Sydney-based travel, film and music writer, www.jasminecrittenden.net
Published May 4th 2013
Single origin coffee and the best eggs Benedict in Bondi
Single origin coffee, the best eggs Benedict in Bondi, and friendly service have developed a strong local following for the Capriccio Espresso Bar and Restaurant. It's a little café found smack bang in the middle of the action, in a paved area just off Campbell Parade that's also home to Between the Flags, the Chapel by the Sea and the famous Hurricane's Bar and Grill. The beach is just across the road.
A simple, rustic feel informs the décor, with wooden stools and benches, lanterns and a large black and white photo of London featuring a red double-decker. Plenty of sunlight pours inside, where there's seating for 10-15 people. Outside capacity is about 20. Both areas are intimate without being cluttered.
As for the menu, the coffee, a specialty grade from Colombia, is intense in aroma and very well-balanced. You can take some roasted beans home for $40.00 per kilogram, or $12.00 for 250 grams. Vegans will appreciate the use of Bonsoy (it's pretty hard to go back, once you've tried it). As far as other beverages go, there are freshly squeezed juices ($5.80), berry or banana smoothies ($6) and mango frappes ($6). The brief beer and wine list is comprised of Australian, Kiwi and Italian options.
As stated, the eggs Benedict is about as good as it gets in the Eastern suburbs, a full-bodied but not overstated Hollandaise sauce being its major draw card. Often presented as a special for just $10.50 (with bacon, ham or spinach – add $4 for smoked salmon), it's hard to go past. Other breakfast options range from eggs and tomato on toast ($9.50); to pancakes with marscapone, berry compote, fresh fruit and maple syrup ($12.50); to the 'big plate' (eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom, halloumi, tomato, spinach, potato and toast ($15.50).
The lunch menu has a similar emphasis on high quality, reasonably priced, straight forward options, featuring salads (from Greek at $12.50 to baby calamari at $13.50); Mexican burritos ($10.50-$12.50); gourmet meals (our pick is the barramundi with chips and salad for $14.50); and a selection of sandwiches and burgers ($10.50-$12.50).