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Published July 13th 2011
It's a little after 9am but already The Bunker is filled with young, trendy types seeking cover from the elements. And you can't blame them; this morning not only was the city offering a particularly miserable brand of Sydney winter, but this snug, hole-in-the-wall café is just the kind of place you're looking for in the cooler months. Oh, and the food is great. And the coffee is probably the best in Darlinghurst.
Inside it's a cosy affair. Intimate, even. Its three benches have room enough for about 15, plus a couple on stools off to the side, but it doesn't feel cramped. There's also seating for about the same number on tables outside and, weather permitting, it's a great place to sit and enjoy a coffee and a spot of people watching.
The menu features many of the usual breakfast suspects –bircher muesli ($9.50), poached or scrambled eggs on sourdough ($12.50) with optional extras that include avocado and the Bunker's own baked beans – plus it's got some things you're not going to find in your average café – I'm thinking here of a mushroom melt with roast tomato and Swiss cheese ($6.50), and of homemade crumpets with blueberry jam ($11). I settled on the latter, added a long black ($3), and the waitress advised me it was a good choice. She wasn't wrong.
Light, fluffy discs, crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, plus a tasty blueberry jam and honey that went really well with the ricotta. It was seriously good. They use Campos that's strong but not overly powerful, and it came topped with that kind of nice rust-coloured crema that tends to be the trademark of any well-made espresso.
Being a small place, getting a seat can be a tricky business come the weekends, so get in early or you might struggle to find a table. That said, it tends to fill up and empty out pretty quickly, so you wouldn't have to wait long for a place to sit.
It's a cool crowd, but not as posey as some of its trendy Surry Hills cousins, and it's also not limited to 20-somethings, either – you see plenty of older couples popping in for a quick caffeine hit or a bite to eat.
The Bunker is hardly expensive but if all you're after is a super-cheap morning after brekkie to soak up the sins of the previous evening, then maybe you won't be impressed. Give McDonald's a try. If you're in Darlinghurst and would like to eat somewhere that cares what they dish up, this is a must visit.