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  • Restaurants
  • Hawthorne
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. A waffle dish with ice cream and strawberries
    Photograph: Time OutKids' waffle
  2. Pork Belly Benedict
    Photograph: Time Out

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Excellence looks easy at a Hawthorne venue kicking goals with top-notch coffee and inventive café food

Sister lives in the prestige Hawthorne strip surrounding the cinemas on Hawthorne Road, one of the city's best eating destinations and a place to inspire daggers of envy towards the locals who can drop in any time they fancy. 

The peach pastel-coloured café heaves with these lucky ducks on a sunny Sunday morning: hip young couples breakfasting away the pain of Saturday night's revels; peacock mums and their stylishly dressed progeny; and the older set who know they're onto a good thing. Time Out rocks up unannounced and is astonished both to be directed straight to a window bench seat (prime viewing for the passing parade) and to receive our orders in front of us in record time. Sister's kitchen is obviously powering on all cylinders.

What's coming out from behind the pass is exceptionally tasty. The potato is the unsing hero here, with breakfast gnocchi a signature dish, and housemade hash browns featuring widely. Someone at Sister is doing double duty grating spuds, mark our words, as these rustic potato cakes are huge, plump things, crumbed and fried but with a little bite left in them to differentiate from the flat, frozen variety. 

Two hash browns sub for bread in the Pork Belly Benedict. Asian pork belly is the sticky, savoury-sweet protein here, handily cubed so it doesn't become unwieldy. There's a buffer of wilted kale, and a poached egg sits on top, bright and shiny with Hollandaise. Stab the egg and yolk soaks through luxuriantly. The richly flavoured result is a kind of street food-meets-café classic, and understandably popular.  

Sister's waffles have also attracted renown – dessert breakfast lovers should go straight for the Ferrero Rocher waffles, gorgeous things dripping in Miso caramel and bejewelled in candied hazelnuts. Waffles are freshly housemade on the waffle iron of course, while crumpets come courtesy of Wholly Crumpets in next door Bulimba.

It's a sad truth that many a Brisbane café ticks all the food boxes yet forgets to put coffee in their coffee. Not so at Sister, and we'd drop in for a daily takeaway skim flat white if this was our local. The coffee is Single Origin, the venerable roasters from Sydney's Surry Hills, and it's a kick-ass, earthy, eye-opening cuppa using Single O's Killerbee blend. 

Sister is the third café to be opened by Daniel and Hannah Bowles, and they seem to have things down to a fine art. Do as those pesky locals do and come by for a late brunch, catch a movie at one of the two Cineplexes, then stick around for cocktails and dinner at one of the strip's en pointe Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Turkish diners. 

Find more of the best breakfasts in Brisbane right now.

Nick Dent
Written by
Nick Dent


2/273 Hawthorne Rd
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