A very popular place related to The Grounds in Alexandria, Flower Child is all about an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre. Located in the Chatswood Westfield shopping centre it serves up some gorgeous fare quickly with great service.
"Is that...the queue?" I ask Mr NQN as we approach Flower Child. Sure enough, even though we had arrived earlyish on a Sunday the queue was long. "How long is the wait?" we ask and we're told it is about 45 minutes. They take our number and we shop while waiting for our table.
40 minutes later we come back just to see how our table is progressing and sure enough, our table is next. Now people are being told that the wait is 1 hour and 20 minutes so I guess 45 minutes isn't so bad in comparison. It's a small cafe with a long table section as well but turnover is quick. And we learn just how quick when we sit down.
As soon as we are seated they come over to take coffee orders. And then the second we look ready to order they come over immediately. The cafe is the baby of the little brother at very successful The Grounds and so that means they have procedures down pat.
We order three items, the three most popular items as Mr NQN is very hungry. My chai latte appears within minutes, it's good and quite sweet and aromatic and just what I need on this chilly day.
I was hoping that they'd suggest a burger because I was feeling all the fries but the eggs benedict on a croissant is very eye catching. It's served with a choice of cured trout, prosciutto or bacon with an espresso and tomato ham and burnt butter hollandaise. I try the prosciutto because I've never had benedict with prosciutto. It's quite crispy, although next time I'd probably go for bacon. The eggs are a little over poached, not hard inside but not quite runny enough but it's a nice idea.
I saw countless plates of this going past and once I taste it I can see why. The salmon is perfectly cooked so that it retains a moreish lusciousness. It is served with pea tendrils, sous vide fennel, green apple, cranberries, dill, walnuts, radish and freekah with a flavoursome horseradish tapenade and apple cider vinaigrette to bring it all together.
For dessert we share the French toast. There's a dollop of sweet banana mascarpone, slices of banana, dark chocolate crumbs, candied pecans, berries, salted butterscotch sauce and maple syrup. And yep it's as good as it sounds. The single slice of bread is spongy and soaked with syrup while the banana mascarpone is not overly sweet which balances the sweetness elsewhere on the plate.
By the time we sit down, eat and pay it's less than an hour and we just have a little more time to shop.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like to eat and drink quickly and then go? Or do you prefer to linger and talk? Do you often eat in shopping centres? And do you always order what you feel like eating or do you order something because it is popular but you really want something else?
This meal was independently paid for.
1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067
Open 8am-5pm every day (closes at 9pm Thursdays)