One Sunday recently I was invited to join a group of friends for morning coffee at Echidna Magic Restaurant at Mount Gravatt lookout. So I left the kids with my husband, and headed off for a couple of hours of socialising.
I'd never visited the lookout before, and was surprised by what a lovely spot it was. As well as the restaurant, it has a small playground, a native garden, picnic tables, and some bushwalks.
But its biggest appeal, not surprisingly, is the panoramic view that unfolds below. We were there on a perfect sunny morning, and it was lovely to drink in the views of bushland, houses, and the CBD skyline.
Some of the best views are available from the Echidna Magic deck, which was already full at 9am. But we found ourselves a table inside and could still enjoy scenic glimpses from our seats.
The friend who'd organised the morning explained that the restaurant has been open about 18 months, and is connected to a local Indigenous employment program. Aboriginal artworks feature on the walls, and there's a special native foods tasting platter available later in the day.
For breakfast, there were coffees and teas for around $4, food from $5 (banana bread) to $16.50 (mushroom and spinach omelette), and a range of muffins, cakes and slices ($4-$7.50).
If you dine later in the day, you can choose from salads, pasta, steaks, pizza, toasted sandwiches and more (prices from around $9 to around $23). Kids' meals (pizza, fish and chips, spag bol) are also available.
I chose herbal tea and banana bread, and both were fine. My friends gave their coffees around 7.5 out of 10. The setting was lovely, and the service very friendly, though our orders took quite a while to arrive. In the wait-staff's defence, however, the friend who'd organised the outing had neglected to book, and the sudden arrival of 10 of us may have stressed the kitchen somewhat.
After we'd eaten and drunk, we went for a wander. The native garden looked like it hadn't been tended for a while, but the bush tracks were pleasant for a short walk, with butterflies flitting about and crickets chirping. We saw locals striding and jogging along the tracks, clearly heading for the local streets and university campus that they connect to the lookout.
As we returned from our stroll, I noticed families with children enjoying the little playground.
While there's not a lot for kids to do at the lookout other than the playground, I thought Echidna Magic would make a nice destination for a special family breakfast, or be a good place to buy a round of ice-creams on a hot day (the restaurant also operates a kiosk). And I'm sure that many children would enjoy the views. As we drove away, I resolved to come back with my family some time in 2012.
Hi everybody, thanks for posting your feedback. We only had coffees and a few snacks, so I couldn't really comment on the overall quality of the food -- but it sounds like there's a lot of work to be done in the kitchen and on the pricing from what you've said. Perhaps Echidna Magic is best left for beverages and good views.
Would never eat here again. After a nightmare of a dining experience, we agreed that because the food was so substandard and uneaten, we agreed with the shift manager that we were not paying full price of the items.
The following day we were contacted and abused by the owner for not paying for the meals, even though it was agreed with the shift manager.
My first visit today was a major letdown. The food was over priced and bland. I had the Roast Chicken special and there was nothing special about the tired old bit of chook that took up half the plate. This place has so much potential but lacks any professional management from many of the poor comments on other sites.
This cafe is in a truly beautiful spot, the view is magnificent. The service was good, our coffees were good, my cake was lovely, however...$6 for 1 piece of raisin toast (just out of a packet, not the fancy fruity type) and a pat of butter is unacceptable. Won't be going back.