Going out to a nice breakfast on the weekend is one of the many pleasures Brisbane has to offer, but sometimes the same old eggs benny can get a bit tired. Not to mention the waiting times that are part and parcel of a Saturday morning visit to almost any inner suburban eatery.
The people of Annerley are a lucky bunch, having a few good alternatives in their neck of the woods, including the bright and bubbly Cafe O-Mai. Their Vietnamese and Vietnamese-inspired dishes are a breath of fresh air to jaded (or perhaps just spoilt) Brisbane breakfast enthusiasts. Cafe O-Mai is also open for lunch, when you can get favourites like rice paper rolls and vermicelli noodle salad, but we think breakfast is where the action is.
The baby pho (starting at $7) is the ideal morning meal: warm, restorative, laden with wholesome ingredients and starchy carbohydrates. It can also come with a bit of a chilli kick if you like it like that — and who here doesn't? The soup base is allowed to develop for two days, resulting in a very aromatic and flavoursome broth. Added extras include beef, chicken, beef balls, brisket, tripe, tendon and Asian greens.
The banh mi is excellent, Cafe O-Mai having been a shameful omission from our recent Best Banh Mi in Brisbane list — an oversight that has now been corrected. Like the pho, the banh mi is quite customisable, with Cafe O-Mai offering possibly more variety than any other banh mi place in town. As well as the classic pork roll (with homemade chicken pate), you can choose from a dizzying lineup of fillings, including pork meatball and quail eggs. The baguettes (from Patisseries Bakery & De Francs in Sunnybank Hills) are chewy and satisfying, especially when chased with a cà phê phin (Vietnamese iced coffee).
If you're the type who always goes for baked eggs, try Aunty Five's claypot baked eggs with Vietnamese lemongrass and chilli pork sausage, spring onion and tamarind sauce with sourdough ($15). The homemade sauce is tangy, sweet and sticky, and combines luxuriously with the soft egg yolks.
You really shouldn't need more convincing to add Cafe O-Mai to your weekly breakfast rotation.