CNF Cafe

The first time I ever tried eggs Benedict was in Australia – I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like it, but my godfather had ordered it for his littlest, so if he liked it, surely I would.
Eggs Benedict is now my favourite brunch time treat – and I live for brunch.
Cafes and restaurants are judged on the strength of their eggs Benedict.

Today I wandered down Chapel Street in search of brunch, overwhelmed by choice I popped into a bakery and asked for a recommendation and was sent to CNF Cafe.

Quick snap of the outside, in between trams and cars

Quick snap of the outside, in between trams and cars

You walk inside and are greeted by high ceilings and a long bar; floor to ceiling wine racks line back wall, with plenty of tables to chose from. It’s dark inside, but not dingy, and while you eat the cafe fills with light as the morning sunshine is bounced off passing cars as they glitter along Chapel Street. Greeted by easy listening, you pick a spot and are brought a glass of water with the menu. It wasn’t too busy when I went in, so I was served pretty much straight away, and, being a creature of habit (and a creature of habit on a quest) I didn’t need to look at the menu: eggs Benedict and a mocha.


Lovely foam on top, served in a handleless glass

My coffee was lovely – if a little cool. I like my drinks to be hot, especially if I’m enjoying them with food and my mocha arrived at a very drinkable temperature. The coffee itself was a nice roast, strong enough I could taste it, but not too bitter or overpowering. The milk was steamed to perfection with a nice layer of foam on top and the chocolate flavour appeared to have been made with powder, not syrup – always a nice difference, it’s less sweet and you get an even mix between coffee and chocolate milk. I was impressed at how quickly my eggs Benedict arrived and the addition of spinach was fantastic. I’m not a Benedict puritan when it comes to spinach – I know the waters between Florentine and Benedict can get murky but I’m ok with that.

Eggs Benedict, presented lovely: fresh and hot.

Eggs Benedict, presented lovely: fresh and hot.

Brunch as a whole was nice, but there were elements that didn’t quite live up to Benedict perfection. The eggs were over poached – they were cooked all the way through and I like my yolks to be runny. The smoked ham was delicious, thinly sliced and there was a nice ratio of ham to egg. The spinach tasted fresh, but watery, as though it had been blanched not wilted, not entirely to my taste, but a nice texture when added to the rest of the meal. The hollandaise sauce was very garlicky, more like a pasta sauce than hollandaise and I would have like a little more of it. The muffin however, was toasted to perfection – if bread was steak I’d have it rare, I don’t like anything over toasted and when you’ve got a lot of sauce, or runny yolks it’s nicer when the muffin is softer. Naturally, I covered it in black pepper (as I’m want to do with most meals), but the flavours already present were nicely balanced.

Egg yolks weren't runny - something I love about eggs Benedict

Egg yolks weren’t runny – something I love about eggs Benedict

As I was eating, I was pondering my decision to move and this song came on. It’s a long story why this song means so much to me; based on borrowed memories from a good friend, mismatched summer mornings in the country and a sense of peace that isn’t my own, but it’s a song that always makes me smile.

The Bottom Line
The service was fast, if not entirely friendly – there was no opportunity for a chat, but he was pleasant enough. Food was certainly tasty, if not entirely what I expected, and my coffee could have done with being a bit hotter. All in all, lovely first solo brunch.


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