Pan-fried hamoumi with mushrooms and avocado on toast
Tucked away behind Sculpture Square on Middle Road lies a quaint courtyard where Artichoke starts. On a Sunday morning, the small cafe was busy and bustling with groups of friends catching up over cups of coffee and brunch.
The menu is Middle Eastern inspired, and I ordered the haloumi with mushrooms and avocado on toast, and the toasted sourdough was barely visible under a mountain of rocket, shitake mushrooms and pan-fried hamouli. I do have a bit of an issue with shitake mushrooms in non-Asian cuisine, preferring plain old button mushroom with my toast – I think shitake have a slippery texture that I’m unused to, at least for breakfast. I ordered a side of scrambled eggs which was equally enormous, and cooked absolutely perfectly, creamy and just cooked through so their still wobbly, again, reminding me a lot of Bill Granger’s famous scrambled eggs.
I think the service lets this charming cafe down – there’s plenty of staff, they just didn’t seem to be well connected to the kitchen. One order, and three different waiters came to tell us at different times that the sausages, apple juice and fries were not available that morning.
Given that Artichoke is a stone’s throw away from my home, I think that it could be a regular weekend breakfast/brunch destination. The only problem is it’s popularity. Walk-in diners on that Sunday morning were basically turned away as the place was fully booked. So plan ahead and book if you want a seat. I’ve heard the dinner menu is pretty awesome as well.
Artichoke Cafe and Bar
161 Middle Road
Inside Sculpture Square (beside NAFA)
Tel: 6336 6949
Brunch: Sat & Sun 11.30am – 4.00pm (last orders at 2.45)
Dinner: Tues – Sat 6.30pm – 11.00pm (last orders at 9.45pm)