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Published July 5th 2015
Celebrated Brisbane cafe gets a major facelift
The Paw Paw Cafe is at 898 Stanley St, Woolloongabba
It was with much anticipation that I arrived at the new Paw Paw Café. A major overhaul of one of Brisbane's most well known cafes had been in the works, and after the mouth watering Instagram pictures of their menu items filling my feeds, it was time for my very own feeding. The renovations had been completed, the doors were open, and it was time to check it out.
What they've done with the space is nothing short of amazing. In what is an old Queenslander cottage, rustic timbers and Balinese greens and golds have been artfully offset with nautical blues and whites, reminiscent of The Hamptons. A beautiful painted feature wall steals the stage, and there's a brightness and freshness the the venue that is both casually stylish and sophisticated.
There are number of places to sit in the front room of the building, the space that formerly occupied the Green Papaya Restaurant. What were essentially two different establishments run by the same owner, have now combined into one, and the new Paw Paw is open for breakfast, lunch as well as a dining room at the rear of the building being open for dinner between Wednesdays to Sunday. They've also got a liquor license and bar serving a number of cocktails, wine, beers and cider.
As well as the décor changing, so too has the menu. A number of Asian inspired dishes are available at all times of the day, including the breakfast Banh Mi, a delicious sounding pork belly inside a crusty roll, with Kewpie mayo and pickled vegetables. I go loco for Bahn Mi, so this is definitely on my list to eat next.
On the menu is an entire section dedicated to their Coco Whip offerings. I'd tried these previously, and personally, while I think they are nice, at $12.00 for what is essentially a sundae, I also think they're a bit overrated and overpriced. The perk of the Coco Whip is undoubtedly in the fact that they taste like a desert with none of the guilt. Made from coconut water and probiotics, it's undoubtedly a favourite with the boot camp crowd. For me, it's not what I'm after in a café breakfast, but if you're looking for a cold breakfast in the realm of an Acai bowl, Coco Whip deserves a try.
As a local, I've been visiting the Paw Paw for a few years now, but on the last few visits I've been left with another gripe. The staff often aren't particularly friendly. Whether they are rushed off their feet, or just a little bit too preoccupied, there's a slight lack of warmness when orders are taken and the food is delivered. Again, it's not all the time, but it's enough for me to mention.
Service on our latest visit was efficient however, and the kitchen seems to be well run. It does get packed on weekends, so you may have to wait for a table and food may take a little longer. In addition to our coffees, we had the Eggs Benny ($13.9) on damper with a side of mushrooms (4.5.) The eggs were perfectly cooked as I punctured the yolk with my fork, and the hollandaise was one of the best I've had for a long time, not too rich and the perfect consistency. They've since replaced the herb damper with a baked crumpet and it's probably a good choice. The damper wasn't the crunchy floury bread I was expecting and was more like a herbed scone, and too gluggy for my liking.
I've also had the breakfast burrito and I can vouch for its deliciousness, but you have to be especially hungry since it's a massive meal to stomach at breakfast. Our coffees we're also a unique experience. I had the Matcha Green Tea Latte something I've been wanted to try for a while and actually not really a coffee at all. They've also got an extensive range of smoothies and cold pressed juices.
Paw Paw cafe offer matcha green tea lattes on their extensive drinks menu
I'm looking forward too see how the Balinese and Thai cooking makes the Paw Paw come alive at night, as the award winning food at the Green Papaya definitely was among my favourite places for Thai food in Brisbane.
Being such a lovely venue, with a trendy on point menu, and a high profile, if you haven't been already to the Paw Paw, it's definitely worth a visit. In spite of any of the buzz you may have heard, I recommend you don't go with massive expectations and you'll be sure to find plenty to love.