I would estimate that I’ve been to Culture Bean thirty to forty times over the past twelve months. Located on absolute prime real estate across the road from St George Hospital, Culture Bean is the leading off-campus provider of coffee and food to my starving colleagues whilst also commanding its own customer base from the wider community. Culture Bean is the favourite local cafe of one of our consultant intensivists in particular, but also known to frequented by everyone else we work with.
The reasons behind the fact that I’ve got very few photos to show for the sheer volume of food I’ve consumed from Culture Bean is multifactorial. It’s a bit embarassing to take photos of food in front of colleagues at work, especially bosses. Each meal also becomes less special the more you eat somewhere, and therefore in the mind less worthy of photography, even if you never took any photos to start with.
The bacon and egg sandwich ($11.50), not to be confused with the bacon and egg roll, is a fully featured, stuffed with ingredients sandwich featuring egg, rocket, halloumi, heaps of bacon, and your choice of sauce (default is hollandaise and barbecue). It is very filling, and the flavours are perfectly balanced. It is much better than the bacon and egg roll ($7), which I feel to be a bit too bread heavy and dry in comparison.
The mainstay of management at Culture Bean is their fantastically good value egg and haloumi slider and regular coffee combo ($8). These hot little sliders can be optioned with a vast array of sauces if you know to ask (otherwise you will be given barbecue), and make for a great post-ward round snack. The coffee at Culture Bean is from Gabriel Coffee, and is always of good quality.
Culture Bean’s literally award winning Acai Bowl ($16) is pretty OK. My first acai bowl ever and was just fine, not mindblowing. Knowing this is apparently one of the best in Sydney did not make me want to get any more acai bowls from anywhere else.
I have enjoyed the bocconcini pesto sandwich but wish it would have some meat in it. Conversely, I have also had the chicken pesto sandwich and wished it were less dry, and thought it could perhaps benefit from some bocconcini in it. Culture Bean would really be onto something if they could put both chicken and bocconcini in the same sandwich.
The Pulled Pork Burger ($10) is a good value burger full of saucy, wet pulled pork and a carroty Asian slaw. It’s quite nice and pretty cheap, but make sure you have some paper towels nearby as it does get quite wet.
I tried the Blue Heaven ($16) with blue spirulina, banana, mango, kiwi, goji & dragon fruit one day after a night shift. While I liked the dragon fruit I wasn’t a big fan of the other fruit, nor was I a fan of the weird blue colour. Just not really my thing to be honest, maybe other people like this.
I enjoyed the Culture Burger ($12.50), which is essentially a chicken thigh burger in an activated charcoal bun. They are able to do this is a normal bun if you ask, which I tend to do since I’m not really sure if activated charcoal is good for you or bad for you.
COMMENTS / VERDICT
I feel AWFUL that the staff at Culture Bean know my name and I don’t know theirs. The service is always really nice and friendly, and the food pretty good too. I always feel guilty when I walk past Culture Bean to go to Concrete Jungle/Cafe 959 and the guys at Culture Bean just look at me with this look of sadness. They are my home cafe but sometimes I want something different. Definitely the best place in easy reach of the hospital (but sadly out of Spectralink reception).