I’ve heard so many good things about John Smith, which is located in Waterloo in Sydney and was on my list of cafe’s to visit on my recent trip. My list pretty much consisted of cafes and good breakfast. The place however, is tiny, so get there early or in our case, we went during the weekdays just after the lunch time rush and didn’t have to wait for a booth at all.
The menu vast which we love and who doesn’t love all day breakfast? We started with cold pressed juices – apple, pineapple and it was refreshingly good. Dragon drank most of it, that we had to order another glass for me!
My brother really enjoyed their coffee – one of the best he said.
My sis-in-law, O and I couldn’t go past the eggs Benedict with pulled pork – my goodness, it had my name all over it! The pulled pork was incredibly tender, even Dragon wanted more. The béarnaise sauce was excellent, wasn’t too rich and sickening and perfect with oozy egg! It was the perfect breakfast!
I was pleasantly surprised when my brother, F, ordered the chicken salad with pesto. I thought he would have ordered a burger but he wanted something healthy and indeed it was surprisingly tasty. Everything was so fresh and we love pesto, so its as a win win for both of us.
We thought we would share a cronut, and oh my my, it was sinfully good! I have heard wonderful things about Brewtown Newton’s cronut and this definitely did not disappoint!
The staff was super duper friendly, and food excellent. We did have to wait a bit for our benedict as they ran out of béarnaise sauce but it was definitely worth the wait. I can’t wait to visit John Smith Cafe when I am back next!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
John Smith Cafe
1 John Street
Ph: +61 422 855 811
This post is long overdue. I was in Sydney a couple of months back and was catching up with a couple of my favourite peeps, and i suggested this place. Thesuzchef, Uncle and I all have kids, so we need somewhere that is child friendly and big enough to fit prams. Unfortunately, none of us brought our prams but this cafe was definitely spacious. It is located in Waterloo in PYD design centre in Sydney. The cafe was quite spacious and I love the open space, great for Dragon to run around. The menu was vast, all day breakfast and lunch started at 11:30am.
I really wanted eggs, but Dragon is allergic to eggs. So opt for her next best thing, and her favourite also – Crispy Fried Chicken with tortilla and tomato chilli jam. The fried chicken was surprisingly tasty, crispy skin and tender.
thesuzchef ordered the blueberry and buttermilk pancakes served with blueberry compote and vanilla cream. Unfortunately it was a true and utter disappointment. It wasn’t fluffy or soft, it was rock hard and cold.
Uncle had the open fillet steak sandwich with sautéed mushroom, salad and red onion marmalade. It looked good but from memory, Uncle thought it was just ‘ok’. (photo by my Uncle)
The brioche French toast with caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup was infinitely better than the buttermilk pancakes. (photo by uncle).
Overall food was a bit of a hit and miss, which is a shame. I really wanted to like this cafe as I liked the vibe. My fried chicken was pretty good but I don’t think everyone enjoyed their meal. Service was friendly and polite. It was lovely to see you all – I have missed you dearly!
GA’s ratings: 5 / 10
The Chalkboard Cafe
197 Young Street
Ph: +61 2 9698 2553
Oh my how I have missed the café scene in Sydney. Rocking up to a café, having breakfast with your friends, and having a very good meal and coffee! You don’t get that at all in Hong Kong – unless I have been going to the wrong places then please let me know!
I was catching up with one of my dearest friends, and we both have read about Kepos Street Kitchen, which is located on Kepos Street (doh!) where Strangers by Candy used to be. The chef behind Kepos Street Kitchen is Michael Rantisi ex Bathers’ Pavilion. Kepos Street Kitchen is opened for breakfast and lunch and the menu has a Middle Eastern twist to it. I had perused the menu quite extensively before going, and knew exactly what I wanted.
It was a bright and gorgeous day, I love the brightness of the café inside, it was tiny though, and I think you would struggle to get a table for more than 4. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long and got a table in less than 10 mins!
I couldn’t resist the mocktail – pomegranate mojito, I love the redness of the drink, it was refreshing and perfect for the gorgeous day.
M had the soy latte which she enjoyed.
I couldn’t go past the zucchini fritters with dill, smoked salmon and poached egg ($18). The fritters were a little salty for my liking but it was still quite delicious – moist and soft, and the poached egg oozed with yolk – how I missed a simple poached egg!
M couldn’t go past the ajeah – open herb omelette, kipfler potatoes, chorizo, sourdough ($16). This was simple but yet delicious.
