There’s a great cafe culture along Crows Nest and according to Zomato, St Malo Bakery is amongst the top picks.
It’s a recipe for success – award winning, buzzing with locals, Parisian-feel, dimly lit wooden fit-outs, outdoor pavement seating and freshly baked goods on display.
Disclaimer – I was pretty hungry post a 30km run with the Sydney Striders. My friendly brunch partner (aka Lorie, or wife) took position on tables along the main pavement.
Menu ticks most boxes: granola, pancakes, egg-variations and lots of breads. Two other choices catching my eye were french toast and baked eggs (a great breakfast yardstick). With the hot weather, I choice a chose a pearl-barley and vegetable salad.
Usually I’m a big fan of alternative grain salads….
Healthy option – pearl barley and vegetable salad – $9.50
Texture is king and the chewiness of pearl-barley complemented the crunch of cherry tomatoes, carrots and celery. Good news ends there. The dish was completely tasteless and I lost interest within two spoonfuls. They really need an interesting dressing (e.g. pesto).
Corn fritters and bacon – $16
Baffled. Where was the rest of it? Fritters tasted like fritters, bacon tasted like bacon – any man, his dog and his (or her) kitchen can get these right. The real let-down was a lack of eggs or signature bread to add.
If you think the dishes were bad, sadly the service was worse. Our waitress had no interest in interacting, did not clean other tables and mumbled when we asked where to find water, pepper or whether to order from her or the counter.
Before leaving, we were desparate for a positive, and found it in the raspberry chocolate brownie.
Within 5 minutes of the car trip, sounds of intense pleasure caught my attention and I saw my wife burying her face in the brownie (or what was left of it). All I got was some crumbs, but it was good.
So on account of the above, how did this rate?
Food (♦) – tasteless salad, shocking uninspiring corn fritters
Value (♦♦) – all items are <$20, but on what I got served it should be <$10
Other (♦) – setting nice, experienced ruined by unhelpful waitress
Overall (♦) – great looking counter options, uninspiring cooked menu
Today’s lesson: ‘if you go to an artisan bakery, order bread’. In hindsight this was a rookie error.
Will I be returning?