date of visit: Saturday 15 September 2012
As we had to head out to Thebarton I was on the look out for somewhere new and interesting to check out while we were in the vicinity. Twitter came up with plenty of ideas but I got over excited by the idea of visiting a converted railway station building and so we decided on The Loose Caboose Café.
This café in Bowden hasn’t been open very long at all (early August), and the heritage listed building had a complete overhaul (and the addition of a very modern deck) prior to opening. Being a part of the Bowden station means that the Loose Caboose must get a fair amount of passing traffic and is probably doing a roaring business in early morning coffees.
We turned up about 2pm on a Saturday – no booking and no idea really whether we were going to go for lunch or coffee and cake. The café was busy and I suspect that had we been definite about wanting to sit inside we might have had a little wait on our hands. Fortunately (for us) we were happy to sit outside and nabbed a table.
The Loose Caboose offers an all day breakfast so I opted for thyme buttered mushrooms with smashed avocado served with poached egg, Persian feta and sourdough and Andy chose the pulled pork sandwich. For the baby, our choice was a little limited: the dishes are all quite big and we’re not big on handing him things like massive muffins. The staff made helpful suggestions (and were patient!) while I ummed and aahed before deciding on ordering him a sausage (one of the sides available with the breakfasts). Of course, coffees and babycinos all round.
The food all looked beautiful: even the sausage came on its own plate dressed with rocket. And it was very tasty too. I really enjoyed the combination of egg, mushrooms (all buttery and thyme flavoured, as advertised) and avocado and Andy rated the pork sandwich very highly indeed. The small bits of sausage we were allowed to taste indicated that the sausage was good too (and highly popular with the under-twos).
We both scored the coffees highly. Overall, I thought the food was definitely a cut above average, particularly in terms of the completeness of the dishes offered. I did think some of the cooking was a little uneven. For example, my poached egg was just slightly under. Not enough to warrant sending back, but enough to notice.
The Loose Caboose isn’t cheap: we spent $45 which felt like quite a lot for a late brunch. Having said that, it’s money I’d be happy to spend again (for a treat) – especially if the cooking can be tightened up. It’s clear that careful thought has gone into the menu and the dishes deserve to come out flawless.