BYO: Bring Your Own. What do you think when you hear or see this at a restaurant. I personally tend to steer clear of restaurants with this title. I don't quite know why, maybe it's just bad luck, but in the past I have not enjoyed BYO places at all.
The food has never been impressive and the staff have always been hopeless. This is surprising considering BYO restaurants rely on their food to ensure their success. Anyway, if you are like me and for some reason are not drawn to this phrase then it is time you checked out a modest cafe in the Brisbane city suburb of Auchenflower. The story of how I discovered this place continues below.
A few nights ago a friend of mine invited me to dinner. She told me to meet her at a cafe called Sprout. I was a little confused as to why we would be going to a "cafe" for dinner but was excited to experience it anyway. She had also informed me that this cafe was BYO so I best bring a bottle of wine. I pulled up outside this cafe and was immediately pleasantly surprised.
Fairy lights hung over two large, bright windows which centred the characteristic little white door. I walked in and was immediately greeted by a smiling waitress who showed me promptly to my seat. I had arrived before my friend which gave me time to absorb and enjoy the atmosphere of Sprout.
I hadn't even looked at the menu but I already loved it here. It was rustic and organic which gave it a cosy, warm, intimate and even homey feel. With only about 10 small tables, I felt special to be dining here. The room was painted white but not to the perfect extent that if felt sterilised. The wicker lights were dimly lit and covered the roof with cobweb-like patterns. Unlike most restaurants where the flooring is usually tiles or concrete, Sprout had large, polished wooden floors. To compliment this, all of the tables were polished wood and even the chairs. The contrast of the smooth white walls with the rough wooden floors and tables created the perfect balance.
My friend arrived so I was finally able to admire the menu. And admire it I did! Both the beginnings (starters) and main meals offered great variety from fish to beef to pasta. Better still, there were both vegetarian and gluten free meals available. I ordered the tempura whiting fillets with ginger prawn mousse, Asian vegetable salad and wasabi mayonnaise for beginning followed by the red roast barramundi with sweet lime noodles. They were both absolutely delicious and mouth-watering just to look at. The dessert menu is also impressive with puddings and tarts and even a cheese plate.
The name sprout is perfectly suited to the cafe as the chef grows and picks his own herbs and vegetables to use in the meals. The vegetable garden is right outside the kitchen and if you are lucky, the chef will show you around. So, it's time to sprout into action Brisbane. Head to Sprout Cafe in Auchenflower for tasty organic produce and superior service in a relaxed and comforting environment.