Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pandemonium Cafe

Pandemonium Cafe has been a popular spot in Paddington for as long as I can remember. I've eaten breakfast and lunch there plenty of times over the years, even when it used to be a bit further up Given Terrace.

Pandemonium has a retro/70's feel to it inside, with old mis-matched chairs and tables for an authentic touch. On this visit we were after some breakfast. It was about 9.30 on a Sunday morning, and the only spot inside (which is air conditioned) was on the couches in the corner. Not thinking our co-ordination was up to juggling bacon & eggs with a coffee on the couch after a big night out, we sat out the front instead. There are a few tables out the front, which really don't have the ambience of inside, and I think are a bit pokey. But weekend breakfasts at Pandemonium are always busy, so outside it was.

Pandemonium's breakfast menu covers toast, muesli and a good selection of hot options. I was really in need of something a bit greasy to help with a hangover, so although the spinach and feta omelette sounded delicious (three eggs, spinach, feta, tasty cheese & thick toast with Pando's sauce on the side - $12.50), I ordered the bacon & eggs instead ($12.50 with gluten free toast).

It was a big serving of bacon rashers, with two poached eggs that had been poached in moulds. Whenever I'm served eggs from a mould it brings back memories of cooking poached eggs when I was about 6 years old. They don't exactly look as cool as eggs which have been freely poached in a big saucepan of water. Anyway they were perfectly cooked, so once I'd busted them open, their shape was quickly forgotten. The bacon & eggs were served with a cooked tomato and one piece of gluten free toast (which I thought was a bit miserly given all the bacon and eggs). Next time I'll have to remember to order two pieces.

My partner in partying the night before ordered the avocado toast with a side serve of baked beans ($9.50). This was two enormous thick pieces of toast, smothered with fresh avocado. The toast wasn't gluten free, so I couldn't eat it, but it looked (and apparently tasted) fantastic.

There are plenty of other breakfast possibilities, including French toast ($9), a breaky panini ($8), pancakes with mixed berries or seasonal fruit & ice cream ($12.50) and the steak breakfast if you are ravenous (150g rib fillet, bacon, sausages, eggs, homemade hash browns, mushrooms, tomato & thick toast - $19.50).

I had a flat white ($3) with my breakfast, which was good. We also ordered a coffee frappe, which turned out to be terrific. I don't normally order iced coffees, because I usually find them way too sweet. This one however actually had an authentic coffee bitterness to it and, coupled with the icy/slushy texture, made for a great start to a very warm day.

My only gripe with Pandemonium was the water. They don't serve any water for free. A small bottle of water will set you back $1. I know it's not much, but I really can't understand why a cafe can't serve water free of charge.

Pandemonium is a good place to visit if you're looking for tasty, home style food. There's a good reason why its been popular for so long - prices are very reasonable, service is usually snappy and the portions are healthy. They are also happy to accommodate coeliacs, vegetarians and vegans.

Pandemonium is now open for dinner on Thursday and Friday nights and also offers a catering service.

What does all this mean? Tasty, home-style food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with good sized servings and friendly staff.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Good
Ambience - Retro/70's feel inside
Value for Money - Great
Wine - Small selection or BYO
Vegetarian - Good
Gluten Free - Good

Pandemonium Cafe
215 Given Terrace
Paddington 4064
P - (07) 3369 4420
F - (07) 3876 2094
E -
W -

Pandemonium Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Ooh stinginess with water is a deal-breaker for me. There are plenty of good places that *do* serve free chilled water- and plenty more with staff good enough to regularly replace the bottles as they empty. Even though Pandemonium sounds like it has good food, I'm not interested in giving them a go.