Venturing out of inner-city Brisbane is often fraught with danger for foodies and caffeine junkies alike. For a long time the inner-city has laid claim to the best food and coffee venues with little challenge from the surrounding 'burbs.
Wilston's Willow and Spoon (former residents of Alderley — the cafe relocated in 2014) is leading the suburban invasion of venues offering quality caffeine and inventive and delicious dishes. On a busy Sunday morning guests are escorted from the overflowing front area, through the kitchen and out into the back dining area, which carries a homely backyard feel.
The menu greets with some interesting dish titles, complete with a smattering of odd pop culture quotes, but further inspection reveals an imaginative collection of breakfast options. Opting for The Stranger ($18) — poached eggs, brioche, halloumi, pumpkin, vierge, spinach and green olive cheeks — is a wise decision. The eggs are poached well, the brioche is the right balance of sweet and savoury and the pan-fried halloumi, roast pumpkin, wilted spinach and olive cheeks meld perfectly together in a mediterranean feast. The drizzle of vierge offers a detailed finish both on the plate and on the palate.
For a twist on a breakfast classic, The Willow (bacon, eggs, wholemeal grain sourdough and Woodside cultured butter; $17) is a well-executed staple for the less adventurous. A small selection of kid's menu options is evidence of the family vibe of the back dining area especially. Most weekends will find parents enjoying breakfast or a coffee while children roam the garden area.
Willow and Spoon's blend of Blue Sky Coffee offers a substantial kick while maintaining a smooth finish and like the food, even on a busy Sunday morning, the coffee feels well crafted. The mid-morning weekend rush doesn't seem to affect the pleasant service either, a huge plus for those perhaps inclined to opt for a sleep in and a leisurely brunch over an early breakfast.
Reservations are recommended for the weekend and on weeknights, but even without one you would be unlucky to be turned away. Willow and Spoon offers a friendly environment that's not only a great place for a caffeine fix but also a dining option truly up there with anything the inner-city has to offer.
Updated: April 26, 2016.