Service was good considering how busy it was that day and food delicious. I saw someone order the dad’s favourite breaky – falafel, hummus, balneh, dukkah, hardboiled egg, tomato salad and schiacciata bread – it looked FANTASTIC! Will have to order that next time I am back!
Great café, I sure have missed the café scene!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos Street
Ph: +61 2 9319 3919
I was fortunate enough to attend the Tsuru pop-up which was held at Bocata in Waterloo. Tickets sold out the week that of the event, and a dear friend, H, had a spare ticket as her husband couldn’t make it and I couldn’t help but said yes! Tickets were $35 per person for unlimited Tsuru grub and Sangria, beer, wine and other beverages were by the Bocata team available for purchase on the night.
As most of you know, the food truck phenomenon is rolling into Sydney! There will be 10 different trucks, two are already on the streets on Sydney and I have not yet been to either of them. The first being Cantina Mobil, Mexican food, pick your style of soft or hard taco, burrito, or chilli corn and the filling of slow roasted shredded chipotle beef, marinated and slow cooked chicken or traditional pinto beans. The second being Eat Art Truck (which I have been stalking and dying to try!) – the specialty being twice cooked steak ssam, pulled pork buns – yum!
Tsuru which means paper crane in Japanese will serve Asian street food including chicken satay skewers, pork belly buns and onigiris.
Now the event, I have to say, I was really looking forward to trying the pork belly buns! When H and I rocked up at 7 ish, the place was packed. Food were slowly coming out, every time a tray of buns were served, it was gone within seconds.
You had to be quick and you had to stand near the kitchen otherwise, you will definitely miss out. The execution I thought was poorly done, too many people and the kitchen wasn’t big enough BUT the food definitely made up for it – especially the buns and the satay and not to mention my favourite, martabak manis, which is a rich-flavoured pancake like sweet dish which has toppings including chocolate, cheese or nuts.
I have been looking forward to the pork belly buns, the buns were incredibly soft and fluffy. The pork belly tender, but it was missing something, sauce! The buns I thought were a little big, making it very filling.
The fried chicken buns were probably my favourite for the evening. Crunchy fried chicken, pickled carrots and mayo – OMG! It was absolutely delicious. I probably ate two or three of these scrumptious buns, however, I would have happily eaten just the fried chicken on its own.
Here’s a close up of the inside….
The tender bbq beef was good but the fried chicken was definitely a winner for me. The youtiao – which are fried dough stick eaten with congee was served with prawn and pork and sweet chilli sauce were also good! I was getting a little full by then, I think I had about four buns!
I was dying to eat the satay, they were making it outside – charcoaled Indonesian style and they were fabulous! It reminded me like home, the chicken satay tender, although a little burnt and the peanut sauce – perfection!
Dessert was martabak manis – it wasn’t any ordinary martabak manis, it was pandan flavoured which I have never had. The pandan flavour was subtle and the filing peanuts, I have to admit, it was pretty frigging tasty! I took both home, hoping to give one to ‘The Mother’, but I couldn’t stop eating it and the next thing I knew, GONE!
We got a goodie bag to take home, inside, was a steamed bun with butter and nutella for breakfast!
It was definitely a fun event, I am looking forward for the Tsuru truck to be on the Streets of Sydney, the fried chicken bun is definitely worth the wait! So is the pandan martabak manis.
The chef / proprietor behind the Tsuru truck are Ellyn Tse. Elaine is also the girl behind the non-profit organisation called Eat.Drink.Give – an organisation that helps the less fortunate in the community. The truck is almost ready, and Ellyn said they should be on the road in the next few weeks! I can’t wait!
Thanks H for thinking of me.
Tsuru Food Truck
Sonoma bread really requires no introduction to bread lovers in Sydney. Most restaurants, cafes, will get their bread from Sonoma and most delis and even grocery stores will stock Sonoma bread.
Sonoma has opened several cafes across Sydney, Waterloo, Glebe, Bondi, Paddington and of course their large commercial bakery in Alexandria. I was catching up with the gorgeous B and she suggested this place. We both love bread so this was the perfect reason to go!
There’s no shortage of cafes in Waterloo and Sonoma Bakery Cafe can be found on the main strip of Danks Street. It is a very small cafe, brightly lit and serves breakfast and lunch and sells bread for bread lovers like us!
The skim cappuccino is excellent deliciously strong and aromatic.
