I’d read reviews of Samson & Sophie. People loved the eclectic air of the cafe; the quirky furniture and re-purposed BBQs as tables; the recipe card as table numbers and the giant pegs to hold them. They weren’t so in love with some of the meals and service. Aren’t those last two the things that you actually go to a cafe for? So you can imagine my reservations when I was told we had a reservation. We were heading out to celebrate Bronlynn’s birthday with the breakfast club. Samson & Sophie is virtually all outdoor seating and a booking for 11 gave us a table made of an old door with two trestles underneath that would comfortably seat six and an assortment of chairs and stools designed for 20 something hipster backsides. We squashed in and reviewed the menu.
There was the usual assortment of bacon, egg and smashed avocado combinations as well as some more unique offerings such as Roast Pumpkin Fritters ($18.90) and Kasundi Eggs ($18.90). When our coffees were delivered the waitress asked that as we were such a large group, was it OK to deliver the meals as they were made rather than delivering them all at once? Yessss….. I suppose that would be OK, as clearly we weren’t actually being offered the second option. ‘Uh Oh’, I thought, but in the end the meals came out quite soon and in very quick succession. I had Fritter Envy as soon as the Pumpkin Fritters arrived. Yes, Fritter Envy is a thing. I am so very often disappointed by doughy, flaccid, bland fritters at breakfast that I have given up on ordering them. Bronlynn said she had similar misgivings but the fritters were light, crisp and most important of all, well seasoned. With that fresh salad on top, they were the star of the breakfast table. Definite Fritter Envy.
Our typical breakfast orders of Slow Cook Beans w Ham Hock ($16.90), Our House Cook Up ($18.90) and Wrapped Up breakfast wrap ($12.90) were all well received. The Sardines were curious. Billed as Cuca Sardines w Poached Egg & Sourdough, the sardines were delivered in their tin, with the lid peeled back. They were attractively presented, sitting alongside the poached egg and sourdough but I couldn’t help wondering about a few things. 1. Were they heated? 2. Was there sufficient toast? Surely when you order what is essentially sardines on toast you’re expecting them to be warmed and with enough toast to enjoy them with. So I asked Steve, who had ordered them, what he thought about his sardines and this is what he told me: ‘They weren’t warmed, which was a bit of a surprise. Having said that, they were very good quality, so that made up for it. Yes, disappointed about the lack of toast – I ended up eating the remaining sardines without. It would have been nice to eat them all with toast. I love sardines but wouldn’t be getting it again though – the cost was as much ($16.90) as some other dishes that required far more preparation than the sardines.’ So there you have it. A simple explanation on the menu that Cuca Sardines are a brand of sardines and they come served as is could do a lot to improve customer satisfaction. Buyer beware.
Despite some misgivings, Samson and Sophie ended up being a reasonable breakfast venue. Their processes could do with some tweaking – a sign telling people to order at the counter, tables set up for the number booked, better menu descriptions. I thought the meal pricing was on the higher end of cafe breakfasts in Brisbane but when you’re out to enjoy a morning with friends, a few dollars here or there seems irrelevant.