Since bracing the big city in February last year I’ve discovered the Sydney breakfast scene to be completely overwhelming. I tend to find myself feeling guilty for going back to the same place twice because there are so many gems out there waiting to be discovered. Simply within walking distance of my house I would say there are over 20 potential hunger satisfiers to venture to of a morning. My picks to cater to a variety of tastes, budgets and city fringe locations (in no ranking order):
Bills (Surry Hills, Woollahra, Darlinghurst) : It goes without saying that Bills scrambies are known to set the benchmark for deliciously sinful, creamy eggs on toast. But his hotcakes are what sparks my tastebuds and have me craving a visit to one of his restaurants. So light and fluffy with a spot of ricotta here and there, they are accompanied by this amazing honeycomb infused butter that melts so brilliantly through the dish. And then there’s the banana that seems to slowly soak up the maple syrup as you eat it and honestly leaves you begging for more. I’m usually one for the savoury breakfast but these hotcakes stir a warm feeling inside. The lines for Bills are ever present so you’ll have to be strategic in your timing and definitely willing to wait.
Isabellas (Randwick) : My local favourite and the best value breakfast I’ve come across. Most of the menu is between $8.50 and $10 and the list seems to go on forever. My pick would be the Breakfast Tortilla (note: It’s not actually a Tortilla, it’s Turkish bread, but hey it still does the trick!). Coriander is one of those things you either love or hate with a passion – for me avocado, tomato salsa and coriander is a mix made in heaven; and top that with poached eggs and cheese you’ve pretty much got me covered every Saturday morning. The juices here are as fresh as you can get and it’s a nice venue to soak up the morning sun if you’re outside.
Le Petit Cafe (Coogee) : this little hole in the wall type place is a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of central Coogee. With a specialty of crepes and bowl sized coffees this slightly hidden cafe would only be discovered through word of mouth. There’s a delicious selection of pastries, breads and savoury or sweet crepes and the vibe of the cafe is completely relaxing. I suggest the crepe with egg and prosciutto, but my sweet tooth friend was one for the Nutella and banana – in a slight moment you almost think you’re in France.
Brown Sugar (Bondi) : one word, AMAZING. I met a friend here for breakfast last weekend and to be honest, I went in with a preconceived perception of a standard Bondi Breakfast, over priced and unmemorable. But it was phenomenal. Putting aside the 20 minute wait to be seated and 30 minute wait for the food, my dish was just divine. Grilled asparagus with poached eggs and a generous serving of prosciutto, sprinkled just slightly with parmesan and this silky smooth, extraordinary truffle oil. Word of mouth rumours compelled me to order the hash browns which were a definite complement beside the borderline orgasmic creation I’d ordered. A must must must for a Bondi Breakfast.
Kazbah (Balmain) : A few weeks ago my friend Sarah and I ventured over the bridge (well, one of Sydney’s bridges that seems to create a fictitious wall between areas in Sydney). It was a breakfast I’d never experienced before with a Middle Eastern influence blended in with a standard Australian morning fare. I had serious food envy when Sarah’s special of the day came out – Felafel with a centre of caramelised onion, topped with poached eggs, a Middle Eastern version of bacon with the smoothest crème fraîche. Re-focusing my attention as my plate of deliciousness is put in front of me, my eyes widen in excitement for the pork belly shish kebab. Next to it, layered so articulately was a chickpea fritter, baby spinach, roast tomato, poached egg, capsicum sauce and the ever incredible labne. If you’ve never tasted Labne, seriously get onto it, it will change your life. After breakfast, even though we were well satisfied it was mandatory to venture down the road to Adriano Zumbo for at least one macaroon. In true Andrea form, of course I bought two… and a chocolate surprise. The 20 minute line up was well worth it to end the authentic gourmet feast and then to top off the foodie morning, a little bit of star spotting with the tiny Margaret Fulton.
I know there’s more to be discovered so I’m encouraging your input – where do you go for your weekend breakfast in Sydney? I’m willing to travel far and wide!