Sunday, April 19, 2009
A tale of two breakfasts
I really love trying out new places for breakfast - even if this can lead to awkward greetings when you go back to your regular joints.
Wait Staff: Hey, haven't seen you guys for a while...
Me: [not sure how to reply, as I've obviously been seeing other cafes]
What can you say, that you're not ready to settle down with one cafe? That you want to play the breakfast field?
I doubt our last cafe fling will lead to any kind of lifelong commitment though (unless we win the lottery). We went to Flat White in Woollahra. It was nice to be introduced to someone new but, bottom line is: eating breakfast in Woollahra when you're not on a Woollahra income stings. I had Poached Free Range Eggs with Fetta, Spinach, Pine Nuts and Zaatar and it cost $17. Ouch. I feel a bit weird about paying that much for glorified eggs on toast. You can get something similar at Vargabar in Newtown, and score a drink too, for the same price.
I know, I know, a cafe in Woollahra is never going to offer bargain basement prices, and sure, I bet their rent is steep. I guess I never felt this price-fixated at any other place I've had breakfast at in the eastern suburbs (eg the Bogey Hole Cafe is in Bronte, where there are million-dollar beachfront homes, yet the food never has had me scratching my head over the bill).
Anyway, it's totally Flat White's prerogative to set their prices as they wish: running a cafe isn't cheap. But it's just not the kind of place I can comfortably have a meal without feeling like an accountant as I order. For instance, we had this really awesome Raspberry, Watermelon, Pineapple and Orange Juice, but it was tiny and as I had it, all I could think was, "this is about 50c a sip".
I'm obviously the wrong person to be eating there. Which is a shame as their menu sounds quite interesting - Smashed Banana Toasted Brioche with Ricotta and Honey ($15), Ricotta Hotcakes with Strawberry, Honey and Cinnamon Butter ($16.50) - but I hate going out and having to think like a Scrooge. I'm a fan of ordering what takes my fancy and not having the outing punctuated with bill shock at the end.
The weekend after, we went back to one of our regulars: Ruby's Diner in Waverley. Sure, it's in the eastern suburbs, but it has none of the hang-ups of the area. Their must-have Hand-Cut Chips are only $3 for a bowl, after all.
I ordered the Peach, Berry and Ricotta French Toast which had been seasonally 'remixed' to feature rhubarb instead. It was gorgeous - I love how it had become a comforting fruit-and-cheese toastie. That it was sweet, but without intense sugar overwhelm. And I didn't even do a double take at the price.
Yep, there I can see the total downside of being so cafe-promiscuous. There are places worth sticking around for.
Flat White, 98 Holdsworth St (Cnr Jersey Rd), Woollahra 2025 NSW (02) 9328 9922
Ruby's Diner, 173-179 Bronte Rd, Waverley NSW (02) 9386 5964