Tag Archives: Canberra cafes

Baked on Mort!

I brunched on a bragel the other day. ‘Bragel?’ you ask. ‘Whatever is a bragel?’ Well a bragel is an invention of a new French patisserie in Braddon called Baked.  It’s a cross between a bagel and a brioche.

Chef Clement Chauvin, who owns Baked (and Les Bistronomes) with partner Abel Bariller, was determined to create something less dense that a bagel … something with just a wee bit more butter (OK, perhaps a fair bit more). Something that’s full of flavour and fun. He succeeded with Baked’s very own bragel. Better still, Clement has done what many a baker hasn’t managed to do and that’s master a gluten free version with a texture to dream of—soft and chewy.

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Baked hasn’t been open long but has already attracted a bevy of fans. It took over the space where the paleo café Tallow and Thyme lived for a while. Now, against the raw brick walls inside, are mega murals by local Canberra artist Christopher Toth and a very French bakery feel. It’s warm and inviting.

Baked opens at 7am for those who are up and at ‘em early with all-day breakfast on the menu. French crepes anyone? Choose from a range, including crepes with house made jam, Nutella or lemon curd and raspberry.

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But back to them bragels. Clement poured his heart and soul into creating what he says is ‘the best bun ever’. It took a lot of time, experimenting, failed attempts, but then, voila, the bragel hit the market. He and Abel are so confident in the product they’ve trademarked it. You can have your Bragel Eggs Benny with ham, mushroom, spinach or salmon. The egg and bacon bragel is true comfort food, but Baked doesn’t stop there. Flavours and ingredients change with the season, based on what quality produce is available.

These days you can enjoy a charcoal bragel, which Clement says are hugely popular, with house cured salmon gravlax and dill sour cream, or go for the Hell’s Kitchen, which is enough to really fire you up with its sriracha chili sauce. Or the more relaxed Waldorf (vegetarian) with its winning combo of ingredients—witlof, pear, blue cheese and honey dressing.

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Lunch starts early at 11am and what’s on the menu can easily be converted to vegetarian and gluten free options. If you want something heartier, dig into the Black Angus beef patty bragel, or a version with quality ingredients Italians would love—salami, cheese, tomato and fresh basil. A Thai version is also available and the Braddon Bragel, made with buttermilk chicken, coleslaw and mayo, sounds delish.

If you don’t think bragels are your thing, order a fresh salad, a house made sandwich or slice of quality quiche. And what would a bakery called Baked be without sweet treats? Just in time for Christmas, Baked is offering treats that will make sugar plum fairies dance in your head, including holiday red and green bragels.

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The display cabinet is lined with other treats, as good looking as they are tasty. Rich and sweet Viennoiserie, croissants, tarts and loaves are all up for grabs, as are a colourful selection of melt-in-the-mouth macaroons. The raspberry millefeuille is utterly amazing and a slice of the pecan, choc and banana loaf is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Abel says heaps of other interesting offerings are on the horizon at Baked, including a liquor licence and some fun happenings with beers. Stay tuned.

Baked is open 7 days (except public holidays) from 7am to 3pm. 44/38 Mort Street, Braddon.

All images courtesy Baked.

Going Nuts for Doughnuts!

The Doughnut Department by Wendy Johnson

My grandmothers loved them. My mum loved them. And I love them. Fritters have been part of my family’s treat line up for decades. A great fritter is hard to find in Canberra, but I’ve cracked the code. They’re now available at the Doughnut Department, which opened a couple of weeks ago in one of the city’s newest hotspots, No Name Lane.


Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Doughnuts are popping up everywhere, at markets, in cafés and even in restaurants. But these are very special—artisan doughnuts through and through. Hand cut with care. Yeast-raised and made daily with top-notch ingredients (mostly locally sourced).

Chef Nathan Frost, who spends up to five hours a day making these delicious delights, says this style of doughnut is unique to the capital. “They’re larger than your average doughnut,” says Nathan. “The fillings and toppings are artisan and we really play with flavour combinations.”

I openly confess to road testing a fair few and only wish my grandmother and mum were still here to try one style of fritter—apple, white chocolate and lime leaf. Now that’s an addictive flavour combo. The Doughnut Department has been cranking out more doughnuts as demand quickly grows, breaking their own records as each day passes.

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Image from the Doughnut Department

Some versions are sweeter than others. Think old fashioned buttermilk. Chocolate, cacao nibs and black sea salt. Dulce de leche with toasted almonds. Cinnamon sugar. Vegan raspberry jam. Vanilla bean glaze. Cute doughnut holes in a six-pack are perfect if you want just a ‘wee sweet treat’.

Mostly everything at The Doughnut Department is made in-house, with love. A small but interesting breakfast/brunch/lunch menu is available, with a couple of dishes featuring, you guessed it, doughnuts. “It’s a bit of food trickery,” says Nathan, who dishes up chunks of tuna cured in citrus and lime, with seasonal pickled veggies, bread ends and crunchy doughnut slices. He’s also added doughnut crunch to the popular toasted breakfast granola.

Nathan is working with Barrista Kyra Hansen. The two were joined at the hip at Lonsdale Street Roasters where Nathan was ops manager for three years. Drinks are carefully sourced through hand-picked suppliers passionate about what their produce. Like Love Tea, which is organic, fair-trade, and made in Australia. Kyra says these teas are hand blended and focus on therapeutic benefit. The café serves Ceylon Breakfast, Licorice Love, Tumeric Tea, Rooibos and a French Earl Grey. Coffee is ethical too and sourced from Six8 Coffee Roasters.

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Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

The Doughnut Department is designed as a mixed-use space. The public part of the café is at the front and an office space is at the back where Clint and Andrea Hutchinson of FASHFEST, HAUS Models and HAUS of Artists fame now work (this dynamic duo are also partners in The Doughnut Department). Creatives are encouraged to hang out, enjoy a coffee (and a doughnut or two) and share ideas and collaborate. The vibe is inspirational. So too is the fitout by award-winning Capezio Copeland, a member of the Design Institute of Australia.

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Image from the Doughnut Department

The Doughnut Department is open 7.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, No Name Lane, 40 Marcus Clarke Street. The shop front is on Alinga Street, and you need to get in early to get the best selection!