Uni student studying English Literature and French – loves reading, writing and exploring Sydney's diverse offerings, old and new.
Published October 4th 2012
"By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers," wrote Guy Beringer, the man who coined the term back in 1895, as he made the case for a new late-morning meal in his article 'Brunch: A Plea' (Hunter's Weekly).
Beringer was right – nothing is better than a Sunday morning sleep-in, followed by a long and lazy get together involving friends and food. And nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the 11am queue outside the Surry Hills cafe we've been eyeing as a new brunch spot. Evidently, half the neighbourhood had the same idea. Either brunch has hit new heights of popularity, or fouratefive is doing something spectacular.
Joining the end of the line, we're told it'll be a twenty minute wait. My stomach starts to protest (to snack or not to snack before brunch? I've never quite got it right). Thankfully, I'm saved from staring longingly at the delectable pastry display by a call from a friend – he's lost. Leaving our names with the friendly waitress, we find him wandering further down Crown St, and by the time we get back an outside table is waiting for us. It's a chilly morning, so we start our brunch with Single Origin cappuccinos and a hot chocolate ($4 each).
Luckily, a table indoors becomes free just as the sun begins to sneak behind the clouds. Inside the cafe are some quirky touches, (the industrial lighting, prices written on brown paper and tacked to the windows, the baristas themselves...), but nothing so overly hipster you'd feel out of place without a pair of chinos and over-sized glasses. The minimalist design makes the space feel roomier than it first appears, with tables and banquettes extending back to a large communal table nearer the kitchen. Contrary to the Sydney standard of cramped-equals-cool, this place is comfortable and cool.
Considering how busy it is, our food arrives quite quickly. I pounce on my Mexican Breakfast – a delicious mix of Mexican beans and poached eggs on sourdough toast, topped with Spanish onion salsa, avocado and rocket. It's a generous serving for $14, with the eggs perfectly poached and the slightly spicy beans making it the most interesting breakfast I've had in a while. Despite declaring it a bit too sweet, my friend still polishes off most of his French Toast ($14), stuffed with bananas and served with maple syrup, mascarpone and rhubarb on the side. Finally, points for originality must be awarded to fouratefive's Toasted Sandwich ($12), which adds potato and fennel hash, as well as béchamel sauce, to the old classic of smoked ham and gruyere cheese. Potato in a sandwich? Strange, yes, but it works. (And speaking of sandwiches, those on the lunch menu sound just as good).
Brunch, as Beringer said, "puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied... it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week". If you're willing to wait, a morning at fouratefive is guaranteed to do just that.