It is not often that I would return to a cafe twice in as many weekends, however high quality food, generous portions, and tasteful décor are inviting on chilly mornings. A slightly Scandinavian feel with warm wooden tones, plenty of indoor foliage and funky filament light-bulbs make the Sydney location drop away. Looking out at the neighbouring bars, eateries and historical terrace gardens one could easily imagine themselves in cosmopolitan London or neighbourhood Paris.
Returning to the food; offerings are varied and fresh takes on old classics. The Eggs Benedict ($15) was so plentiful that my companion chose it twice in his two visits; content in the knowledge that it would sustain him until his soccer match finished at 5pm, despite eating at 10am. Two poached eggs, two pieces of toast, several slices of bacon, generous serving of spinach, grilled tomato and perfectly balanced Hollandaise sauce was so filling it could easily be split between two.
The Spanish beans with poached egg ($14) is a slightly lighter option, however no less flavoursome. The beans were home-made; no comparisons could be drawn between Heinz and the Fitzroy Food Co's offerings. Presentation was lovely, and all in all, it was a perfect brunch.
On the return visit, I deviated from my standard savouries and had a dalliance with the sweet. The ricotta pancakes served with berry compote, double cream and maple syrup ($14) were a reward to the palate for taking a break from eggs. Dense enough to sustain me for several hours (unlike per say – McDonalds hotcakes which are nothing but sugar and air), the puffed saucers of goodness had a gorgeous subtle flavour without being overwhelmingly sweet. The blueberries were served warm, and complemented the ricotta perfectly, and only a touch of the syrup was added to balance the cream. It was truly a delight to eat, and I was sorry when they were gone.
If you are looking for something to eat whilst on the run, and can't commit to a sit-down breakfast, or those who want something on the smaller side; the cafe also offers home-made muffins ($4.50) which look heavenly, bacon and egg brioche rolls ($8), amongst other items.
With brunch being a Sydney staple and a plethora of venues to choose from, it is not often that a cafe stands out so dramatically without the advantage of amazing views, farmers markets, gardens or the like. The Fitzroy Food Co. shines on its own with a commitment to wholesome, nutritious and flavourful food, good coffee and exemplary service. It will not be long before it starts 'trending' on the numerous cafe listings in Sydney. I myself look forward to returning and sampling the lunch and dinner offerings!