The Ten Best Porridges in Brisbane
Creative, innovative and winter-warming porridges from around the city.
August 03, 2014
Don't think much of the humble of bowl of oats? Prepare to change your mind, like now.
You can basically thank your existence on the subject of this feature. Porridge has in fact been dubbed the “greatest invention of all time”, without which, our earth simply wouldn’t be as populated as it is today. (Don't believe it? The UK Telegraph wouldn't lie.)
Mercifully though, this ridiculously versatile breakfast option has evolved from the basic blend of oats, milk and a simple topping to the seriously inspired — think quinoa grains; milk alternatives such as almond or coconut; and toppings of fresh, poached or dried fruit, nuts, compotes, fairy floss, ricottas or burnt caramel sauces.
Thanks to imaginative chefs in cafe kitchens across Brisbane, our top ten list covers the best from decadent and sweet to healthy and wholesome. Whichever way you prefer your morning goodness we're sure there's one below that's juuuust right.
The porridge at The Rogue Rennard is quite simply put, divine. A bowl of perfectly balanced flavours and textures, the creamy vanilla oats are cooked in full fat milk and are topped with sweet but still slightly tart quarters of poached quince, a sprinkling of crushed almonds and desiccated coconut and micro herbs to finish. It’s pretty much the epitome of winter in a bowl and leaves you scraping your spoon to ensure those final residual grains don’t escape your stomach.
106a Latrobe Tce, Paddington
A stroke of genius from Alastair Mcleod’s Al'FreshCo team (who serve up French inspired deliciousness at the Jan Powers Farmers Markets every week) means you can now get your porridge fix whilst trawling for your weeks’ produce! The wonderfully indulgent vanilla porridge made with oats, vanilla bean paste and full fat milk, is served with sweet strawberries from fellow stallholder Wild Fruit, a drizzling of burnt orange caramel and is finished with optional bee pollen and honey. Sweet, warming and just heavenly.
Jan Powers Farmer Markets, New Farm & Queens St
The Moray Café’s take on porridge is definitely one for the sugar inclined. Nothing short of sweet, its banana chai porridge with berry compote, honeycomb and homemade fairy floss is as pretty as a picture and is almost like having dessert for breakfast. With oats made on a mashed banana and chai infused milk, the porridge is served with a sweet berry mixture of jam-like consistency and topped with clouds of pink floss. It conjures childhood imaginings of princess breakfasts and fairy food.
158 Moray St, New Farm
Tucked away in a non-descript building on Mclachlan St in the Valley, Bare Bones Espresso does a mean coffee…but its small selection of breakfast options is equally as enticing. In particular the red quinoa porridge with chai tea soaked prunes (or cranberries if they’re out), pepitas and pistachios will warm the “barest of bones”! Both textural and flavoursome it ticks the boxes for creaminess, nuttiness and zing factor.
2/66 Mclachlan St, Fortitude Valley
Known for amaze-balls acai bowls and awesome house blend coffee, Kiss the Berry has also recently started selling warm porridge bowls to hungry hoards of city goers. The overnight oat porridge bowls are the shiz with oats soaked overnight in water, vanilla and cinnamon, cooked in milk and topped with your choice of either apple, blueberries and pistachio crumble, or strawberry, banana, gluten free buckinis and coconut sugar. With either option you’ll also get a blob of acai compote to finish, which is all it takes to transport you to porridge nirvana.
Shop 1/99 Creek St, Brisbane
If there were a prize for the most decadent of porridges in Brisbane, Spicers Balfour would be a serious contender. With oats and quinoa cooked with cream and served with an extra jug of it on the side for pouring, it’s thick, luscious and everything you want from a winter breakfast. Topped with candied almonds, tangy sour cherries, slightly crunchy caramelised apple and sugared pistachio it’s a breakfast that will make you want to curl up with a book and go straight back to bed after you've finished!
37 Balfour St, New Farm
Locals are well aware that the cooler months mean it’s time for the much anticipated winter porridge from Sourced Grocer. We know these guys can do a killer bowl of oats making it wickedly rich with both milk and cream, but it’s the annually changing topping that generates the hype. Last year it was caramelised banana and maple and this year it’s all about the rhubarb with hazelnut rapadura sugar and extra cream. Served al dente so the rhubarb is still in tact and sprinkled with the nutty, sugary crumb it’s definitely another hit!
11 Florence St, Teneriffe
This may only be a special on the Artie & Mai menu but the quinoa porridge made with coconut milk and topped with slices of fresh banana, walnuts, sunflower seeds and thyme infused honey, is a ripper. Using only quinoa the porridge is light and fluffy with a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavour. Super healthy with just a hint of sweetness from the banana and honey, it’s also perfectly portioned so you don’t feel like you’re rolling out the door once spoons are down. Artie & Mai, we think this one needs to become a regular breakfast option. Stat.
340 Sandgate Rd, Albion
The team at the Campos head quarter’s kitchen in James St usually do porridge every winter that regulars look out for. Its current take on the traditional warming breakfast is a creamy vanilla oat porridge, served with earl grey infused dates dotted throughout and topped with a blob of thick, creamy ricotta and fresh strawberry halves (honey is also optional). Plus, Campos' oat-y goodness is like a never-ending bowl of deliciousness. Props to those who can polish it off!
11 Wandoo St, Fortitude Valley
Normally Stalled’s porridge comes topped with vibrant rhubarb and berry compote, however, in a testament to improvisation (and lack of rhubarb on the day of review) they can easily substitute the topping for whatever they may have on hand. Sweet caramelised banana and fresh strawberries are a perfect combination and fresh alternative atop the creamy bowl of oats that will leave you wanting to return the next day. And the next.
38 Collingwood St, Albion
Photography by Mimi Hyll
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