When many cafes or restaurants are first established, it takes them a little while to completely find their feet, a workable system and to operate in a smooth and efficient fashion. Not this place. It absolutely hit the ground running, and was working as if it had been there for years within its first weeks of operation. This is a great credit to the owners/managers, one can only assume that they were highly experienced café operators to begin with.
The setup of the place is quite unique. When you enter, fantastic café and bakery aromas greet you, and you find yourself in a very large and invariably busy and bustling (depending on the time of day, obviously) room. There is also an adjoining, smaller room for a slightly more intimate experience, and also a part of the complex is a groovy little book, CD and record shop, which is ideal for a pre or post dining browse. You may find a rare literary or musical gem there, you never know your luck!
The staff are friendly and attentive to a fault, seemingly always with smiles on their faces, even when the place is very busy. The coffee always arrives within five minutes maximum, which is always a welcome surprise. And speaking of which, the Aquarium's coffee is among the best in the area, that includes Brunswick Street. Always rich and full flavoured, never too milky, weak or watery.
Then there's the food. The food. It's quite sumptuous, and as consistently high quality as can be. The big veggie breakfast certainly lives up to its name, it is large in serve and in flavor, and the Aquarium's BLT fairly melts in the mouth. Try the Moroccan Patties for something very different and exceptionally tasty, and their specialty, the falafel burger is an absolute sensation. But the menu is extremely extensive and caters to all tastes. And it's all extremely manageable, price-wise.
Many eateries have sprung up along the High Street patch in the last five to ten years, and they all have something appealing to offer. The Aquarium is undoubtedly one of the best however, and is highly recommended for a very hearty and affordable breakfast or lunch, any day of the week.