The Grounds of the City
The Grounds of the CBD looks very expensive. The owners (as well as design team Acme & Co.) went all out; every part of the cafe-restaurant is immaculately detailed to make the whole scene look like the Orient Express.
The intricate timber joinery is accompanied by antiques (crockery, knick-knacks, books, furniture), plush illustrated menus, cast-enamel doors, custom-built stained-glass windows, copper bar equipment, tea delivered by trolley, mobile shoe-shiners, old-fashioned staff uniforms (and service, there’s even a permanent “coffee sommelier”) and a 1920s jazz soundtrack.
Just like the original in Alexandria, the most astonishing thing about this Grounds venue is how many different things this all-day venue does. On one visit you could try a coffee-tasting platter and some of the house cakes. On another, a cocktail and a plate of dashi oysters. Or you could do something completely different and sidle up to the bar for a burger, steak or half a roast chicken with a side of parmesan fries and cauliflower mac’n’cheese.
Dishes include snapper ceviche with buttermilk, hazelnut, apple and shreds of wakame. And the poke-like chirashi salad with brown rice, crisp cos, lime, cucumber, copious amounts of avocado and your choice of protein. Although the menu changes regularly.