Cafe 21 - Breakfast
• By Tuan Nguyen
A truck driver was blocking entry into my car park the other day, so I went for a walk to go get some breakfast instead. I ended up at Cafe 21 at the top of Smith Street Mall, which is probably the largest cafe in the area going by seating capacity. Cafe 21 takes great pride in their coffee, roasting it themselves fresh daily on site. They're pretty popular with the tourists, but that could have something to do with the fact that they're the first thing cruise liner tourists see when the rock up to The Mall.
There's a large selection of cakes, pastries, fresh juices, hot food and sandwhiches to pick from in the longest food counter the world has ever seen. Or if you prefer you could also order from the menu where they have burgers, steak and even seafood for lunch. I order a cappuccino and eggs benedict before taking a seat and reading a house copy of the NT news. Coffee arrived in a jiffy with plenty of foam and very generous topping of powdered chocolate. Very smooth flavour without any bitterness and the temp was good.
The eggs benedict ($14.50) showed up next and even a blind monkey could tell the hollandaise sauce came from a bottle (I confirmed this with the waiter). If I'm paying that much for an English muffin, 2 slices of ham and 2 eggs I want proper home made sauce. The only sauces that are acceptable in the form of a bottle is tomato sauce and mild American mustard. I feel even more cheated as I'm currently in Sydney, apparently one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, where I can get for breakfast 3 scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, a big pile of mushrooms and two fat slices of toast for a measly $10! Not happy Cafe 21.
On a positive note, I must admit they have the best sausage rolls in all the land. Really tender and moist with crispy puff pastry outer. If I'm feeling naughty I'll have a mini one for breakfast.... If you're after good coffee and food that comes to your table quicky then check out Cafe 21. If you want something classy, I'd head on over to Four Birds which is in the nearby Star Village Arcade.