If you seldom venture out for brunch and care little over the origins of your egg yolk then one of Surry Hills’ top institutions, Four Ate Five will suffice.
485 is one of the better outfits gentrifying standard fares. To me, it feels flaccidly familiar. Baked eggs is 2013 and house made jam is 2014.
Lucky me seeing weekend specials! Ricotta Pancakes, Eggs Benedict. Reverse side is blank leaving me to conclude the culinary boundary extends no further than the 3m wide walls.
Back on the static menu, two choices jump out. ‘The 485‘ mix plate and a baked eggs that is highly acclaimed by fellow bloggers. Most dishes feature massive slices of bread. This explains the exodus of self-diagnosed Coelics to the adjacent Organic Produce Cafe.
‘The 485’ – egg, hummous, feta, chilli paste, cabbage, pickles, radish and chopped salad with rye – $19
A confusing scatter of produce with 2x rye toast camera shy.
At school, I loved 3-o-clock home time. On this plate, 3-o-clock is my downfall wherein lies an inconspicuous red glob. Curiosity trumps caution and I gag over a super pungent, salty and oily condiment. Yuck! It tastes like the Chiu Chow Chili Oil the Chinese pair with dumplings….
I like the freshness but it’s obvious these elements are incoherent. If you are the type to put pickled salad and apple (or radish) on toast smeared with dumpling hot sauce, this dish is for you.
Baked Eggs with almonds, feta, Moroccan tomato sauce – $18
The classic scatter of almonds plus a litter of feta to amp a rich tomato broth heavily flavoured with cumin. Suspiciously similar to the baked eggs at Bootsdarling, shown below.
No chorizo featured in the 485 show but the execution can’t be faulted. A rich ‘bolognese‘ chunky sauce well complemented by the spices. Fork shot says it all.
When a humble toaster is no match for the girth of the loaf, the outcome is inconsistency. Toast grievance aside, these dense bricks act as great sponges. A memorable baked eggs experience.
Finally, I’ll concede the portion sizes of both dishes are indeed worthy of my stomach.
– Food (♦♦♦♦) – home-style cooking lacking novelty.
– Value (♦♦♦) – OK for Surry Hills at sub-$20. Beware the add ons.
– Other (♦♦♦♦) – welcoming service and naughty house-baked treats.
– Overall (♦♦♦♦) – failed to exceed expectations.
Cafe Four Ate Five is a robust, 2nd choice brunch that fails to leave a lasting impression. Perhaps our mistake was bypassing the house-baked banana maple and almond muffins.
Will I be returning?