Food review: The Oak Café

Cnr Robert and Railway St, Mudgeeraba Ph: 07 5530 4400

Little things count. A greeting from wait staff or a friendly smile from the open kitchen, water immediately brought to the table, a bowl of water for someone’s dog… it all adds up to make a village.

The Oak Café, Mudgeeraba’s latest culinary edition, is fabulous; so good, in fact, that we’d travel out of ‘the city’ across the highway to dine there.

Owned by Chef Paul Horne and Hardi Ellaz, the village feel is obvious from our first visit when we sneak in for a family visit. Unpretentious with its polished concrete floor, pipe and timber benches and white railway tiles, already it’s a haven for dog walkers and locals in the know. There’s an inner sanctum replete with large leather couches to sink into as you enjoy a quiet coffee, or dining tables where you can catch up with friends and share a delightful meal, as other diners around us are doing.

And so, to the food…

Of British heritage, Paul has been a qualified chef for 25 years, cooking under Raymond Blanc, at Gwinganna and finally Mondo Organics, which he credits as the inspiration for The Oak Café’s menu.

“It’s all about produce – using the very best that you can,” Paul tells us. “We use Girralee bacon, Emu Creek eggs, and meat from an organic butcher. Labna and cornbread are made in house, while our croissants and sourdough are sourced from Brasserie Bread.”

It’s the attention to detail that we love on our two visits, such as the homemade corn bread made from charred corn and capsicum served with Grana Padano, bacon, greens and chilli-fried eggs. The cornbread is so good, it gets passed around the table; without a doubt it’s the best we’ve ever eaten! Baked Swiss browns are served with herbed pangrattato, poached eggs and lemon aioli ($14); the omelette hosts chorizo, Manchego, potato, roast tomato and salsa verdi ($15). It’s all mighty fine eating at the price, the calibre of food you’d expect at a renowned capital city establishment.

My second brekkie was a tossup, passing up Spelt soaked flour pancakes with whipped ricotta, praline, ice cream and pure maple syrup ($10) for Activated pistachio and pumpkin granola with freshly grated apple, strawberries, banana and organic yoghurt ($9) – a perfect healthy breakfast.

With tea from the GC’s Cravve and Cat’s Pyjamas coffee from local roasters, they’re also onto winners. Our coffee is rich and very drinkable, its butterscotch sweetness balanced by fruit and spice notes. We notice that the café gives coffee grinds away to local gardeners.

A work of passion for its owners, The Oak is also an ongoing commitment to locals at Mudgeeraba to deliver the best at very competitive prices. Whatever our expectations as we sneaked in to visit, the team at The Oak Café well and truly overdelivered. Not to be missed!

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