B had the muesli – half honey spiced hand roasted and half soaked sonama muesli ($9), topped with yogurt and rhubarb. I love the combination of crunchy and soaked muesli – and the rhubarb, excellent.
Great little spot, it can be uber busy around breakfast and lunch time. They have pre-made sandwiches and soup for diners who can’t dine in. Service is minimal, you order at the counter, pay, take a number and food will be delivered.
No doubt I got a couple of loaves of bread and as always great catching up with you gorgeous B! Hope you all have an awesome weekend!
GA’s rating: 7 / 10
Sonoma Bakery Cafe
2 / 9 Danks Street
Ph: +61 2 9699 1920
I was catching up with the lovely Volleyball enthusiast, A, for lunch. It certainly has been a while since we last caught up! We had originally planned to go to Café Sopra, but it was soooo busy that she suggested the French House which is located on the corner of Danks and Young Street.
It’s a cute place, I love the Parisian fit out, the oversized prints and mirrors, and the large communal wooden table in the middle of the balcony. I love the rustic feel, and on a gorgeous day with sun streaming in, it was hard not to sit on the balcony and just chill.
It’s a very relaxing café, you order at the counter and whilst waiting, lust over all the wonderful cakes and pastries, get a number and food will be delivered to your table.
I have been drinking so much coffee (if there is such a thing) that I ordered tea – lemon and green tea ($4). Thought it was going to be warm, but alas no. It was alright but for $4 it was a little pricey.
A opted for the large soy latte, which was served in a huge bowl ($4.50) – how I love drinking coffee out of a bowl.
The spinach Quiche ($6.50) was served warm, I loved the flaky pastry, a heavenly mixture of eggs with spinach and was absolutely delicious!
A had the Quiche Lorraine ($6.50) and judging from how she devoured the Quiche, I can safely say it was probably just as good as mine!
I love how it was served with elegant yet simple crockery, and the food was wonderful and coffee excellent. I noticed someone having soup, pumpkin soup and it smelt divine! Would have definitely enjoyed that too I think.
I love the relax ambience, we sat there chatting and people watching! Will definitely come back and have one of their pre-made baguette sandwich or even a naughty but yet delicious pastries.
There’s really not a shortage of cafes in Waterloo, and this one is definitely a keeper! Jealous that A just lives around the corner from this place.The pre-made baguette sandwiches looked fantastic and check out this gigantic brioche! YUM!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
The French House
1 Danks Street
Ph: +61 2 8399 2770
Another one of my favourite cafes in Sydney and one I visit regularly for breakfast, or lunch. Run by Jared Ingersoll, he believes in slow food movement and practicing sustainable and ethical principles in sourcing raw ingredients to create a more delicious and nutritious cuisine. Dank Street supports the local producers, ensuring quality seasonal produce and minimizing unnecessary transportation and storage.
Their garlic bread is famous amongst my friends, we would endlessly talk about how fantastic and delicious they are. It is not your ordinary garlic bread where they toast two pieces of bread and then smear garlic spread on top of it. The bread, slightly toasted, fresh and moist and lightly drenched with garlic butter and herbs… I have to admit, it was a little oily for my liking but it was tasty! It tasted so SO GOOD that it leaves an impression to most of us who dine here.
My sister in law had the chicken sandwich – which was biodynamic chicken stuffed and roasted then mixed with roasted corn and mayonnaise, served on rustic loaf with rocket. She had it toasted and the combination the chicken, corn and mayonnaise with rocket is just simply outstanding. The sweetness of the corn and mayonnaise against the bitterness of the rocket – it’s just simply fantastic. It’s simple but yet tasty!
I had the special salad of the day – which was tuna nicoise salad with poached egg salad. This salad was light and absolutely delicious. The tuna was seared and tender, the egg was poached and runny (my favourite!) and was served with potatoes, tomatoes and olives with mayonnaise.
My brother had the creamed eggs with truffle oil – 2 eggs cooked with cream and butter, served soft with chopped chives, truffle oil roasted field mushrooms, herbed tomato and sourdough toast. The eggs were simply too die for – it was so creamy and tasty and you could taste the truffle oil infused in the eggs and mushroom.
Come early if you want to have breakfast / lunch – the place does get busy. Its cozy and friendly, it’s a great place to take visitors or simply with friends.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Dank Street Depot
1 / 2 Danks Street (corner Young Street)
Ph: +61 2 9698 2201