A lot can happen in ten years.
It has transformed into a vibrant, fresh neighbourhood with convenient access to the nearby business precinct. But lacking in parking, as we found out dropping by to try out the Grounds of Alexandria.
I've heard much about how crowded this place can be, particularly weekends. We arrived just before the end of breakfast, and luckily were seated immediately. Being a lovely sunny day we were happy to be outside, beneath the warmth of the sun. With five minutes to go, we managed to order before the end of breakfast service.
In the refurbished former Four'n Twenty pie factory, the Grounds is a cafe/restaurant, with a garden, veggie patch, chicken house and, according to the signpost, a dog house too. Unfortunately for us the garden was closed for maintenance that day.
Drinks came first. The hot chocolate came on a board, with spiced chocolate ganache and a small bottle of steamed milk. Fun to pour, not so fun to drink - it had a pretty heavy cinnamon kick, and I'm not the biggest cinnamon lover.
Coffee took a while. Smelled great, and went down silky smooth, but didn't have enough of a coffee kick for me. I've had worse, but I've also had better.
The house-cured ocean trout with fennel and herb salad and scrambled eggs on sourdough was more generous than expected. The eggs were lovely and rich, contrasted nicely by the freshness and tanginess fennel and herb salad. The trout was silky, and perfectly seasoned. Even with a half portion it was substantial enough for one.
The bacon and egg roll was very, very generous with the crispy bacon. Loved the rustic look of the bread roll and its crunchy crustiness. Only complaints: bacon was too crispy. And too generous.
Service was quick and brisk. We were greeted by smiles, but that seemed to fade away as time passed. Maybe that had something to do with too much sun outside... and the growing queue of people waiting to get in for lunch.
Was it worth the trip? Perhaps, and if I'm in the area again I may consider stopping by again, considering my soft spot for refurbished industrial decor. But will I head out especially for the food or coffee? Not sure. There are plenty of other places in my own neighbourhood that can rival that standard.
The Grounds of Alexandria