"Wow, everyone ordered vegetarian," says Mrs Presley, and it's only then she realises that everything on Badde Manors menu is completely meat and seafood-free.
It's a commendable feat that this fact slipped unnoticed, the comprehensive menu littered with a range of dishes that all sound tempting and filling. We skip our eyes down the page that includes stuffed crumbed mushrooms, Cajun-spiced eggplant schnitzel, vegetable lasagna and falafel burgers.
This quirky corner cafe on Glebe Point Road has long been a favourite haunt for locals and university students. The furniture is an eclectic mix of recycled wooden church pews and formica-topped tables. Decorations are anything goes, an op-shop's delight of vintage clocks, porcelain statues, childrens stuffed toys and dragon sculptures hanging from the ceiling.
Crispy sweetcorn capsicum and coriander cakes $12.50
Served with baby spinach, sauteed mushroom, fresh tomato and homemade tomato chutney
The food is generously portioned and budget friendly - key selling-points for the impoverished uni students huddled around each table.
I order the crispy sweetcorn, capsicum and coriander cakes on one occasion, the fritters generous with corn and crisped well. The only detractor is the homemade tomato chutney which is tasty but fridge-cold.
Garden salad $8.50
Garden salad is almost a meal in itself, filled with mixed leaves, cucumber, tomato, black olives and slices of crunchy radish.
Crumbed bocconcini served with wild rocket $7.50
I'd also ordered the crumbed bocconcini, three nuggets of baby mozzarella battered and deep-fried, perhaps not quite long enough as the cheese remains more solid than molten and stretchy.
Grilled haloumi $9.50
with wild rocket, fresh tomatoes, baby spinach, walnuts and shaved parmesan
Grilled haloumi has been seared to a blistered squeakiness, fats slices draped across a plate of wild rocket, cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts and shavings of parmesan.
Roast pumpkin risotto $16.50
with sun dried tomato, wild rocket, basil pesto and topped with shaved parmesan
Risotto is often a game of chance when it comes to ordering out, but we're relieved to find the versions here are reassuringly al dente. Both the roast pumpkin and the mushroom versions arrive as veritable mountains - the only thing missing is seasoning, but a few shakes of salt does the trick.
Three mushroom risotto $16.50
with baby spinach and a hint of Dijon mustard
Buttered toast on the side will easily tip you into a carbohydrate coma. The three mushroom risotto is probably the tastier of the two options.
Moroccan-style vegetable tajine $16.50
with couscous, almonds and sultanas served with natural yoghurt
If risotto's not your thing, you can revel in a whole tajine of couscous with Moroccan-style vegetables. It's another enormous meal, the simmer of pumpkin, tomatoes and onion spicy and comforting.
We didn't have room on this occasion but the chai tea here is worth ordering, brewed using a custom Badde Manors blend of spices and served in a teapot with frothy foamed milk.
Outdoor seating at Badde Manors Cafe
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7/20/2011 01:45:00 am