When I first walk into Belljar, I can't help thinking that if IFrankie mag was a café, this would be it. Knitted teacosies, op-shop stuff, a vinyl record player, some more op-shop stuff - it pretty much screams cutesy retro-lovin' hipster at you - or at least coquettishly whispers it.
A lot like the mag, Belljar welcomes you warmly but calmly. Away from the from fight-for-a-table King street, it's nice to sit down in a place that's a little less frenzied, whose cute wait staff are happy for you to take your time to eat and drink while digging into their reading pile (which is mostly, yep, you guessed it, Frankies!) This also makes it comfy, peaceful place to come on your own, which is what I'm doing today. Slouching back with a mag in the crochet-cushioned covered booths and watching the cooks prepare everything in front of you feels just like having Sunday brekkie at Nanna's. Minus the out-of-date ingredients.
The menu is simple and brunchy – mostly toast combos, sandwiches and a few sweet treats. As well coffees and loose leaf teas, there are also some fun looking drinks, like iced-coffees and chocolates, fruity frapppes and for the experimental, the 'danger shake' – a triple shot with ice, icecream and milk. Though the haloumi sandwich nearly gets me, I end up going for one of the breakfast plates – toast with avocado, ricotta, tomato and lemon. It arrives looking pretty and yummy, all neatly laid out and ready to nibble at. While the dish isn't exactly unique (let's face it, pretty much any Sydney brunch spot worth it's bread has got a version) it's presented so nicely and is so perfectly portioned I feel like it's made just for me.
By the last lovely mouthful and the page of my mag, Belljar has totally won me over. Like finishing an issue of Frankie, I'm feeling relaxed, fulfilled and looking forward to a repeat fix. Unlike finishing an issue of Frankie (and waiting two months for the next one) that repeat fix could be next month, next week or even tomorrow - Hoorah!