As I was parking on Hickson Road, I only noticed signage for other establishments so it did take some time to find Pier 8 Café this morning. It was only thanks to the Campos branded umbrellas spotted from the wharf that helped me to locate P8C from a distance!
What we have here is a spacious, warm and extremely welcoming interior. Some sections have leather couches and low large coffee tables (amazingly fashioned from old rail parts) while most of the dining area is comprised of a selection of table sizes from four seaters, to tall & round, to long and suitable for groups of about ten.
The menu is located near the counter which is also where ordering needs to be done. Your food and beverages will be brought to your table though. I sensed an immediate positive vibe and sense of comradery from the staff at P8C. Their bubbliness and personality, especially from the female staff, brought life to the breakfast experience.
I have a soft spot for Campos coffee. I am of the belief that it would take a seriously terrible barista to ruin these beans! Today’s cups were exceptional and word around Walsh Bay is that P8C is definitely the place to go for great coffee.
Ours were served hot and very quickly too.
The seasonal fruit salad ($13.50) was shared at the table and we were impressed by not only the variety of fruit but also its sweetness. The pineapple (possibly Bethonga) and rock melon were particularly good.
And that, I’m sorry to say, is where our good run ended for the morning. The bacon & egg roll ($9) is served with either tomato or barbecue sauce. It was obvious as soon as it arrived that the roll was way too large compared to the ingredients inside. I’ve used the above photo because it is aesthetically more pleasing but the section view shows just how much bread there was. Even though it was soft, there needed to be two or three times the amount of filling to compensate. The bacon was crispy and enjoyable though.
While presented well, the berry ricotta hotcakes ($18) were disappointing. The texture within was more akin to a muffin and very dry. To give you a sense, when we tried to fold one in half to see how far it would go, it just crumbled apart. The compote gave a flavour boost to the hotcakes and the ricotta but this was not enough. My guest sent most of the dish back.
Seeing as it had been so long since I have ordered eggs Benedict ($18), one of my favourites, I chose this instead of the shakshouka ($18) this morning. I also included a side of bacon ($4) which came presented in rolls, something that I don’t see often.
The eggs were done well with a good form and supremely soft yolk. On top of the seven-grain sourdough were some slices of fresh spinach. The ham was my utter let-down with me first pulling a string of plastic out of my mouth and then finding the same plastic on the edges of each of the two other slices.
Some other items on the breakfast menu include eggs on toast (poached, scrambled or fried, $13), bacon & egg breakfast wrap ($5.50), smoked salmon & avocado bagel ($9.50) and the vegetarian breakfast wrap (mushroom, spinach, fried egg, BBQ sauce, $5.50). There seems to be a big discrepancy in some of the pricing with two of this morning’s dishes being $18 (yet still not very large) while the wraps and rolls are quite reasonable.
So for atmosphere and great coffee, I give the thumbs up to Pier 8 Café.
If you disagree, I’m happy to hear your opinions!
Overall Rating: 22.5/25
Address: 23 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, 2000
Payment Options: Credit card, EFTPOS, cash