Thursday, November 08, 2012
Lately I've been treating myself to sole lunches at one of my all-time-favourite Newy cafés. It's III Bean at Hamilton and every time I go there I'm wowed by the elegant simplicity of the place. There's so much care taken. It starts with the fresh flowers on each table. Normally just a stem, sometimes two. Each week they offer up something different. I loved these pale lemon carnations - stunning with the gorgeous black and white photographs in the background.
And then there's the menu. Oh my. It changes, according to what's in its absolute peak at the time. If an item's on the III Bean menu, you know it's at its ultimate moment of seasonality. I went to another café recently where I had a very meh wagyu beef burger. It was very bland, tasted of nothing (not even the wagyu) and was 'topped off' by horrid, watery, pale orangey-red tomatoes. This tomato not only did nothing to enhance the dish - it detracted. That's the sign of a lack of love and care - something you'll never see at III Bean.
I can guarantee you that every single item on a plate at III Bean is there because it enhances the dish in some way. Those teeny flowers from micro-herbs? Make the dish pop. Guaranteed. There is nothing better than dishes prepared that just bring out the best in every single ingredient. Which is why I love III Bean - their Croque Monsieur? The best.
Hey, you know how we went to the Underground Epicureans last month and I raved about the blue swimmer crab sandwich served up? Guess what was on the menu last week? Yep. Magnificently accessorised with a deliciously simple iceberg salad that was so beautifully dressed it sang. Divine.
PS: In case you're wondering what the world's most awesome Eggs Benedict look like - they look like this. And they taste even better. Seriously.
Finally, here's what I love about III Bean. The love. Every staff member looks like they want to be working there. They're friendly, attentive and just get things right. When I go out to eat I want two things: to eat something I can't or won't prepare myself and to be treated well by the staff.