|Building No. 7 - The Grounds of Alexandria, Huntley Street, Alexandria|
|Tea herbs in the gardens|
|The gardens and waiting area|
|Diners wait in the gardens|
|Inside the café|
Finally seated on the smaller and quieter of the two sides, I plonked down onto the leather banquette to be told we've missed breakfast (up until 11am; lunch starts at 11.30am - not sure what happens in the 30 minutes in between).
Where I was seated I could see into the roasting area labelled in neon yellow, "Research Facility", where coffee bean testing happens. My skim cappuccino tasted every bit as smooth and creamy as a weekend awakening should, especially if it's been researched, tested and all.
|Fresh orange and grapefruit juice|
The quirky retro water bottles are fun too, adding to the post-industrial feel of the interiors which is artfully casual with cutlery on the tables.
|Hand made pappardelle|
It was a seriously large serve, especially for breakfast, with rich and comforting flavours and topped off with shavings of parmesan cheese.
I still can't decide what was better: the silky ribbons of pappardelle or the homely combination of lamb and peas. A touch of tomato wouldn't have gone astray but this was a winner that I'll be returning for.
|Slow cooked lamb salad with yoghurt, chickpeas, roast pumpkin|
The shredded lamb was tossed with cubes of roasted pumpkin, Spanish onion, whole chickpeas, radicchio, rocket and parsley - the latter few which may well have come from the outside garden.
I think the sherry vinaigrette dressing may have been missing its vinegar component, but you can't really go wrong with lamb and yoghurt anyway. The brown bread was a little more dense and fluffy than I might have expected, though I'm not sure if the bread is yet made onsite.
Looking around, the burger with fries looked to be the most popular lunch order but with the priciest meal coming in at $17, I think it's all going to be very popular with the locals and nearby workers.
|The Grounds signpost|
The other wait is actually that to pay: bills arrive to the table but are paid - by cash only at the moment - back at the counter where you might encounter the takeaway queue and need to join the end. Perhaps it's a ploy to get more takeaway coffee and cake sales, but overall, the wait for The Grounds has been well worth it.