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Sunday, 4 September 2011

The beauty of bircher

Okay so oats aren’t exactly beautiful. In fact, with a hangover, I suspect they would resemble a rather disgusting swarm of squashed white beetles, swimming in a milky lake. But on a good day, with a clear head, oats would certainly be my breakfast of choice, in the form of bircher muesli.

The beauty of bircher is threefold:
  • you avoid the horrible sawdust taste of dry muesli because the oats are steeped in orange juice overnight, becoming tender and soft to the bite by morning time. Never underestimate the importance of a chewable breakfast. Having dragged myself out of bed at some ungodly hour (an achievement in itself), I can’t imagine anything worse than chomping my way through unyielding grains before reaching something remotely digestible.
  • the orange juice and the dried fruit give you a natural sugar hit that you feel less guilty about than if, for example, you had bought a Danish for breakfast
  • you feel super-organised (and slightly more in control of your life than usual) when you're standing in the kitchen at midnight, pouring milk and OJ into a bowl, knowing that your breakfast is done, and will wait patiently for you in the fridge overnight, glowing like a pearl in the dark. More excuses to hit the snooze button in the morning ...
And so let our bircher muesli journey begin!

Le Pain Quotidien
By far my favourite cafe in the Sydney CBD. Cute, cosy and rustic with simple wooden tables, menus sticking out of loaves of bread, and coffee served in fat round mugs.

The cafe sits at the top of Sydney Westfield, overlooking the glass walkway between Westfield and Myer. It's bright and sunny for most of the day, so perfect for your early-morning Vitamin D fix :)

Yes I forgot to mention - they're really big on jams and spreads. You'll find these babies on all the tables, as well as at the front counter, where you can sample them while you're waiting in line to pay.

So. Good.

Great coffee.  The surface is so big, it looks like a tiny Pacific island of cocoa is adrift in the middle.

Separate visit. Decided to try the carrot muffin. Verdict? Better than carrot cake.

The Frisky Goat
Now when you're really strapped for time, and need to grab a quick bite on the way to work, the Frisky Goat will guide you. You can find him at the top of Wynyard station, near the entrance opening onto Carrington Street. The bircher muesli comes in handy plastic cups, and each one is topped with a crown of crunchy golden granola. Hard to miss.


Burnt Orange, Mosman
Slight diversion back across the bridge. But trust me, it's worth it! Burnt Orange is a gorgeous little cafe overlooking Middle Harbour, situated near the HMAS Penguin. It's a local hotspot, so you'll end up waiting for a while, even if you've made a booking (although they placated us with free coffee). The cafe also houses a cute little shop, selling spotted teapots, flowery aprons and all sorts of other kitchen items.

As much as I love this place, I have to say the bircher muesli with rhubarb was not impressive. The overdose of cream and the bitterness of the rhubarb made for a pretty uninspiring breakfast, but the views, the company and the free coffee turned things around :)

Wrapido Cafe, Crows Nest
My friend A introduced me to this place, and I've loved it ever since. Not only do they have amazing muffins (which are hard to find, trust me - most muffins look pretty but taste like flour), but they have a.m.a.z.i.n.g. bircher muesli :) Who would have thought that wrapping the muesli and dusting it with icing sugar would make a world of difference?

Bacco, Chifley
Saved the best for last! This is my favourite breakfast place, because it's so close to work and all the options are so good that my indecisiveness is no longer a problem - you can't go wrong with whatever you choose. So if you're ever in the area, stop by and join the massive queue of suits looking for a good coffee and hearty breakfast. 

Best bircher muesli ever.

French toast (if you're sick of muesli after this post!)

Happy breakfasting!


Anonymous said...

Hehe you made me laugh with your description of oats! :P Oh and yes plain untoasted muesli is the worst. I must have toasted or granola because I think I'd rather eat cardboard that untoasted :P

Anonymous said...

Ohh I've always wanted to try Wrapido but wasn't sure if it was any good - now I'm definitely going to head in for some muffins!

Dumpling Girl and Cheesecake Boy said...

I love Le Pain Quotidien, now you've got my cravings started. Early morning breakfast tomorrow seems like a great idea now :)