Yes, it is slightly hipster – the drinks are served in jugs, the waiters are dressed in safari uniforms and you can play totem tennis outside. Yes, it is ridiculously hyped up. But it is also one of those rare places that actually lives up to its rave reviews! Yay, finally!
Currently situated on a main road in front of a residential development in Bowden, it’s just far away enough from the city to be slightly peaceful (although that may due to the empty blocks of land surrounding it, so expect the peace to be temporary). Due to the popularity of Plant 13, I was expecting at least a 30 minute wait at 1pm on a Sunday without a booking, but luckily, we were seated after about 10. Efficiency, tick!
I get really excited about trying drinks at new places, so couldn’t stop myself from ordering an iced coffee AND an iced lemonade, the latter of which was listed as bottomless on the menu! Unfortunately, (due to bladder restrictions) I couldn’t finish the lemonade and never found out what bottomless actually means! :( Could it really be free refills!?
The iced coffee was surprisingly ordinary – Farmers Union style. But the lemonade was defnitely something special. It was what I imagine lemonade from a stand manned by a 5-year old child would taste like. It was slightly sour, slightly fizzy and perfect as a thirst quencher – sort of like homemade Solo minus the sickly sweet aftertaste. I have serious cravings right now.
One of my friends ordered the apple pie smoothie which tasted like all the elements of the dessert combined, liquified and chilled. Good to begin with, but beware the fuzzy teeth after-effects (possibly from too much cinnamon). My other friend ordered the Citrus Blitz, which was similar to the lemonade, minus the fizz and slightly less refreshing.
My Big Breakfast satisfied all my cravings, and made me feel just a tad good about myself as well. Not only do Plant 13 use free range eggs and ethically farmed pork, they also make their own butter and included half an avocado to the usual selection of yummy delectables, which i think made it just a bit healthier. I’m a sucker for meals that offer variety (which is why I love yum cha, degustations and half and half pizzas), so this made me very happy!
I really enjoyed the bacon strips, the slightly toasted ciabatta, the field mushrooms and tomatoes. Because I’m highly critical, I thought my scrambled eggs could have been fluffier, the sausage was rather dry and flavourless and there was too much butter for the amount of bread. Also my hash brown, which in this case, was deep fried grated potatoes, was slightly burnt and cooked in old oil. They were my only complaints. :) In all seriousness, the dish in its entirety was really enjoyable even though there was some room from improvement.
The only interaction we had with the waiter was when he took our order and gave us food. He confirmed our order twice, which was good, except I would have had more faith if he actually had a pen and paper with him. I had heard mixed reviews about service, but found it fine on the day. It wasn’t exceptional, but I wasn’t there to have a chat with the staff, so didn’t mind that I wasn’t given a run down of everything on the menu. My friend was slightly annoyed though, when her soft eggs came out looking a lot more undercooked than she was expecting.
Supposedly, they serve their eggs “one less than poached”. This meant they were strangely translucent and jelly-like. As I don’t like my eggs runny AT ALL, I was more than a bit freaked out. My friend didn’t like them either though, maybe because she wasn’t given a head-up or maybe because once broken, it looked like a raw egg had been cracked on top of her meal. The hollandaise sauce was also a strange consistency, probably because it had reacted to the heat from the bacon and became quite congealed. Unfortunately, poor execution meant that it was definitely not the best version of eggs benedict around.
All in all though, I would come back to Plant 13 if only for the lemonade. They have an extensive beverage list and some other non-breakfast items that I wouldn’t mind trying either, so I will see whether I can drag some more friends out there and keep you posted. :)