This cafe with a social conscience took the place of Mingles at Novena Square. Gone are the large screen TVs with Christina Aguilera concert footage blaring, and in their place are gaudily painted walls with facts, quotes and information on the cafe’s crusade – “A Social Enterprise providing affordable good food by an inclusive quality workforce comprising people of different abilities, ages and socio-economic backgrounds.”
The food is similar to that offered at Mingles, so except for the decor you may initially think it was the same restaurant. They have sausages and rosti, BBQ ribs, roast chicken and fish and chips – generic cafe food. They have pretty good value sets - $13.90 for a soup of the day, a main course and a drink.
The soup of the day was clam chowder. This was very ordinary – the soup was thin, and there were more potatoes than anything else, and barely any clams. The only interesting thing about it was that it was served in a tea cup. A had the fish and chips and I had the sausage (pork bratwurst) with rosti. The fish and chips was the breaded, not battered kind, which was right up A’s alley.
When my sausage arrived, it was a bit pink when I cut into it and also slightly soft. Being worried that it was undercooked pork and I may end up with food poisoning, I asked them to grill it just a bit longer. When they brought it back, I realised they had completely replaced it with a new sausage – they meant well, but that kinda defeated the purpose of my sending it back for a longer cooking time. Anyway, they did a slightly better job on the second one.
The staff are polite and I do appreciate their cause. Opened by a couple with an autistic son, they try to employ autistic youngsters to give them a start in the workforce. With that in mind, I can overlook the fact that the food was, though fairly decent, very generic and nothing particularly noteworthy.
The service is reasonable and the food’s okay. Prices may be high for the type of place it is, but the portions are big and the money goes to a good cause.
Professor Brawn Cafe
#02-78/79 Novena Square