The quaint historic shop that was Paddington's original apothecary is home to one of Brisbane's cafe dining institutions, Anouk. On weekends hopeful punters queue under the hanging fern baskets on the footpath in wait for one of the best breakfasts in town and on weekdays there is elbow room only at lunch time as they pack into the rustic chic dining room with its exposed brick walls and well trodden floorboards.
The menu, an ever changing affair that sources the best of local and fresh produce, is scrawled in chalk on the wall blackboards. The breakfasts here are about as good as it gets, with dishes such as pan-fried asparagus with crumbled chorizo, spinach and leek and fried egg and cheesy scrambled eggs competing with free-ranged poached double with smoked bacon, house hollandaise and roast tomato or French toast croissant with rhubarb and raspberry compote, marscapone and pouring cream.
Lunch is no less of a treat, with signature dishes such as fish pot pie with salmon, leek, green peas and dill in a creamy chardonnay sauce or (housemade) gnocchi, pan-fried and doused in fresh herbs, roast lemon oil and zest with pecorino.
For something lighter the bruschetta make a delicious alternative to the sandwich scene and come with toppings that range from traditional to sweet potato in a mushroom cap with fetta and parsley.
Drinks are every bit as good as the mains, from the coffee to the summer refreshers like lime, ginger, mint and soda or the divine orange, berries and sparkling apple.
Note that breakfast finishes at 11.30 Mon-Fri and 12.30 on weekends and there's a brief interval before lunch is served, starting at 11.45 weekdays and 1pm weekends.