My mate Callum raved to me about a breakfast he had at Chow House on James St, Fortitude Valley. So, with Callum and another mate, Jakson, we all made a pact that we would go there as soon as holidays started. It wasn’t the first time I had heard about the breakfast at Chow House. I knew that head chef Timmy Kemp was well regarded for her breakfast fare having wowed diners at her previous restaurant, Timmy’s at Southbank (since closed). My Mum also whet my appetite further when she told me that Kemp’s Crumpets and lemon curd are stuff of food legend.
When Winter holidays finally arrived, the pact was actioned and we met outside Chow House. On a typical Brisbane Winter’s day the courtyard dining area was bright and inviting with plenty of sunlight coming in from the street. For a Tuesday morning it was pleasing to see the restaurant filled with a healthy number of customers enjoying the breakfast fare.
My plan to order the crumpets was immediately negated after I spied the Breakfast Burrito – a soft flour tortilla filled with braised beef, poached free range egg, tomato salsa, avocado and sour cream ($19.50). I was a little disappointed my poached egg was not runny, however, that misstep was overcome by the burrito, containing tender pieces of beef and plenty of meaty braising liquor. The accompanying tomato salsa, avocado and sour cream provided freshness and balanced the intensity of the braise.
Callum had eyes for only one dish on the menu and that was the Brioche French Toast with caramelised banana, coconut crunch, cinnamon, caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream ($16.50). He had been raving about this dish after having it at his last visit so there was no question he would change a winning formula. It was inevitable I would ask though, “Was it as good as last time?” Callum remarked that although the initial excitement that came with eating this dish for the first time had dissipated, it was, nevertheless, as good as he recalled.
After tossing up a few options, Jakson finally settled on Eggs Benny with ham, poached eggs, wilted spinach, hollandaise, english muffin and salmon (full serve $18). A classic combination and while his eggs were perfectly cooked Jakson preferred less of the wilted spinach.
Jakson and I congratulated Callum for selecting a top spot and we all agreed that Jakson will choose the next venue. Having also had the chance to peruse Chow House’s main menu, I found a few dishes that took my fancy so I don’t think it will be long before another visit with lunch or dinner in mind.