Sunday, July 5, 2009
Over the years, I've kept circling back to Satellite in Newtown.
It was Tabitha who introduced me to this cafe, many menus ago. During my uni days, many sleepy weekends were jumpstarted by the mega pile-up that was Satellite's vego breakfast option. (The mountain of toast and sides was impossible to scale, let alone finish – although a patch of cleared-plate would always appear where the mashed potato was placed; it seemed criminal not to eat all of that airy-soft potato, no matter how full I was.)
Despite the occasional visit though, I've been a bit of a Satellite no-show in the last while – new cafe discoveries had diverted my attention (and appetite) elsewhere.
So in one of those funny life-going-full-circle coincidences, it was Tabitha who convinced me to add Satellite back to my breakfast patrol.
Everytime we were at Vargabar, we would see Tabitha and Nathan pass by, on their way to Satellite. She even left a message on this blog which said:
LTL, you have to veer away from Vargabar one morning to try Satellite, which has changed hands and is better than ever! It has this potato, olive and red onion breakfast, and an incredible omelette with caramelised onion, and delicious baked beans, and soda pops with fresh fruit, and is as cheap as always!
I'm glad she singled out Satellite for re-trying because everything she said is true. The menu includes Lemon and Ginger and Lychee, Raspberry and Boysenberry fruit sodas ($5 each) and Orange Pash Ginger and Apple Lemon Mint fruit whips (also $5 each). Sipping on them make you feel like high school students from a Betty & Veronica comic.
The Pan-fried Potatoes, Olives, Peas, Roast Red Onion, Parsley and Toast ($13.50) are awesome and a welcome breakfast alternative to the overfamiliar eggs-and-toast line-up. Other fresh twists on the usual suspects include Omelette with Semi-Dried Tomato, Marjoram, Confit Garlic, Haloumi, Shallots and Toast ($13.50), Marinated Mushrooms, Braised Leek, with Toast, Spinach and Sage ($14) and Avocado, Tomato and Coriander Salsa, Lemon on Toast ($12.50).
But if you love the comfort of ordering eggs and toast, and getting to bury the plate in sides, then Satellite still caters to that too. Will has had repeat servings of Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Ham, Tomato Relish and Toast ($13), which he likes (despite finding the relish a bit intense and being overwhelmed by the garden-bed of rocket that accompanies the plate) while I've enjoyed bulking out the Avocado, Tomato and Coriander Salsa, Lemon on Toast with the red-wine-stewed House Beans ($3) and the excellent offering of Mushrooms ($4). The latter isn't the typical butter-fried stack of buttons, but a well-braised mix that includes yummy enoki (which rarely makes cameos on breakfast menus – so good on Satellite for jazzing up a conventional side option with this inventive ingredient).
And even though we've ramped up our Satellite visits, there are still quite a few choices I want to try, such as the Spinach, Fetta, Tomato Omelette with Basil Mayonnaise Roll ($7.50). Bonus points to the cafe also for a menu that has good vego options aplenty.
Although sometimes there is a wait for food, the staff are always really onto it and apologetic and reassuring – so you don't feel like you've been forgotten (or victim of some order-shunned conspiracy).
Oh and the space has had a bit of an edgy makeover too – with a street art feel on some of the walls.
And while it's natural to disown some of the things you discovered earlier in your life – because it's now dated or embarrassing or an awkward fit (like outgrown clothing) – it's nice to know that some places actually increase in awesomeness and justify becoming a long-running fixture in your life.
Satellite remixes an old cliche by proving that you can like the new stuff better than the old stuff.
Satellite, Shop 8, 80 Wilson St, Newtown NSW (02) 9557 8698