The Laneway is a big fish in a very non-competitive pond just 6km North of the Bridge (NOTB). Red flag when cafes generate annuity revenues from poached eggs on toast priced and marketed as ‘gourmet‘. The clever NOTB entrepreneur will then slap this on sourdough, leaving clientele speechlessly handing over their wallets. The Laneway is clever enough to fool some, but not all.
Owner must hail from the US because there is hidden costs. Not a state-based tax, but a suburb-based one: ‘5% surcharge on weekend‘ in ever so fine print. This joint is filled with an older demographic (arguably, worse eyesight) and I don’t believe in coincidences. Sorry.
Actual food gets a big fat zero for seasonality. The eyes fall on either Smashed Avo or the Baked Eggs.
Vegie Baked Eggs – 2 eggs, smashed pumpkin with chickpeas – $19 + $0.85 (5%)
Early optimism seeing hot iron pan and shakshuka-style tomato base. A premature positive emotion when I taste the sauce…
So so bitter I can only conclude the origin is from a can. I’ll recommend the kitchen reverts to tomato pasta sauce if laziness is an issue.
Another delineation from the status-quo is legume choice. Chickpeas sit low on the sauce-absorption-spectrum and thus have no place in my pan. I’m forced into a chickpea fishing exercise using my companion’s teaspoon. First world problems.
Circling back, intrinsic dish valuation is $14 (give or take). Justifying +$4 requires a special protein, +1 egg and 2 slices of artisan bread. To bridge to the 85c tax, a litter of feta will do.
Smashed avacado with pea and mint, macadamia pesto and a poached egg – $21 + $1.05 (5%)
Dish of the table if I ignore $21.05 for eggs, avo on toast. Nice stacking job, a generous smashing of green goodness. Pesto just works meaning this is almost sophisticated.
Now comes the job of releasing a viscous orange substance from it’s paper thin white housing.
Similar to the flavours, no disappointment here. Hats off to the missus for this choice.
Good Morning Burger – bacon, egg, avocado, hash brown, cheese and paprika aioli – $16 + $0.80 (5%)
Excellent structural integrity thanks to a satay stick stabbing. Pile of rocket provides the illusion of a healthy order.
Sydney is going through a burger phase and the hash brown plays to this obsession. In no way was this burger acceptably filling nor tasty. Eater directs food envy across the table (towards baked eggs) and I don’t disagree with his non-verbal rating *shrug*, then *sigh*.
Egg omelette with goats curd, cherry tomato and basil – $17 +$0.85 (5%)
No photo-editing can save this well-sized but sad looking omelette. Not motivated to stick my fork into this one nor will I die wonder how it tastes.
Skim flat white – $4.50 + $0.225 (5%)
Is it even possible to charge $4.725 for a beverage and offer no coffee art?
No massive negative nor positive skew to my scores:
– Food (♦♦♦) – simple offers with minor tweaks. Actually, minute tweaks.
– Value (♦♦) – a fine-dining $20 pp outlay plus 5% surcharge.
– Other (♦♦♦♦) – happy staff plucked fresh from school. An aura of positivism.
– Overall (♦♦♦) – reasonably tasty but very forgettable.
The Laneway is an expensive but safe place to hide in the Cammeray and Crows Nest area.
Will I be returning?