First up on my new neighborhood (Inner West) is a local favourite. Local Press absorbs a lot of foot-traffic from the Lilyfield Food Markets, just 50m away.
I pitch this to a hungry wife as a safe bet: solid spoon rating, #1 pick of our neighbours and mid-range pricing.
Menu is high impact and features house cured salmon. So I ponder – ‘is curing is better than smoking?’ No idea, but I love my $30/kg smoked salmon from Aldi. On this basis, the skepticism of my wallet is only matched by the curiosity of my palate.
I make the choice of the salmon with tabouli and poached egg. 18 min 45 seconds later, I’m served art on a plate.
Quinoa, tabouli with house cured salmon, candied walnuts & egg – $16.50
‘Moderation’ rarely (if ever) has a place on my plate, but there were too many walnuts! First bite amazing, then comes the onset of caremalised sugar-induced fatigue.
Does half a box of Krispy Kreme donuts deliver 6x the pleasure of the doughnut #1? Not even close … I hit that inflection point of diminishing pleasure after candied-walnut #9.
It’s hard to critique an egg, but the cured salmon was a let-down for me. Without any saltiness, I was effectively eating an egg, on top low-grade sashimi, on top tabouli!
Corn fritters with salmon, poached egg, avacado tomato & salsa – $15.50
Lorie’s fritters dish was solid but unremarkable. Positive – tomato salsa was nice and yes, the kitchen successfully sliced an avocado. Negative – bland salmon and small serving size.
A classic ‘what if’ scenario came to bear as Lorie and I waddled home $32 poorer and 75% less hungry…
How much better would life had been if we instead invested 4 x $7.50 bacon & egg rolls at the local markets. Queue for that was 40m long…
Score summary below:
Food (♦♦♦) – store-bought smoked salmon easily trumps house-cured salmon.
Value (♦♦♦♦) – mid-teens pricing. Can’t complain.
Other (♦♦♦♦) – service acceptable, nice setting and even a Spanish dance studio 10m away.
Overall (♦♦♦) – big shrug on satisfaction and willingness to return.
Barista in action but zero interest from me unfortunately.
So there completes a somewhat disappointing end to a 3 week brunch drought for us. Greener pastures elsewhere.