I am a playwright, poet and actor. I live in the Blue Mountains in NSW. Visit my blog at simonlenthen.wordpress.com
Published November 3rd 2014
Breakfast or Lunch because they don't do brunch
My family was invited to have brunch at Pier 8 Cafe at Millers Point. The piers at Millers Point have been done up as swank and trendy apartments for swank and trendy inner-city types. You can tell because the piers and ground-floors have been given over to cafes, restaurants and the occasional head office for swank and trendy businesses. Pier 8 Cafe is situated in a lobby entrance to several businesses. It doesn't feel like a lobby; great big wooden pylons reach to a high ceiling, the floor is all old strong wooden beams. The cafe is decorated in a style in keeping with the big wooden space, with large wooden tables, or smaller ones outside, the serving counter looks to be recycled wood. It's all very big and comfortable, like the big comfortable leather lounges that provide relaxed seating at either end of the lobby. Glass walls give a voyeuristic view of office receptions, and light streams in from the harbour, adding a lovely feel to the atmosphere. The cafe also contributes to the atmosphere by having menus on sturdy clipboards, and colonial decorations peppered around the lobby. The cafe is also very family friendly; a play area for toddlers has been created using brightly coloured barricades, and comfy chairs surround so that parents can keep a watchful eye.
Unfortunately the atmosphere was the only thing that we enjoyed about the cafe. We were part of a booking of 14 people, we were booked for 11:30am and we were seated and ready to order about 11:45am. Breakfast menus were on the table and the fare seemed very inviting and reasonably priced. When it came time to order, most of the food was no longer available. One guest had to change her order three times. Even after the order was taken to the kitchen, the waiter had to return saying they had run out. My son wanted to have a "breakfast bake" without the cherry tomato, but the waiter said they couldn't take the tomato out. So it seems the food is not as fresh as you'd expect a breakfast to be.
The kitchen appeared to be very inflexible. Going off menu did not seem to be an option. Here was a booking of 14 expecting a nice brunch and they couldn't offer anything other than half the breakfast menu. It was even inflexible when it came to timing. I asked if it was possible to have a lunch menu. We were placing orders close to midday so surely it would not be unreasonable to ask for a lunch menu. The waiter returned saying they normally don't start serving lunch until 1pm and so the kitchen was not ready or prepared for lunch. What??? I was most displeased and had to settle for a vegetarian omelette.
And settle I did! What arrived for me was a vegetarian omelette, one piece of sourdough bread and a fully melted pad of butter in its packaging. This was something I could prepare fresher at home. My wife and family were also disappointed with their meals. My wife had to order (because her previous two choices were not available or off-menu) an eggs benedict which was cold on arrival. My daughter wanted pancakes. Not available, not prepared to make a fresh batch either. How hard can it be? The breakfast bake was overcooked. We were not pleased. Fortunately the company was wonderful and we had a lovely time chatting. It's a pity the food did not contribute.
I don't want to discourage you from going to Pier 8. What I saw of some of the food, both breakfast and lunch, looked very nice. But if you go – go early for breakfast or later for lunch because they don't do brunch.