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We went to Anouk in trendy Paddington, Brisbane, specifically for their slushie-style drinks (they call them fruit shakes), but there was a lot more to this happening little city cafe than just the liquid refreshments.

But first – the slushies, indeed worth the trip in themselves. Try lychee and lime, or pineapple raspberry mint, or one of the many other flavours. The pineapple lime coconut choice (omg) is basically a non-alcoholic pina colada without the paper umbrella and the tropical water view. But watch out for serious brain freeze (yes, this is a real, even scientific, thing) as you try not to sip the frozen delights too quickly – unsuccessful in my case. The drink choices are in fact quite wide ranging and innovative, especially on the cold front  – particularly appealing on a 35 degree day in Brissie. In addition to the fruit shakes, there’s yogurt fruit smoothies, muddled fruit and fizz, AND home-made soft drinks. Not a coke in sight, praise Lord. If you’re after hot, even the coffee’s good.

Anouk is busy and it’s buzzing, which is perhaps code for it’s quite loud inside, but after a while you forget that. See if you can grab a seat looking out through the open timber windows on to the Paddo streets beyond.

If you can’t find anything to meet your fancy on the multiple blackboards adorning the wall or the all day breakfast plus more menu, take a peak in their cabinet at the various tarts and sweet things (next time). There’s no lack of choice, and our choices were good – a simple but tasty tamarind chicken toastie and a delicious smashed avocado and egg late breakie.

It’s quite lovely inside, character without being super trendy. I’m not sure how, but even the floral velvet covered bench under the timber mirrors looks a bit funky. Maybe it was the peeling off paint effect that makes the place feel so welcoming.

The menu changes regularly so even the regulars (there are lots of them) are kept interested, and well fed. Anouk is open every day, so if you haven’t already been, drop in for a bite to eat – and definitely something to drink.

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Heaven in a glass – way better than it looks.

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