Anouk, one of Brisbane’s best cafes, occupies the old Paddington apothecary in the Given Terrace eating precinct, where for years it has been serving up all-day brunch with the wow factor.
The chic inviting interior, sun-filled in the mornings, features exposed handmade brick walls and timber floors, while outside hanging ferns provide tropical green shade to the pavement tables.
More than a café, Anouk is like an upscale neighbourhood eating house, serving scrumptious all-day breakfast/lunch, as well as takeaway coffee and specials to a loyal cast of regulars.
What makes Anouk stand out amongst the crowd is the fine attention to detail, from the creative beautifully-presented dishes and the perfectly-brewed coffee to the warm, attentive service.
Not only is Anouk's menu one of Brisbane's most creative, it is also extensive, with a myriad of delectable options that includes long-standing faves such as the croissant french toast (with seasonal variations such as sweet roast rhubarb, raspberries, marscapone and Anouk's own honeycomb) three cheese omelette (with feta, mozzarella and parmesan and seasonal herbs) and breakfast pasta (angel hair, speck, tarragon lemon butter, chilli, parmesan and a poached egg).
Mixed in with these are an ever-changing list of seasonal breakfast dishes with (in colder months) a Middle Eastern flavour, such as dried fruit compote and saffron honey labneh with orange cous cous and pistachio crumble; orange ricotta fritters with orange curd, marscapone, cinnamon spiced rum syrup and pistachio praline, or hummus kawarma: Middle eastern spiced lamb with lemon, hummus, warm pita and fried egg.
Lunch-style dishes vary from the likes of smoked roast eggplant with prosciutto, pine nuts, feta and lashings of hot and spicy tomato concasse; sweet and sticky chicken with kaleslaw (apple cider dressed shredded kale, sultana and peanut chilli jam); or slow cooked boozy beef cheek on pearl cous cous with a poached egg rolled in marrow butter.
Meantime. the fish of the day is always worth a look, coming in forms such as one of Brisbane's best seafood laksas. And diners can always add 'A Bit on the Side' with sides including eggs, smashed avo, haloumi, 2 rashers of Gotzinger bacon, one little poached egg, persian fetta or hickory, earl grey smoked salmon, pan fried mushrooms, garlic buttered greens or crispy smashed potato.
Anouk is also one of the few places in Brisbane where you can enjoy dessert for breakfast – think Hoboken Crunch (salted caramel gelato, popcorn, vanilla ice-cream, popcorn, candied nuts and lashings of caramel); Fudgy Tiramisu (choc brownie, choclate gelato, marscapone, cinnamon, candied nut and espresso) or Eton Mess (blood orange sorbet, meringue, vanilla yoghurt, berry compote and strawberry coulis).
Coffee served is well-brewed Merlo, hot chocolate with marshmallows, Chamellia Leaf Teas, yoghurt fruit smoothies, fruit shakes, muddled fruit and fizz, Australian cold press juice and home-made soft drinks. BYO beer, wine or spirit - with the latter Anouk will be happy to mix up a killer cocktail!
Need to know - There is a small amount of free off-street parking out the back of Anouk (entry off Guthrie St), otherwise there is plenty of on-street parking around the area.
*The menu may have changed since our visit.