“I’ve always planned to open a cafe in the east,” says Sam Worrall-Thompson, who runs Jack Ruby and Port Elliot’s New Year’s festival The Sailing Club. What he hadn’t planned was finding a spot for it right under his nose.
Next door to a gym he owns on Magill Road in Stepney is a building that’s lain dormant for two and a half years. This week it becomes Fine and Fettle.
Tasked with “[getting] rid of the office feel”, interior designer Georgie Shepherd (Fred Eatery, Hither & Yon, St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream and Dessert) opted for timber-clad feature walls, overhanging greenery and a Hygge Studio-designed logo.
It will moonlight as a function space for Worrall-Thompson’s catering business, which will now operate out of the large-scale kitchen.
Split into two sections – breakfast and salad bowls – the menu is “fifty-fifty healthy, and stuff for the everyday diner,” says Worrall-Thompson. “We’ve got your green salads but also your hungover-as-fuck tonkatsu pork hock brioche.”
The breakfast offerings trade in smashed avocado for kingfish sashimi and sweet potato rosti. Coffee comes courtesy of Thebarton-based up-and-comer Presstwood, alongside health-conscious juices and smoothies. The venue’s liquor license will be reserved for functions, “except for maybe a breakfast Espresso Martini”.
Made-to-order salad bowls come with meats grilled over Japanese charcoal. Worrall-Thompson hopes that by not skimping on “decent cuts of decent meats” like bug tails and beef short ribs, he can deliver a step-above the usual salad option. While you’re welcome to tweak your meal, he says, “we really want to encourage customers to eat it the way we make it.”
The entire menu is soon to be available on UberEATS, including a “baby bar” section of purees and kid-friendly snacks.
Fine and Fettle opens on Thursday June 1.
Fine and Fettle
Unit 4 57 Magill Road, Stepney
Mon to Sun 6.30am–3pm