Urban Roast, Belconnen

9 Mar

Since our first visit at Chatterbox we’ve become big fans of Belconnen’s newest and increasingly popular breakfast venue – Boyfriend goes so far to describe it as his local, and the owners and regular waitstaff recognise him. They offer consistent and fast service no matter who you are, or on what day you visit, which is what we enjoy about it. But, we have to branch out, and Boyfriend begrudgingly obliges. Last week we’d spotted Urban Roast on the corner of Cohen and Lathlain Streets with plenty of customers on a Saturday morning, and agreed to seek it out.

It’s a grey Saturday morning in Canberra when we walk into Urban Roast. A shopping trolley waits patiently outside its neighbour Dee’s Comics. There’s an outdoor seating area and a large area inside. The windows are tall and let through a lot of light, even on a day like today.

Sports wall at the back

Sports wall at the back

Eclectic fittings

Eclectic fittings

Heavy wooden tables and chairs along a large space

Heavy wooden tables and chairs along a large space

It’s an order at the bar affair, so we grab a laminated menu off an empty table to choose and Boyfriend orders at the bar.

Urban Roast menus are of interesting quality

Urban Roast menus are of interesting quality and don’t treat the poor apostrophe too well

Lunch & dinner menu on the reverse

Lunch & dinner menu on the reverse

We take a seat by one of the large windows after Boyfriend’s interesting ordering experience. We watch as things are shouted back and forth to the kitchen – rather than adding to the atmosphere of the place, it leaves us with an impression that it’s disorganised.

First impressions count... dribbly coffee doesn't help.

First impressions count… dribbly coffee doesn’t help.

A chocolate milkshake which is all milk and no chocolate

A chocolate milkshake which is all milk and no chocolate

The introduction of our drinks leaves us both underwhelmed, which doesn’t bode well for the food dishes, but is accurate.

Good views towards Westfield...

Good views towards Westfield…

Baked eggs with chorizo, olives and feta ($16)

Baked eggs with chorizo, olives and feta ($16)

Maybe I’ve been spoilt with too many good breakfasts, or maybe Turkish bread with breakfast dishes is 2008, but I find myself growing pretty impatient with restaurants which insist on serving only white bread (whether Turkish or sourdough or $1 Coles loaf). A thick, hearty bread packed with plenty of seeds would have matched the napolitana sauce nicely, but it’s hard to get excited about a Turkish loaf with a half-hearted slather of marg across the top. My cutlery is a fork and a spoon, but I do need a knife to cut through the huge slices of chorizo. The eggs are overcooked.

Veg breakfast ($17.50)

Veg breakfast ($17.50)

Across from me, Boyfriend looks, well, horrified. That poached egg with the perfectly round egg yolk? Yep, it’s round cos it’s been cooked hard. The avocado is small, the tomato has been barely sizzled, and the spinach tastes like we get in a frozen pack.

Baked eggs: end result

Baked eggs: end result

There’s not a great deal more to say, except that it’s hard to put effort into eating a dish where it seems there’s been little effort put into preparing it. We leave disappointed. So much could be done with the space and it could have a lot going for it, but the basics have to be right first.

Date: Saturday, 1 March 2014

Where: Corner Lathlain and Cohen Streets, Belconnen

Cost: $42.50 for two dishes + a milkshake + a flat white

Worthwhile factor: Not worthwhile

Want more? I can’t find anything about it online beyond Urban Spoon.

Urban Roast on Urbanspoon


10 Responses to “Urban Roast, Belconnen”

  1. Gary Lum March 10, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    Good to know. I shan’t go to Urban Roast for breakfast.

  2. Alicia Wanstall-Burke March 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Blaaaaaaaach. How awful.

  3. Kel March 11, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Oh dear 😦
    Boyfriends egg is unacceptable and I would have sent that back.
    Only tasty yellow flow is a go

  4. Megan March 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Oh gosh I have often considered going here but now will continue on my merry way. I never understand how people can hard boil a poached egg surely that is one of the first things a chef learns to fdo 😛

  5. Tegan March 14, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    I feel exactly the same about the bread situation. Serving good quality seeded or whole meal sourdough can really take an ordinary meal to another level. I don’t go to certain restaurants now based purely on the sort of bread they serve.

  6. just a regular customer April 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I find it funny that people base their whole opinion on a place from one person’s single experience. Have a look at all the other posts most of them give this little café the thumbs up. I certainly have always found the food to be great, my eggs always cooked as they should, coffee tastes fantastic, and quite frankly couldn’t really care if there is a dribble down the side of the cup (YAWN). Sam is a nice guy, his staff are great and he remembers his regular clients by name and by their particular coffee. I go everyday for a coffee and eat regularly, I also take clients their and they have always come away content with the food and coffee. So I suppose that’s my 2 cents worth, take it how you may. But don’t take the word of one or 2 Bloggers who want to be grown up food critics. |Find out for yourself, make your own judgement.

    • inthetaratory April 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. It’s always good to hear about other peoples’ experiences, whether they’re the same or different.

      With regard to your comments about the content of this post:

      You’re exactly right, this is a single experience. That’s what almost all reviews are – *an* experience of a place at a single point in time. Someone who goes more regularly – like yourself – is going to have a different overall experience and impression of a place than a person who has been once. So, it’s really helpful to have people comment – especially those who have also been to a place – and give their own impressions.

      As you’ve noted, this is my experience – that’s it. It’s not a prediction of other peoples’ experiences. I also understand I’m one customer on one day in a given year – meaning there are chances that either my experience could be a cafe’s one-off bad day, or my impression of a place could be the anomaly.

      Because this is a review blog, I try to go to as many places as possible. It’s not about going to a place five or ten times and giving my overall impression. While I do return to some places, you can appreciate that a poor first impression means it’s less likely for me to return – but hearing other peoples’ different opinions helps in a big way.

      I wouldn’t call myself a food critic, but I do know what I like – that’s what this blog is about.

      I hope that answers some of your concerns.

  7. Sam April 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Hi my name is Sam the owner of having roast cafe that particular time that you came me I was on holidays I cannot justify what has happened but I can assure you this that if you want to come back and ask for me I would be more than happy to accommodate you with breakfast at no charge and I’m sure you would have a different outlook on my cafe thank you and I hope that you could take me up on this offer so that we can actually meet person-to-person

    • inthetaratory April 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Hi Sam! Thanks for getting in touch – I really appreciate that. There’s no need for a breakfast with no charge, but your passionate regular customer (above) has convinced me to give your cafe another go, and your genuine desire to respond to my comments is really encouraging, so I’m happy to return. I’ll introduce myself when I’m back, if you like.


  1. Cafe 2617, Belconnen | In The Taratory - August 2, 2015

    […] Town Centre’s Urban Roast has undergone a revamp: the ownership hasn’t changed and the cafe is still bright and roomy, […]

What do you reckon?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: