Sunday 30 August 2015

Brunch @ Federal Cafe, Northern Quarter

I've spoken about how much I love eating out before, but I think I've reached new grounds here. 
After visiting Federal Cafe on Friday morning for the first time with my team at work (nothing like avo and eggs to set you up for smashing out the last day of the week), I knew I'd be back soon. Sunday morning soon, it turned out.. 

Breakfast on Friday

When I arrived at 8am on Friday there were already a few tables occupied; two girl friends having an early catch up over French toast and tea, a guy busying himself on his laptop with a giant mug of coffee beside him, people popping in in suits, for their morning caffeine fix - there was a really good atmosphere.

Inside, it's actually smaller than I expected, but I think it offers a more intimate, homely vibe (and explains reports I've heard of queues forming out the door - FYI it's worth the wait..). 

I was immediately drawn to the 'Smashed Avo' on sourdough toast with poached eggs & streaky bacon, and a matcha latte to green things up a little. My team mate ordering food misheard me on the matcha front and so I also ended up with a Macchiato Espresso, which I'm certainly not complaining about. I think I'd actually really enjoy coffee tasting; this particular little bean was fruity with hints of dark chocolate, and I must admit I felt very knowledgeable reading off the taste card and preceding to mutter things like 'oh yes I can definitely get a feel for those deep berries..,' to myself. 


Most of us went for similar egg based dishes - there were a couple of egg Benedict's, a mushroom and egg affair (which I'd get to on Sunday...), a salmon bagel and the thickest wedge of banana bread and mascarpone, which sadly I didn't sample but smelt amazing.

I was seriously impressed with the generous portions; I find a lot of places nowadays can scrimp on things like the avocado - but this was hearty and decent. Speaking of the avocado, it was zesty and softened the crispy sourdough crusts just perfectly in my eyes. The eggs were bang on and the bacon was everything you'd imagine - salty and crunchy. It's making my mouth water thinking about it again!

I could've sat there for hours but we were served and out within 45 minutes (sadly), to head off to work.

Brunch on Sunday

On Sunday it was a slightly lazier affair, popping in around 11, and the place was steadily filling up.

It was busier but held that relaxed vibe - lots of people dining solo reading books, people coming in with their parents, as well as groups of friends. The staff were smiley and welcoming too, which is always a bonus!

This time, I'd spied mushrooms, so went for the Shrooms & Halloumi, and James did the same (I was hoping he'd pick the French Toast so I could sample but we're both massive savoury breakfast fans, one to try for next time definitely).

Well. It didn't disappoint. More of that sourdough and perfectly poached eggs (see picture below for obligatory yolk porn), but this time with slices of thick, squeaky halloumi, garlic and thyme roasted mushrooms and a spicy tomato relish. It was lush.

The relish made the dish for me. I love a tomato based sauce any day of the week so it was right up my street, and paired with the yolk it made a great base to mop up with bread.

Drinks wise, you must get the chai spiced latte. This probably sounds OTT but it was silky smooth to sip with a nice cinnamony kick, one of those things you don't want to end. James's massive cappucino in the red cup was also a winner.


I think you can tell I'm a fan. Would it be too much to go *again* this week to try their Brinner menu?

If you've been to Federal and think there's a dish I need to try, let me know and I'll gladly try it out!

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