Markeri Food is a happening place. With its accent on modern international food, Yuen’s is the cornerstone, The Journal Café and Pastry the morning greeting to patrons. They return to the centre for amazing Japanese food at Project Tokyo, cutting edge Asian fusion dishes at Lucky Bao, the best vegan yum cha on the coast at Easy House, family-style pizza, pasta, burgers and wings (with a cocktail on the side) at Urban Woodfire Pizza Bar… and more.
We have been Yuens patrons since we came to the coast in the ‘90s, often dropping in to pick up some last-minute items or essential ingredients for dinner.
I’m a market shopper at heart, but a lot of times that doesn’t suit. There are times when I need to buy a few special groceries as well as fruit and veg during the week, a plant for a housewarming present, flowers or quality snacks to take to the neighbours’ place; days when it’s either raining or just too damned hot to walk around a paddock in the migraine-inducing sun. I want both quality and choice with the added convenience of proximity to parking.
Today we’re shopping in comfort at Yuen’s, first enjoying breakfast together, then purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables, specialty Fodmap grocery items for a family dinner, as well as flowers and dips for a neighbourhood visit.
The Journal Café and Pastry, opened several years ago as a café, has evolved and grown to be part of its ‘mother store’, Yuen’s. With a menu aligned to Yuen’s offerings (think international pantry items, Fodmap, gluten and dairy-free and organic specialty goods), The Journal is a café in tune with the modern diner, vegan choices clearly indicated.
We settle on the deck outside Yuen’s, basking in the early morning autumn sun as we order breakfast. The café has been open since 6am, with walkers and dog owners ordering coffee to go or a light breakfast, reading the papers in peace before shoppers like us converge on the premises.
With Chef Gabby Loprete in charge of the kitchen, the modern all-day menu encompasses breakfast, lunch and everything in between including burgers and tacos. Sandwiches, pastries and sweets are catered for from the cabinet.
Meals appear promptly from the kitchen, beautifully presented. It’s the turnaround of service efficient enough for other cafés to dream about, our meals arriving promptly, juices and smoothies arriving to order, and Paradox Coffee Roasters’ Paper Moon a treat to start off the morning.
Mushroom Medley, a special from the new menu, shows off assorted mushies loaded up on buttered toast with a top hat of fried enoki, the seeded soy and quinoa sourdough bread itself worthy of a mention.
For me, Smashed Avocado, a favourite on any Gold Coast menu, is always a test of the chef’s creativity. The Journal’s version is a treat with avocado piled onto the same delicious toast with crumbled Persian feta, pepita and sunflower seeds, charred lemon and house made dukkah. It’s one tasty breakfast!
Then it’s time to shop. Section by section, we work our way around the shop with ease. We’ve parked right outside and soon our boot is laden with fresh fruit and veg, fresh herbs, our favourite Pure Delish primal breakfast mix, local Kenilworth cheese, vegan cheese and chocolate for daughters, some frozen dumplings for entertaining later in the week as well as fresh flowers to brighten the table.
Shopping done, we’ve accomplished two tasks in one, yet we still feel refreshed and bright. And it’s not yet 9am! The day is yet young.
The Journal Cafe at Markeri Food, 88 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters
Ph: 07 5572 7937 Open Mon – Sun 6am – 3pm