Brickfields, the new cafe-and-bakery-in-one in Chippendale, is full of things to like. There's the "Dranks" selection, which includes Lebonade ($4) and home-made sodas (the Peach one is lovely and lush), and your beverage comes in a half-litre carafe, which you get to splash out into tumblers. It's both classy and fun – no wonder the "Dranks" board has an enthusiastic "hells yes!" written on it.
There's a lot to say "hells yes!" to here. The food, though small and select, is a nice alternative to the usual cafe menu burnout you get when seeing the same things on offer (again). The Beef Brisket, wedged onto ciabatta with radish, anchovy mayo and chilli ($13), rates highly on the "oh my" scale for Will, and the Brickfields staff is not wrong when recommending the Fried Eggplant ($12) because it's "off the chain". Both crisp-edged and caramel-sweet, it really is damn good. It gets good flavour back-up from the lively herbal splodges of zhough, roasted banana peppers, tahini, lemon and a boiled egg that's really there to sanction the fact you're having this for breakfast.
For something lighter, you could have a salad that's full of ribbony zucchini, yellow pear, Tiny Tim Toms (the best-named tomatoes ever), basil and a little crouton jackpot of fried bread ($11.50). Bulk it up with some poached sardine (add $2), if you like.
Or you could skip to dessert and pick up a Persian Love Cake ($4), Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Brownie ($3.50) or Lemon and Polenta Cake ($4.50). We go halves on an Italian Crostada ($4.50), which is so delicious and jammy that, when a waitress is about to take it away (in her clear defence – it looked semi-finished), Will actually swoops in and reclaims the last few plate-abandoned morsels – because there's no way you could allow any of that crostada to end up anywhere but your mouth.
It's no surprise that Brickfields is great, given that its DNA involves Paul Geshos (Mecca Espresso) and Simon Cancio (Luxe). So, the coffee is good and everything baked and flour-dusted is excellent, too. It's also nice to hang out in this underused part of Chippendale, sitting by an industrial counter, enjoying some "dranks", with bags of organic flour and carraway seeds as your neighbours.
Brickfields Bakery, 206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale NSW (02) 9698 7880