Post-exam period induces the best of moods – the sun just seems to shine a tad brighter as the previous weeks of perpetual mental angst and stress in solitary confinement become distant memories!
Finally given the time to enjoy my weekends for what they are worth, I’ve made it my mission to embrace the sleep ins and engage in my favourite weekend meal with the family…BRUNCH. I don’t know what it is about this ‘inbetweeners’ meal, but it manages to provide some blissful satisfaction that doesn’t accompany the usual breakfast and lunch. Maybe it’s the omission of rules; the right to mix the sweet and savoury worlds of pancakes, eggs and pasta into a single meal.
So, my family has been dragged along to a few brunch spots that I’ve had my eye or rather stomach on after trolling through a few of my favourite foodie blogs, chocolatesuze, gastronomous anonymous, he needs food. I managed to sneak in a few snapshots from Bread and Circus and Youeni Foodstore on my travels.
BREAD AND CIRCUS
Located in the suburb of gentrification, Alexandria, this warehouse café seemed to encapsulate the definition of Sydney’s changing food scene. From it’s set up to menu, Bread and Circus brings everything back to basics, making its name through biodynamic and organic ingredients in its minimalist and open design kitchen that flows out into the hubabub of the hungry crowd.
As we waited for our meal, we temporarily kept our appetites at bay with an oversized spelt cookie. Lil’ bro somehow managed to steal three-quarters of it…expected, considering his chocolate loving tendencies!
Mama and I with our indecisive tastebuds decided to share their “parmesan not-so scrambled eggs” and “Jude’s very particular pancakes”. After surveying the plates of our fellow diners, Mama demanded side of free-range ham and I was only too happy to oblige. Surprisingly, our extremely satisfied stomachs were not endowed with the uneasiness that follows an egg-filled meal – especially one as tasty as this…not to mention my sneaky devouring of the moist and oh so wholesome pancakes although they sounded rather intimidating! Appreciate the mouthful: pre-soaked buckwheat black quinoa coconut-rapadura wholefood pancakes with maple-orange gloss and maple biodynamic yoghurt!
Papa made us feel slightly unhealthy with his choice of the bircher muesli. While I was too occupied wiping up the yoghurt with my pancakes, he seemed to enjoy the mix of fruits and oats and who wouldn’t by the look of their freshness?
The true simplicity and ‘no-fuss’ of the meal was genuinely a comfort on the crisp and wintery Sunday.
YOUENI FOODSTORE (SURRY HILLS)
The cold and wet Saturday weather did not stop the bee-line I had made for Youeni Foodstore. It’s concept was rather similar to that of Bread and Circus. Youeni truly brings food back to basics with its comfortable courtyard feel that the owners established through the minimal bench seating – like a lazy morning in a good friend’s backyard.
I can never refuse good scrambled eggs and the temptation of mushrooms and (shock!) HOME-MADE bread had Mama and I sold. A busy morning had them run out of mushrooms, which made my heart break a little, but the kitchen bandaged my wounds by giving us a little dish of tomato salsa that provided the perfect acidity to cut through the creamy eggs!
Cold mornings call for a warm cup that you can wrap your frozen hands around. I solve this through two simple words: “soy”. “chai”. Something about the mix of cinnamon and spices is warming to the soul!
Papa bear opted for the more unique breakfast item of “white anchovies, tomato citrus salsa, house-made crème fraiche and chorizo”, while lil’ bro went for what seems to be becoming a breakfast classic; “house baked beans, chorizo and fried egg”. By their lack of sharing :(, I assumed they were thoroughly satisfied with their meals.
The minute we walked in Mama and I had spied three (yes three!) tarts on display and sneakily asked the waitress to save one of each for us, in great fear of missing out. Chocolate Salted Caramel, Rhubarb Crumble, Citrus Curd…how could we suppress our eagerness?! I could tell that the family favourite was going to be the chocolate salted caramel variety as the waitress already forewarned us that it was “the best one”! How right I was…lil’ bro even stole some of Papa’s share!
On leaving, Papa informed me that they had another branch at South Dowling Street in Darlinghurst and would be opening for dinner, after his chat with one of the owners. Who said it was a cold and wet Saturday?!
Ph: 02 9380 7575
Sydney’s evolving café scene has been rather interesting, with cafes emphasising the use of simple and biodynamic ingredients and hole in the wall joints like Youeni literally generating each meal from scratch within basic and almost home-like vignettes. And I thought brunch could not be anymore blissful….