On the Sunday morning of my trip to Brisbane we visited the suburb of the West End to have breakfast at The Gunshop Café.
The West End was one of the areas that was inundated in the recent Brisbane floods. Although, if it wasn't for the sign at the door asking you to be careful of the warped floor boards you wouldn't have known there was a flood. The café was completely back to normal only two weeks after the river burst it's banks. It wasn't just the café, the whole suburb was up and running. The was no mud or silt on the roads, and the bookshop and Camper store we visited showed no ill effects either.
I was impressed that a small business was pledging to match all flood relief donations dollar for dollar. Us Brits like to hark on about the 'blitz spirit', I think there's a lot to be said for the 'Brisbane spirit'. Queenslanders have showed a remarkable reliance and determination to get things back to normal.
The Gunshop Café won Delicious Magazine's 2010 Australian café of the year and word was certainly out as we had to line up for 20 minutes to get a table.
Once inside it's hard not to like the place. There is a cool, urban and funky vibe going on with bare brick walls and lots of Brisbane trendy young things making conversation. On a practical note the tables were a good size and well spaced so you weren't on top of each other or the people next to you.
I haven't seen black pudding on a menu for a while so decided to order the black pudding, poached egg and apple & prune relish on sourdough. The black pudding was massive! It made the single poached egg look a bit miserly.
Initially I found the relish too sweet and enjoyed eating the black pudding on it's own. However, the pudding became a bit heavy and rich (in a vitamin B sense) as you ate more and the sweetness of the relish became a nice balance.
Best café in Brisbane, maybe. Best café in Australia, I think that's a little over the top. The place definitely had it's qualities, but the prices were a bit too high, the service a bit too slow and the menu not quite imaginative enough for that.
Dishes ordered by my companions..........
Poached eggs, smoked salmon and hollandaise on sourdough
Toulouse sausage, poached egg, sweet potato hash and bush tomato relish