Three brunches with a twist
The word’s a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, and the meal’s appeal is said to lie in its licence to booze before midday. Just showing up at eleven for your usual smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough doesn’t count, even if you do have a Mimosa with it, badass. Anthony Bourdain reckons,
Just showing up at eleven for your usual smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough doesn’t count.“it’s not a trend, it’s a profit centre…Old, nasty odds and ends, and 12 dollars for two eggs with a free Bloody Mary.”
Not today, not in this column. Today we’re all about something different, something leisurely and something without so much as a whiff of the ordinary about it. Welcome to brunch with a twist.
The breakfast/brunch at this elegant Turkish spot on the peninsula is the stuff of legend (AUD $35 per head). You can go a-la-carte or sit back in the leafy courtyard and let them bring you the staggering array of small plates constituting the ‘Van Breakfast Feast’. Named for the eastern border city (pronounced Wahn) famous for breakfast houses, Efendy chef and owner, Somer Sivrioglu, brought the concept to Sydney years ago and has won awards and hearts with it. What’s not to like about just-baked breads, cakes and biscuits to have with salty, stringy cheeses, olives, housemade jams, cured meats, vegetables, fruit and honey with clotted cream? Bottomless cups of Turkish or apple tea and one Turkish coffee per person complete the deal but intriguing cocktails are offered too.
Address: 79 Elliot Street, Balmain. Telephone: +61 2 9810 5466
What young Josh Niland doesn’t know about fish ain’t worth knowing and brunch (11am-3pm) is as good a time as any to let him wow you. I’m hard-pressed to ever go past sea urchin roe and it’s often on here in various ungilded guises. This visit it was a chilled bi-lobed beauty from Pambula atop a cloud-light savoury doughnut that oozed a little mayo when bitten into (AUD $14). Something about the creamy texture and cool marine flavour temporarily renders conversation impossible. Pull yourself together with a glass of sparkling roussane and something fun like panko crumbed salt and vinegar parsnips. The lemon tart is fab too.
Address: 362 Oxford Street, Paddington. Telephone: +61 2 8937 2530
The brunch menu here in deepest Potts Point is an opportunity to choose your own adventure. Go a-la-carte and the first couple of items do involve eggs but a standard brunch they do not make. Poached they’re served either with corn custard and miso milk crumb or with kohlrabi, vegetable broth and shimeji. Further down the menu becomes more lunch like with substantial options, salads and desserts. Or take the easy way and try the 5-course degustation (AUD $75, matching wines AUD $65, matching juices AUD $45). There’ll never be bacon because the menu’s vegetarian but it’s also rich, satisfying, complex and whimsical. Do try the liquorice bread with housemade butter – even if you think you don’t like liquorice.
Address: 57 Macleay Street, Potts Point. Telephone: +61 2 9332 2344