A toasty warm and welcoming space nestled among the hustle and bustle of the city’s concrete jungle, The Bearded bean is a charming café run by owner Tom Reaby and his super friendly crew of foodies and coffee aficionados.
Take my word for it that after your initial curious visit to The Bearded Bean you’ll unintentionally become a loyal regular, ticking off every meal on the menu day by day, and even when you think you’ve had a taste of everything, head chef Joe Biilmann will surprise you with an ever-changing specials menu that is sure to keep your belly guessing.
On a gloomy raining Canberra day, we were on the hunt for an easy, quick yet satisfying feed, and after a step inside The Bearded Bean I knew we were in the right place – the aroma of coffee fills your lungs and the sounds of the kitchen sizzling and joyful banter all combine to create a memorable first impression.
First off the bat we were served the Smashed Avocado, infused with hints of lemon atop toasted bread and served with Persian fetta, on a bed of sautéed thyme mushrooms and drizzled with house-made basil oil – a Biilmann specialty. This dish is super fresh and destined to be a favourite among those after a not-so-heavy meal.
Next the Potato Rosti came out donning plenty of flair and finesse. The visual of two crispy herbed rostis with dressed roquette, a poached egg, house-made mild chilli jam and balsamic glaze is a reminder that every detail is accounted for in The Bearded Bean kitchen.
My top pick is the Angus Beef Burger. Need I say more? Just look at that thing! Savour a juicy 180g basted A-grade beef paddy with thyme and a signature ‘secret ingredient’, finished off with all the burger essentials – bacon, caramelised onion, jack cheese, lettuce, beetroot, tangy housemate relish and aioli. Also let’s not forget, fries! Be warned though, with all the packed goodness, my tip is to take your rings off, tie your hair in a top knot and cut it in half first. But let’s be honest, among all the excitement of hooking into that burger, ain’t nobody got time.
To top off a fantastic experience, we were served the Brioche French Toast (keep your eye out for it’s reappearance on the specials!). The soft brioche is soaked and fried with caramelised banana, maple bacon and mascarpone. Having only just discovered the buttery-sweet cheese of gods myself, can we just take a moment to appreciate mascarpone… thank you.
So all in all, I’d say our The Bearded Bean experience was bloody tops, and I’ve already been back time and time again – not just for the great food and coffee but also for a good laugh and yarn with the team (some of who have beards can I add – employee prerequisite?).
Any city-slickers looking for a new local, I think I’ve found it.