Monsieur Poisson and I spent just short of a week in Brisbane back in October for a mini-getaway. Apart from the fact that I had never been to the sunny city before, I also wanted to go somewhere warm for once. All the other trips we have ever taken together have been during the colder months of the year, so I was looking forward to a holiday where we didn’t have the need to lug coats and boots.
This trip was planned at somewhat short notice so I didn’t get a chance to research places to eat as extensively as when we went to Melbourne, but I did get to consult Gastronomy Gal for some recommendations. I unfortunately didn’t do her suggestions any justice as we didn’t make it to any of them, mainly because we were lazy and stuck to places close to where we were staying.
After arriving in Brisbane and checking into the hotel by the early afternoon, we head out for a stroll through the city in search of a late lunch. We wander into Queens Plaza and I am attracted by a kiosk café with the simple name of Coffee & Chocolate. I often bring back chocolates from various trips and I immediately rush over to press my nose against the display cabinet.
Some of the chocolates look similar to those I’ve seen in Melbourne from The Chocolate Box and Cacao but I hold off buying any in favour of having lunch first instead. The process of which involves ordering at the counter, collecting a table number, seating yourself and waiting for the food to arrive. The bulk of the food consists of pre-prepared rolls, quiches and pastries sitting in a display window. There are no visible prices so I am a bit lost when the waitress asks me, “Did you want a side salad with those?” – does this mean the salad is an optional inclusion, or an optional extra?
Monsieur Poisson orders an iced chocolate to try, seeing as chocolate is part of the store’s namesake, but we are grossly disappointed. The poor execution and presentation of chocolate syrup sunken to the bottom of the glass did not give us a good first impression. It might taste wonderful!, we remind ourselves, but we are disappointed in this department as well because the chocolate flavour is muted despite the presence of what appears to be ample syrup. We’d like more chocolate in our iced chocolate please!
To eat, I’ve ordered the ‘Salmon Bagle’ [sic] which is not actually served on a bagel but rather pide. Within the pide is a filling of smoked salmon, ricotta and iceberg lettuce which is slightly wilted from the whole thing having been toasted in a sandwich press. The side salad comes with a sweet chilli vinaigrette-type dressing, but there is much less of this dressing on Monsieur Poisson’s side salad compared to mine. He has ordered the chicken and mushroom filo which arrives looking rather pale.
The filo roll is warm to the centre so we know it has been heated adequately, but somehow the pastry itself is still light in colour and seems undercooked. It is neither crispy nor flaky and there are very few mushrooms inside. There is a generous fillet of chicken within the roll which is wrapped in a slice of ham, but there is an overwhelming amount of thick, white sauce hogging the rest of the space. We remove and leave most of this sauce behind.
We were left quite unsatisfied following this meal and its accompanying price tag of $39.50, which entailed almost no table service and of which we did not know the breakdown. Needless to say, we finished our food and left without trying their coffee or purchasing any of the aforementioned chocolates.
Coffee & Chocolate
Shop KUL-01, Level 1, Queens Plaza, 226 Queen St, Brisbane QLD
Tel: (07) 3229 7799
Opening Hours: Mon 7:30am-5pm