Atomic Café is a 'modern Australian' eatery at the new Claremont Quarter. It is surrounded by high-end fashion shops, giftware shops and other pricey places, so you would expect it to be pretty special, in order to appeal to a well-heeled crowd.
We visited for breakfast, but it is open all day until 5.30pm. Although it is currently advertised as opening from Monday to Saturday, I suspect with the new Sunday trading it will also be opening seven days a week.
I enjoyed my breakfast at Atomic Café, but it didn't blow my mind. Two days on, and I am struggling to remember much about it. The service was good, the food was good, the room was pleasant enough in that indoor-outdoor sort of way. I do remember thinking that the high chairs (I had brought along my six month old) might have looked funky and modern, but it had no safety strap and was really big. As such my little baby kept slipping through it, threatening to wind up on the stone floor with a plop. Needless to say, she spent the majority of the meal on my lap.
The menu is varied and although there are some pricier options at $20, there are a lot of items at less than $15. Let's start with the big ones: there is your standard 'big breakfast' ($22.50) and vegetarian big breakfast ($20.50) and eggs Julia ($20.50) which is basically eggs benedict but with smoked salmon. Nothing unusual there.
Interestingly, there is an enormous 'extras' menu where you can add a whole range of goodies to your meal such as home-made hollandaise ($1.50), Danish Feta ($3.50) and a serve of home-made baked beans ($4). There's almost twenty 'extra' options, which you can mix and match, so you shouldn't be able to complain you couldn't get what you wanted.
I ordered the eggs Sophia: two soft-boiled free-range eggs, ciabatta 'soldiers', a dish of home-made dukkah and a dish of salt crystals ($11.50). The dukkah was fantastic. The egg yolks were brilliant – bright yellow and perfectly runny. Unfortunately the egg white was still uncooked in places, and although the bread was cut to almost perfect dimensions, I ran out of soldiers before I ran out of eggs. I wasn't sure if wiping up the spilt egg with my fingers was such a good look.
My friend ordered the vegetarian omelette ($14.50). It was made with mushrooms, spinach, capsicum, spring onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, and came with a slice of toasted ciabatta. They love their ciabatta here, but I wonder if the less-crusty and more chewy sourdough would work better. Just a thought.
Other breakfast options include breakfast bruschetta, croissants, toasties, pancakes, muesli, porridge and banana bread. There is also a cabinet full of pretty delicious looking cakes, which would surely help you refuel after spending the morning emptying your credit card.
Most of the patrons when we visited were flying solo, businessmen in suits perusing the complimentary newspapers and shoppers looking for a bite to eat. By the time we left around morning tea time, the place was buzzing with couples, families and small groups.
You must order your meal at the counter, which can result in traffic jams inside the door, not to mention lengthy waits if all you want is another coffee. The staff bring your food to the table so I am not sure why they can't implement table service.
Atomic is licensed so you can enjoy a nice glass of bubbly or a beer with your lunch (or breakfast) if that's your thing.