Full marks for atmosphere
AFTER being introduced to this gem a few weeks ago by an interviewee victim, I can now admit being a little besotted with &Union, a wine and beer bar in a church basement.
Due to a recent coffee binge, their R9.50 americanos have become a caffeine shot in my many hours of need, such as those 6pm telephone interviews with an American artist or a pre-work pickme-up after a busy evening.
Last week, I sat down with a colleague to what I reckon is a good breakfast deal.
The Rod’s Full House consists of free-range poached eggs on toasted ciabatta topped with bacon and boerenkaas cheese. This is served with an organic coffee of your choice and a glass of orange juice.
My colleague described the bacon as flavourful, cured and smokey. The cheese, he felt, was mild and had to be more mature to complement the dish. He said the eggs were delicious and had a “lovely yellow colour”.
He suggested rocket as a garnish with the meal.
I, however, was a little more satisfied with the food.
The eggs were poached to my liking. The coffee I chose was the Organic Meia de Leite – a strong brew with a delicious portion of milk. But nothing is perfect; as fresh and pulpy as the juice was, it was warm… perhaps due to the heat of the day at their outdoor tables.
And my worst breakfast eating fear reared its head – food served on a chopping board. This seems to be something happening in a few places, but no more pleasing.
Also, a few table-top condiments would be great.
There are quite a few other breakfast options to try out. Something different for the pastry lovers is the Morning Glory – a croissant with bacon and peanut butter. The menu suggests washing this down, in child-like fashion, with a glass of milk.
Note that &Union’s breakfasts will be available only for a few more weeks and will end later this month or early next year.
Not being much of a beer or wine drinker, for me, &Union goes beyond these; from being just a comfortable, open-air, city centre spot for artist interviews, to a strong perk of Java for a boost and that late-night coffee choice with great atmosphere and people. I also just loved the way the cashier asked me if I would like my coffee white with milk or black like him.
From the smell of grilling hot dogs at lunchtime, to fantasies of playing ping pong in their courtyard and a perfect perk under the stars, &Union just may be my winner for the year – on atmosphere, at least. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Wendylmartin
FULL HOUSE: &Union on Bree Street specialises in craft beer and wine. They also serve breakfast.