We were made welcome by Laura the friendly server, and were led out to the courtyard. Suddenly it started to spit rain, so we moved to the large bench under a sturdier awning than the tarp we had been sitting under. Laura told us that Chris the owner (who took over in May last year) is planning to update the courtyard with some new umbrellas. (And to be honest, a good going-over of the pavers with a high-pressure gerni would be a fab idea.) It is a very leafy and pleasant space (and we saw a waterdragon), where dogs are welcome too. They even have their own menu which includes doggy treats and puppuccinos. And we met the cutest black pug dog who had to say hello :-) (Check out the photo at the bottom of my post.)
|the entrance to the cute old building|
Let's head inside, and check it out. As you can see by the sign below, they are conscious of the environment - straws on their way out! - which is great. The building is an old worker's cottage, so it's full of interesting features like the VJ walls. There are lots of nooks and crannies, and spaces to sit, inside and out.
|looking into the café|
Like most eating places these days, you order at the counter but as they weren't too busy, Laura came out to help us move tables when the rain came, and took our order then. Mr P. chose the pie of the day - butter chicken - with salad and fries. He said he would never have thought of putting this filling in a pie, but he loved it. He loved the crisp, shortcrust pastry which encased it too. The fries were crunchy and tasty, but his faves were the salads of spiced cauli and sweet potato and snow peas. He said over and over how delicious they were, and how fresh the dressing was!
|pie of the day with fries and salad $16.90|
|freshly squeezed juice $7|
Mr P. was already over-caffeinated so chose a freshly squeezed, cold-pressed juice of watermelon, pineapple, orange and passionfruit. He really loved the addition of passionfruit as it gave the juice a big hit of tang.
|eggs benedict $18.90 - with house-cured salmon gravlax|
Excuse the wobbly photo; the eggs did a slip-slide across my plate before I could snap it. I chose from the breakfast menu which goes till 2pm, as I wanted to try the house-cured salmon gravlax. And yes, it was a triumph. Not too salty, not too firm, not too thick, and with a delicious aftertaste. You can choose bacon or avocado as an extra if you wish. Laura told us the hollandaise is house-made also. I am a huge hollandaise fan, and this was a delicious version, though there can never be too much lemon in it for me. The Turkish bread was soft enough to cut and eat - the roof of my mouth has sometimes bled due to the incredibly glassy bread you can find at some cafés. Not a problem here. And the eggs were beautifully runny, just how I like them.
Yep, this was delicious. Like a dessert really but I had it before my meal. Just 'cos! Espresso and ice cream and dark chocolate; refreshing and zippy.
|I promised you a pug; this is Kelly|
Kelly belonged to the people sharing the long bench with us. She was adorable, and I had to take her photo. And of the beautiful water dragon with the flaming-red belly.
|water dragon staring me out|
|peeking into the kitchen|
We had a really delicious lunch in the very pleasant and calm courtyard. I almost had to drag Mr P. away as he was starting to settle in for the afternoon. He loved the Byron Bay feel (his words) of this café. He also appreciated that the music was not too loud, as it can be in other eating places. What else can I tell you? They are licensed, they use Bear Bones coffee, they have a bar. There is a kids' menu too. They do private events; they are famous for their ricotta hotcakes with house-made honeycomb butter:-) Mr P. is insisting we go back for the chilli corn fritters (him) and the French toast (moi). I feel we may be heading back soon, and bringing friends.
Mr P. and I were kindly invited as guests by Chris the owner, but opinions remain my (our) own.
Opening hours: 6:30am to 2:30pm, and to 3pm Fri/Sat/Sun.
88 Latrobe Tce., Paddington 4064
Ph: 07 3369 0600