20 January, 2008

Antz in the Kitchen

901 High St, Thornbury; 0407 413 948

A food review without photos is like a coffee without sugar, or pasta without parmesan: the substance is there, but you're missing the extra kick that makes it memorable. It was my fault that I'd forgotten my camera, but after reluctantly employing the illogical cross-technology that is the phone camera, the accompanying software decided to 'cut' the photos off my phone, without then 'pasting' them onto my computer. Gone to the ether. Oh, the joys of technology.

Had it been a terrible cafe experience I perhaps would have cared less. But the relatively new Antz (at the Preston end of High St), while not taking any new culinary directions, is handling itself well in its chosen niche: breakfast and lunch staples, fresh juice and commendable coffee. The cafe fitout is strong on natural sunlight and primary colours. The deep blue pressed metal ceiling and red velvet bar stools give it the feel of a miniature ballroom.

The menu dances a steady waltz. Eggs - bendedict, florentine, scrambled or poached - take the floor first. Muesli and pancakes are quick to follow and shortly afterwards everyone has the chance to sit down to a range of sandwiches. The range of Antz burgers up the pace a little bit: there's the straight 'Antz' (beef pattie, lettuce and sauce), 'chickant' and 'vegant'. The ants go marching down the 'Refreshmants' board as well.

The food keeps its respectability and doesn't go off jiving to tunes it can't quite pull off. A BLT is served on a white bun with strips of iceberg, loads of bacon, a sweet mayonnaise and some unfortunately soggy tomato. The Antz burger is a thick pattie with a relish-style sauce. Most promisingly, the coffee served is of high quality, with a little-finger-thick crema and smooth taste that shows well-controlled roasting.

This is a small-scale, suburban cafe playing familiar tunes but showing good skill with its instruments.

No comments:

Post a Comment