Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 3 & 5, 2010: Atomica

Atomica cafe was doing business the entire time I lived in West End, yet it was only in my last year there that I took a special liking to it. The lower prices and longer menu regularly attracted me to Espressohead next door, but eventually Atomica charmed me with its consistency and quality.

It's a small cafe and it's difficult to find a table on the weekend (perhaps another disincentive when I was a local?) but on my recent visit to the neighbourhood I had the luxury of stopping by for breakfast on weekdays.

You probably know by now how rare savoury breakfasts are for me but I wavered for mere nanoseconds before ordering the herbed scrambled tofu with spinach and toasted sourdough ($14.90). The tofu's firm but moist, quite sweet and with a hint of spice. The baby spinach leaves on top aren't cooked, but wilt gently from the tofu's heat and provide a nice contrast to the its sweetness. The serving size is HUGE - for lunch that day I could muster up the appetite for no more than a bit of fruit.

On my second visit a couple of days later I succumbed to the temptation of buttermilk pancakes ($10.90). You've a choice of maple syrup and caramelised banana on top, and icecream comes standard (I asked them to skip it). These guys really put the 'cake' in 'pancake' - these ones are bizarrely tall and fluffy and sweet. And as you can see from the volume of sauce, it's not just the bananas that get caramelised. Breakfast does not get any more dessert-like than this.

There's plenty else for vegos to enjoy on Atomica's breakfast menu, with a good representation of non-eggy savoury options as well as the usual eggs, toast and muesli suspects. They also make delicious (from distant memory) bubble and squeak, which comes with the Vego Breakfast plate and is also available as an extra. I've been utterly spoilt by Melbourne's brunch scene in the past few years, but it's great to see that this old favourite still measures up.

Address: 3/173 Boundary St, West End QLD
Ph: (07) 3844 0333
Price: veg breakfasts $4-$15

You can read more reviews of Atomica at food bling, Hungry Kittens and Gustoso.


  1. I'd have a hard time deciding between the scramble and pancakes but those caramelised bananas look wonderful - and I wont more places that do great scrambled tofu

  2. Oh noo how horrifying that this is in Queensland - my brain was already shrieking scrambled tofu with a side of eggs (yes I'm retarded)!

  3. Yes, a good scram-'fu breakfast is hard to find!