Sometimes you just get wowed by the pretty pictures.
Gardiner and Field started off the blocks amazingly, with blog posts and online articles springing up in droves during their first week of business. And accompanying these posts were all these beautiful photos featuring silky flat whites in cute sea green crockery, shelves of jams, and floral arrangements bursting with new spring contrasted against honeyed wood tables. It was all a bit too much to take in, and I lingered over these posts and articles like little visual treasures.
But what always must be asked when viewing beautiful cafe photos is that while everything may be aesthetically pleasing, photos don’t tell you the most important thing: WHAT ABOUT FOOD? So, in the stalwart company of Rob, Bennett and Sophie, I endeavoured to find out whether the foodie blogosphere had been right to flood us all with such tempting images.
This cafe definitely is as pretty as the photos suggest, and is not only a comforting and pleasant space to be in, it is also complemented by some very lovely staff members who are all kinds of friendly. So, tick in the box for ambiance, Gardiner and Field. Now, the food.
I went with the breakfast bun (which is conveniently, along with the rest of the breakfast menu, available all day. Another tick!) with the standard ham kindly omitted, otherwise containing fried eggs, goats cheese and tomato relish all on a lovely crusty toasted pide roll. I’d be pretty happy to have this for every breakfast for the rest of my life. Beautifully orange yolks on the eggs that fair made you gasp to see, incredibly flavoursome relish (I ordinarily don’t even like relish that much) and salty, melty goats cheese all combined into a flavour-punch of satisfaction. So simple yet so good!
I also tried a mocha, given that Gardiner and Field produce their own house blend, and it is a very smooth blend indeed, not at all bitter, which is feat that I almost find miraculous.
Rob had the breaky bun too, but with no cheese, and was equally well pleased with it. And may I just state that as always it’s lovely when a cafe is happy for you to omit certain ingredients in dishes. My memory is a little hazy on what Sophie and Bennett had; I’m pretty sure that Soph had the broad bean, pea and feta mash with proscuitto and poached eggs, as I have this vague memory of a plate bright with green. Whatever Bennett had (maybe the lamb burger?) came with a shiny little metal basket of crispy chips that looked fiendishly good, I kept a shifty eye out for any that might become wayward and find themselves journeying to my face, but Bennett was too wily for me.
While there were plenty of little cakes and pastries on offer that were definitely tempting, there was one sweet treat in particular I wanted to claim as my own – the giant bounty milkshake! I was so overexcited by the appearance of a range of chocolate bar themed milkshakes on the menu that I conveniently forgot that adult human beings are totally not supposed to consume that much milk in one sitting, and ended up with the dreaded Milk Belly. But it was still deliciously worth it.
For once, the pretty pictures spoke the truth, Gardiner and Field is just lovely inside and out. Indeed, the food is worth coming for much more than the aesthetics, but sometimes it’s just nice to be somewhere that looks good and be conscious of yourself feeling good in it as a result. Spacial foodie soul yoga, if you will!
Gardiner and Field
43 Union Street, Armadale
Ph: 9078 1125