek out to Woolloongabba to experience the full brunt of Pearl Café. On a weekend. This is like saying you wish to swim in a pool of octopi. On Mars. It’s practically impossible – and it’s most likely going to be an uncomfortable affair. And you may not be able to breathe.
No, it’s not because Pearl Café is unpleasant – far from it. The reason why the locale is so devoid of oxygen is because people are so persistently crammed into the space, that oxygen is limited to what you can hustle. Chairs are so persistently warmed by the toastiness of a high-rotation of bottoms that if you receive a cold-chair you may have to assume that it is some way possessed by a malignant spirit and is letting-off a chilling aura. The spirit, at this stage, is most likely thinking to itself: “Damn, I’m really craving the double toasted Panini with leek, egg and roasted Roma tomatoes. But it goes right through me.*”
In any case, after only a ten minute wait (PRO TIP: Come only in a couple on weekends if you want any chance of claiming a table. If you arrive in a large group, be prepared for a lengthy wait – they don’t take bookings for breakfast) we were brought inside to the relative hustle and bustle of the café.
The interior is extremely pleasing to the eye – walls are lined with mirrors, industrial brick and the obligatory “Chalkboard Paint Wall Bedecked with the Daily Specials”. The massive breakfast bench that takes up the entire length of the restaurant can also be used for seating – but its main purpose is to flaunt a selection of ridiculously tantalising cakes and slices. I unremittingly had to remind my ravenous boyfriend that cake is not an appropriate breakfast substitute.
This being the second time I’ve been the Pearl Café – I eagerly awaited the arrival of my super tasty shrooms on leek sough dough, while the boyfriend decided to go for a bit of a meat-frenzy: egg, bacon and sausage. Despite the huge wave of people, the wait for food was not extremely extensive – usually when a venue is packed so wrathfully, food is often slow and thus eaten without the starved eater making time to breathe between bites. Not so here – in total, from ordering to making it to the table the wait was a fairly modest 20 minutes. With drinks in hand (okay, on perfectly crafted table), the wait seemed to fly past.
The serving staff were perfectly agreeable – not exactly amicable, as the venue was packed to the gills in hungry patrons – but definitely not unpleasant. Our waitress took our order without the slightest bit of restlessness despite the rush – and it wasn’t excessively difficult to flag one down. She also rattled off the daily specials with the ease of an individual that had probably had to repeat it 68 times over by the time it was 8.30 AM.
Downside – the food, although extremely tasty, can be quite heavy and slightly on the oily side. If you want something light – you had better go for porridge and/or the croissant option. The concept of “small servings” is an unknown quantity here, however the pricing can still be considered as on the steep side – with breakfast meals averaging about $15-$20 in range, not inclusive of a beverage. You will also find that the menu at Pearl Café is heavily laden with leek. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of leek on a breakfast plate, but it blends into this Euro-Modernistic interpretation of breakfast quite well. For the bacon fans out there: at Pearl Cafe you will unearth the fattest-cut bacon you have ever seen. Believe it.
*Ha. Ha. I’m so funny.
28 Logan Rd
(07) 3392 3300