In the world of farm-to-plate breakfasts, John Smith Cafe is my key pick for the forthcoming Silly Season.
Notice how beautiful food is normally restricted to rip-off degustations or vegan cafes? No longer, because the JS signature is below.
I’m very proud of my DSLR work standing on a stool.
Day kicks off reading a deceptively unique, seasonal and healthy menu. Top right – kitchen is showcasing some recently slaughtered animals. Vegetarians be warned.
I’m torn between two lamb choices. ‘Shoulder’ sounds fattier and tastier.
Slow cooked lamb shoulder with watercress, pearl cous cous and charred fennel – $22
Tick to yummy pull-apart and moist lamb. Well integrated is charred fennel and very light pearl balls. Feels premium, looks great and the statistician in me notes the lamb-to-ball ratio. Bang on, resulting in ideal density indulgence.
Each chew results in deep pleasure. I deny the missus a sharing opportunity; thus the main cost is not a blown $20 budget, but 3 days on the coach. Wallet survives, home situation unsure… 8/10.
Next up, more of a yardstick. Chicken, quinoa salad is dangerously overplayed in cafes but never before have I seen beetroot hummus.
Quinoa, roasted vegetable salad with beetroot hummus and chicken – $14 + 4
Expectations are very high based on the visual of this red substance.
Good protein generosity (say 150g). One of few cafe salads that avoids putting the diner on a rapid weight loss program. Individual elements are very sophisticated.
Sauce situation disappoints. I want bold flavours but the hummus is too mild. Still, I’m happy and full. 7/10.
Finally, the dish that has catapulted John Smith to stardom on social media. It’s a beauty.
Hot avocado salsa, goats cheese and lime on sourdough – $16 + $3
I’m told blogger custom is to show aerial shots.
What a great cure to avo-on-toast disenchantment. We’re forced to discard generational shackles of Asian lactose intolerance and embrace goats cheese OD. Enjoyment of flavour intensity is hosed down by the crippling knowledge I paid $3 for an egg. 8/10.
First visit was 7.5/10. I add 0.5pts due to the milking and slaughtering of animals:
– Food (♦♦♦♦♦) – great flavours, sophisticated offers.
– Value (♦♦♦♦) – relative to hipster joints, good calorie/$ ratio
– Other (♦♦♦♦♦) – over-crowding issues but nails the coffee. Staff are so nice.
– Overall (♦♦♦♦♦) – a fancy, value-conscious take on classics.
Happy to recommend John Smith as a top 5 brunch in Sydney.
Will I be returning?
Final shots below of the barista operation. Skinny cap. Tastes just right.