Review: Eighty/Twenty, Braddon, Canberra

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Fresh, nutritious, wholesome, healthy food. Doesn't sound like the kind of thing a 'bacon waffles and fried chicken' kinda girl like me would be into for brunch. And yet...this new cafe might have just about convinced me to make friends with salad. But we'll get to that part later. Eighty/Twenty Food is the latest newcomer to join the Lonsdale street restaurant strip in Braddon. Just when I thought the suburb had hit cafe saturation point, I was proved wrong.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty6

This particular Braddon cafe has a point of difference - a focus on wholefoods and balanced eating. Run by sisters, Klarisa Cengic and Tihana Ravanparsa, their food philosophy is "Eat well 80%. Indulge 20%. Happy 100%". Oops! All this time, I've been eating well 20% of the time and indulging the other 80%!

Located on the corner of Lonsdale and Eloura streets (opposite the other numerically-named eatery Eighty-Six), Eighty Twenty has a very chic and monochrome interior. I loved the black shiny tiles in a diagonal pattern and the copper light fixtures. Very cool.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty7

Perusing the menu, I noticed a variety of The Fix cold press juices, but it was the intriguing smoothie menu that enticed me to read more. The Matcha Immunitea smoothie (matcha, mango, almond milk, coconut flesh, and coconut nectar) definitely caught my eye. I love matcha flavoured drinks, but I didn't think green tea was going to cut it this morning. I needed coffee. Bad.

I considered the Coffee + Cacao smoothie but the Nutty Professor won my heart. Despite being run off their feet with a sudden explosion of people in the cafe, the person taking my order didn't even blink when I asked if I could have my Nutty Professor smoothie with coffee. She seemed completely unphased by my fussy order and put it through with no extra charge. I was impressed.

Pretty much a meal in itself, the Nutty Professor smoothie ($8) was sensational. I knew it would be when I read the ingredients listed: cacao, milk (or milk alternative), banana, peanut butter, maca. Well actually, I had no idea what maca was, but I was willing to live on the wild side and take a risk. Later on, I asked Google. It turns out, maca is a root originally from the mountains of Peru and has been called the 'Peruvian ginseng'. Apparently it has been highly regarded for centuries as a miracle food and is the latest superfood to add to smoothies.

I loved the visual presentation and textural element of the cacao nibs (cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces). I stirred the cacao nibs through the drink and got a deliciously crunchy peanut butter smoothie. This clean eating business was off to a good start.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty

Then came possibly the most beautiful porridge I've ever seen. The Quinoa porridge ($9.50) was sprinkled with pretty edible flower petals. The poached fruit and the crushed pistachios were perfect additions to the dish.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty2

My patient friends very kindly let me take photos of their dishes! Between all of us, we covered almost every item on the menu!

Kale and sweet potato rosti with poached egg, pesto oil and blistered cherry tomatoes ($14.50). I had a small bite of the rosti and vowed to get this dish next time I come back!

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty3

The '80' Bowl: kale, watercress, rainbow chard, radish, cauliflower crumb, soft poached egg and grilled king trout ($17.50). I pinched a bit of the king trout and it flaked away beautifully. Cooked medium rare, the trout was tender and full of flavour.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty4

Poached free range eggs on toast ($8), with a side of king trout ($6) and mushroom medley ($3.5). Total came to $17.50. The toast was left unbuttered, which got a tick from my friend.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty5

Dukkah spiced eggs with flat bread, hummus, house made labna and charred eggplant, capsicum and parsley salad ($14.50)

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty36

I noticed sparkling water served with every dine-in espresso - a sign they're serious about their coffee! (A sip of the sparkling water is used to cleanse the palate before having a sip of the espresso. If the coffee is good, finish off the water and then enjoy the rest of the espresso. If the coffee isn't good, finish off the espresso and use the rest of the sparkling water to cleanse your palate. Thanks again, Google!)

Except for the '20' Bun, everything else on the breakfast menu is pretty much vegetarian and gluten free. For those on the paleo diet, the menu also notes whether an item is paleo or not. Picky foodies all around can rejoice! The price point is excellent too. For the quality of ingredients you get, the prices are very reasonable and that makes me happy.

What I'm coming back for: poached eggs on toast with a side (or two) of king trout and blistered cherry tomatoes. The Glow Pro smoothie looked amazing, so that's on the list too.

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The Low-Down on Eighty Twenty Eatery type: Health food cafe What to order: Kale & sweet potato rosti, Nutty Professor smoothie. I'd also recommend getting a side of king trout with anything you've ordered. Best for: Health-conscious brunchers (especially those who are vegetarians and/or gluten intolerant). Or a smoothie date with the bestie. x

Website: http://www.eightytwentyfood.com.au/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eightytwentyfood Phone: 02 6247 2866 Email: info@eightytwentyfood.com.au Address: 1/8 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, ACT 2612 Open: Monday to Saturday 6am - 4pm. Sunday 7am - 4pm. They only take bookings of 6 people or more.

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