It all started one wintery Sunday in Florence. We had an invitation to one of the well-known expat restaurants in town to enjoy their famous Sunday brunch. It was a company thing actually, our little travel agency had been running the brunch for years and to be honest, the promotion wasn’t go too well that particular semester and as it was being put on by our boss, what better way to get the word out than invite all of the favorite tour guides along.
As I watched the beautifully bulbous glass filled with red tomato-y goodness arriving to my table and tasted the first sip of the deliciously spicy Bloody Mary, I was hooked. Of course, I won’t even speak of the hashbrowns. Some secrets are meant to be kept. Our Sunday meetings at that little restaurant became a tradition and brunch became an obsession. I may or may not have even waited in a three-hour line to try the famous eggs benedict and french toast platter at Mama’s on Washington Square in San Fran.
So what does that mean for Sydney? I welcome a new challenge willingly. It started with a couple of morning stops at the local cafe which sits on our street corner but from there, recommendation after recommendation means that I have been able to try some of the best places in Sydney. My work is far from over here but I wanted to share with you some of my favorites.
Cafe Ish: This was a recommendation from the lovely Heather as one of her favorite breakfast stops in the city and it did not disappoint. Christine and I chose this as our meeting spot on one of her sporadic weekend ventures to Sydney and we vowed to both try something delicious, no matter the price!
After a bit of debate I opted for the fabulous crab omelette, a recommendation from Heather, which included tempura crab and avocado. As someone who is typically not a fan of omelets, it was fabulous. The cuisine at Cafe Ish is classified as Australian/Japanese fusion and that is exactly what it is. This little Surry Hills spot reminded me what I love so much about the creativity of Australian chefs. The coffee was phenomenal as well!
Cafe Ish is located at 82 Campbell St., Surry Hills.
Cafe Giulia: This was a random hint from a former Chippo resident. Apparently, Giulia is a household name around these parts and I wanted in on the action. Famous for their extensive menu, freshly made juices and true-to-Aussie form coffees I will say that even with the $60 dent in my wallet, it was a great brekky. Worth $60? Maybe not. But seriously try the juices; I opted for the Pineapple, apple, ginger, mint and it lasted all of five minutes. I had banana french toast but next time around I would like to try the Tuscan Toast, or one of the other fabulous things on the menu. I preferred the coffee at Cafe Ish to be honest.
Cafe Giulia is located at 92 Abercrombie St., Chippendale.
Well Connected Cafe: Be seated in a cozy leather swivel chair around a tiny table and enjoy your massive cup of coffee with a local paper or magazine. In fact, stay all day if you like. Well Connected even has free wi-fi! Not generally one to diss service, as a worker in the industry myself, but I admit that in my experience these waitresses do tend to get easily confused, just don’t let it get to you, enjoy your lazy morning. I’ve liked what I tried but I hear the eggs benedict are amazing and I’ll be there soon to find out.
Well Co. Cafe is located at 35 Glebe Point Rd., Glebe.
Baffi & Mo: This one came up when I was discussing the awesomeness of brunch with my housemates and she mentioned Baffi & Mo, a little cafe in Redfern. She had never been but her workmates were raving about it. I began reading the reviews on eatability and urbanspoon so see what all the hype was about, and you know, decide what to order. Not all reviews were fantastic. A lot of people were saying that the service was horrible and it looked like the owner pretty much hated her life and everyone in it. They mentioned that, although creative, the chefs seemed to be taking a nosedive in the quality of their food. Then there were a couple of cheers for the Hash Stack. At the time I read the reviews, I was sick and didn’t want to venture too far from home so we opted to head somewhere a bit closer, Newtown, and sat down at Funky Brewsters (see below).
Then one rainy Wednesday with nothing to do we took the plunge and walked to Redfern. What a cute little part of town. Redfern gets a lot of crap for being the slum of the city. Parts of it may be, but Redfern Street is adorable and thanks to Christine’s reply to my foursquare tweet, I now know many other places to try in the area.
Now back to the food.
It was fabulous. The coffee was delicious and the barista/waitress was as sweet as can be! The owner did look a little rough but she didn’t seem unhappy or angry in the slightest. The Hash Stack lived up to the hype; a creative fried stack of has brown strips toped with avocado and a perfectly poached egg, all set on a fresh bed of greens. Lorenzo had the Eggs Benny and seriously… why have I opted for everything else on every menu other than my favorite? It’s time for a change.
Baffi & Mo is located at 94 Redfern St., Redfern.
I have also visted Funky Brewsters on King Street in Newtown but I have to admit that I was underwhelmed. My mission has just begun so please, please tell me:
What is YOUR favorite brunch/brekky spot in Sydney?? I’ll meet you there and if it makes a mean Bloody Mary, I’ll even buy you one!