The Knox made in Watson is a café located at the Watson shops, 15 minutes north of the CBD. This family-friendly and modern café has been open for over a year and has gained a strong following with locals, as well as Canberrans from further afar. Word has got out about its delicious food and industrial décor, making it a popular café choice on the north side of Canberra. It is tucked away at the end of the local community shops, with a spacious outside seating area under a light-filled atrium. As you walk into the café, the inside area is also surprisingly spacious, with plenty of tables for two or four. On the hot Spring day of our visit, it was a cool respite from the outside heat. In the colder months however, this large area will also be popular as locals duck in from the chill to warm up with a hot coffee - or two.
Look out for this handcrafted sign at the Watson shops
If you sit inside, it takes awhile to have a look around the café with its eclectic industrial style and detailed touches. With exposed brick walls, open kitchen, metal pendant lights and handmade number system, a lot of thought has gone into the decor - even down to the sprig of freshly cut flowers on each table. Another feature of the café is the quirky wall behind the counter, with its impressive wall-to-wall wine rack and cups spelling out the word "KNOX".
Another feature of this café that you just can't miss is the delectable cake display - with dairy free and gluten free options available. These particularly artistic cakes and slices would tempt any sweet tooth and can be enjoyed with a coffee, tea, smoothie or freshly made juice. With such an extensive choice, I don't think it matters what you order out of this display, it is going to be particularly gooey and delicious - and it was.
If you are visiting with kids, they will enjoy the large chalkboard in the back corner, with an assortment of toys for them to play with. There is also a large table positioned just near the "Little Knox" play area, so parents can sit and enjoy their meals while watching their kids at play. Behind the counter there is also a large scale Kids Menu on display with reasonably priced and creative meal options. With Majura Park Primary School situated just a short walk from the shops, it is easy to see how this family friendly café would be a popular venue for families before and after school, as well as weekends.
Weekend breakfast is a popular time to visit, with healthy and delicious items on the menu. At the time of writing, they have just released their new Summer menu to tempt locals even more. Some of the breakfast menu items include:
Seed Loaf & Smashed Avo - housemade seed & nut loaf with smashed avocado, tomato, persian feta & balsamic reduction ($17). Summer Fruit Bruschetta - seasonal fruits with garden mint, honey ricotta, nutty gingerbread pieces & balsamic glaze ($17). Mexican Eggs - spiced braised beans with chorizo, topped with poached eggs, smoked cheddar, avocado & grilled tortillas ($17).
Lunch menu items include:
Wagyu Beef Burger - grilled with house smoked cheddar cheese, lettuce, beetroot jam & bacon ($16). Warm Pumpkin Salad - spinach, roast pumpkin, baby beets, feta, pepitas & balsamic reduction ($17). Chicken Salad - coconut poached chicken with shredded cabbage, asian herbs, vietnamese dressing & crispy rice noodles ($18).
The Knox made in Watson is also licenced so you can enjoy a white wine, red wine, rose`, sparkling wine, beer, cider or a cocktail with your meal. At the time of writing they are also open for dinner between Thursday and Saturday, however check their Facebook for details at other months of the year.
Seed Loaf and Smashed Avo. Source: The Knox made in Watson Facebook
The Knox made in Watson is all about supporting local businesses and showing off Canberra's talents and produce. The eye is in the detail, with plates made by local artisan Chris Harford at the Canberra Potters Society, the vegetables are grown in their garden and the beautifully hand crafted wooden furniture and table numbers were made by the owner Daniel Conroy. The honey in their meals is sourced from local beekeepers in Watson, Hackett and Ainslie, their coffee comes from Red Brick Espresso in Curtin and their fresh produce from the Capital Region Farmers' Market. You can't beat that for supporting local.
Everyone is made to feel welcome as they walk into The Knox made in Watson - including the four-legged varieties such as this one. Although it helps to look this cute.