Have you had to choose a cafe for brunch in Sydney lately? With new spots opening weekly I’ve given up on having brunch to do list. Last weekend, overwhelmed by options, I resorted to my Good Cafe Guide where Twig Cafe’s two cup rating in the Coffee Cup Awards won me over.
Richard Francis and his wife and Lorraine, opened Twig Cafe in 2010. So, by Sydney standards it could already be considered an old timer. Their combined experience spans Bills, Red Lantern and Billy Kwong in Sydney and fine dining restaurants in London.
Twig Cafe fits snugly into my world of feasting wisely. Their philosophy combines reducing food miles by using local produce and eating seasonally, as well as focusing on fresh, organic, sustainable and chemical free produce.
At Twig Cafe they don’t just ‘talk the green talk’ (as they say) – they really put it into action. Using produce grown in the neighbouring community garden is about as ‘local’ as you can get, and turning their green waste into compost shows real commitment to a cause.
Guided by my Good Cafe Guide I arrived at 357 Cleveland Street but could only see a garden store. My disappointment was short lived – as we turned the corner onto Young Street I was pleased to see Twig Café alongside Garden Life. The two businesses, despite their separate owners, are a true collaboration – at Twig Cafe you’re dining in a well kept garden, surrounded by greenery and an array of pots, candleholders and wall sculptures. As soon as you enter you’ll forget you’re in an urban café on a busy road.
The cosy tables in the enclosed courtyard were very inviting but, armed with my weekend papers, I quickly grabbed the large communal table and my attention turned to the menu. The breakfast menu offers more than enough choice with options under “something light” and “a little bit more”. There’s also a separate menu for lunch – where you can easily have a 3 course feast (with wine too).
Despite a huge range of temptations I homed in on the sardines on toast. But, the health freak inside me wanted to check the sardines (to ensure they’re tinned in olive oil and not vegetable oil). The staff welcomed my request – they even brought me out a can of the sardines for me to see before I ordered.
Twig’s sardines on toast – sardines warmed in their tin, served with Dicky’s tomato & chilli salsa, avocado, boiled egg & toast
The dish is presented farmhouse style on a wooden platter. The egg was exactly how I have my eggs at home (organic and cooked soft and runny), the avocado was generous and the salsa clearly made with love. And the sardines? Small, fishy and tasty – an excellent omega 3 boost.
Now I know sardines are a love/hate kind of fish. So, if you’re not a fan here’s some other menu items that may tempt you to try Twig Cafe:
- Buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries and crisp pancetta
- Cassoulet of spicy baked beans, grilled chorizo, roast field mushrooms and potatoes au gratin
What about the coffee? It’s up there with Sydney’s best. A smooth house blend (from Single Origin Roasters) is on offer as well as a single origin bean which changes weekly. I had a cup before brunch and had to resist temptation to have a second one afterwards.
By Feast Wisely
- 357 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
- 02 8021 6406
- Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 5pm, Sunday 8am to 4pm
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