Microbiologist-turned-homemaker, she is a foodie with a flair for cooking. An avid traveller and voracious reader, she also loves to paint and indulges in photography.
Published July 27th 2017
Scrumptious Satisfaction Guaranteed
Impression-at-first-sight of Social Brew Cafe: sun-kissed black and brown facade rising in stark contrast to the adjoining greenery, its kitchen peeping from under the awnings at the lush green lawn, and the murmur of happy socialisations almost drowning the humdrum of Harris Street on which it is located. Our first reaction: "a most appropriate name indeed!"
The place was abuzz with activity. The manager and the staff seemed to be a rather efficient lot, exchanging euphonious pleasantries while smoothly working between tables. Loud music occupied the overhead and animated conversations ensuing from every corner jostled to fill rest of the space inside the cafe. Brimming with diners, the eatery had a bunch of customers relaxedly waiting on the lawn, along the parapet dividing the cafe's outdoor seating from the vegetation, and on the sidewalk for their turn. In its entirety, the whole scene resembled a social gathering.
Kitchen overlooking the outdoor seating (Photo by writer)
After a wait of about five minutes, we too got a taste of the cafe staff's lovely service. We were first served water and then the menu. A plus point there for that appeasing step. Their menu is divided into four broad sections with a single page dedicated to each: breakfast, lunch, drinks, and alcohol. You can check the collection of items and the prices here.
The first members of our lunch - a refreshing mixed fruit (watermelon, passionfruit and strawberry) juice, and a frothy mocha followed by a five berries shake - arrived as soon as we placed our order. I downed my juice with much delight and couldn't help taking a few long swigs from my husband's berry shake while he sipped his mocha with intermittent nods of approval. The presiding mains - slow cooked lamb tagine with grilled zucchini, chickpea and couscous served on a flatbread; truffle parmesan fries; & soft shell crab tacos with harissa mayo, red carrot slaw and pickled chilli - weren't far behind, making an entrance in colourful culinary regalia. More pleasant impressions piled on in our hearts.
Both dishes had distinctive savoury notes. The lamb was cooked to tenderness and paired beautifully with the couscous which had soaked in the spices. I loved its toasty taste. Of the crab tacos, my husband relished every bite sharing a few with me. The crackling of the deep fried crab, the tang of the freshly squeezed lemon and the crunch of carrot slaw took the flavour of the tacos to a delicious new level. Between bites and banter, we nibbled on the perfectly salted and fried (no excesses or underdoings there) chips.
Soft shell crab tacos with homemade harissa mayo, red carrot slaw and pickled chilli (Photo by writer)
Just a quick word before I tumble to the end, take the light rail if you can from Central Station to Pyrmont Bay and save yourself the hassles of parking; the cafe is 450 metres away from Pyrmont Bay station.
Except for a bicycle propped high up on the wall to one side, some hanging plants and a rectangle of artificial grass by the side of the bicycle, Social Brew Cafe is devoid of any fancy decor. What, instead, seems to be the focus is brewing up fantastic food, excellent service and providing a conducive environment to chat and chill. Ergo, if a friendly catch up is on its way, you might want to give a shot to this cool cafe.