This is the place that demonstrates the quiet soft power of Canberra. It’s a perfect excuse to spend time in a city that’s burgeoning coffee and art scene is consistently outshined by any and all political drama that’s unfolding in parliament house. Words by Ryan Auberson-Walsh
Autolyse is a wonderful little bakery and café which whips up sourdough loaves by the dozen, with three homey tastes – wholemeal, rye and a personal favourite, the quinoa and seed loaf packed with iron, protein and omega-3 oils.
Seen above is the smoked trout salad with kipfler potatoes and rocket. It’s just one of their ‘salads’ that arrives at your table with a generous serving of bread, harking back to the importance of the bakery at the establishment’s core. There’s also a sandwich list that will leave you utterly unsure about your life decisions – picking the right order feels like a life or death moment. But you can’t go wrong with their sous vide lamb shoulder sandwich loaded with quinoa tabouli and pickled onion. It’s actually to die for.
A few months ago, the folk behind the original Canberra locations opened up a third joint in Sydney’s revitalised Central Park precinct on Broadway. A large, open café with wooden detailing meshes the rustic with the industrial and the glass displays that enshroud the counter are filled with pre-made sandwiches, cakes and pastries, drinks and of course, bread.
One thing that goes hand in hand with their strawberry tarts is a good coffee – and thankfully the baristas here know how to brew up a decent cappuccino. If this is anything to judge the quality of Canberra’s café scene by then perhaps the next trip there should involve skipping Questacon and chowing down a fresh sourdough loaf with the family instead.