The term “Sloane ranger” isn’t common in Australia. But the jibe is more familiar to class-conscious Britons: it’s a name for young, upper-class people, especially women, wearing informal but expensive country clothes in London. Their natural habitat is Sloane Square in the city’s south-west.
“Princess Diana was a Sloane ranger,” explains Shri Bhagwandas (also of BAWA), who borrowed the gentle insult as the name for his new cafe to honour Cremorne’s surrounding garment district. Bhagwandas defiantly launched over the Queen’s birthday long weekend (only a true Sloane ranger would steal focus from her majesty).
The space is part of a large development project by cafe co-owner Hector Ktori (of Kand Kind Industries). It has exposed pipes, polished-concrete floors and large bi-folding windows that lend it an industrial feel. Olive-green and grey curtains are draped over the sleek finished concrete walls, creating a soft and slightly elegant feel to balance things out. Designer Eid Goh (of Architects Eat) has even lined the walls with half-halo eclipse wall lights.
The menu ranges from quick grab-and-go options, such as salads and Cobb Lane pastries, to larger all-day breakfast and lunch dishes, such as the mildly spiced chilli scrambled eggs with bacon, Meredith feta and manchego. Or there’s the Ranger Bowl, with miso-roast salmon, pickled cabbage, soy beans, cucumber, avocado and nori – “A good boost of protein,” says Bhagwandas.
Bhagwandas was one of the original baristas a Dukes Coffee Roasters and has since worked with Peter Frangoulis (also Dukes) at Story Coffee & Foodstore in Docklands. So there’s a strong coffee legacy straight off the bat at Sloane Ranger.
“Dukes Coffee speaks for itself,” says Bhagwandas.
In addition to the usual suspects, there are a few left-of-centre caffeine options at Slone Ranger. This includes a light and fragrant ice filter coffee, refrigerated overnight and served black; the sobering double espresso Black Tonic, served on ice with tonic water and lime; and the iced coffee, made with whipped skinny milk foam in lieu of ice-cream.
“You’ve got to be different. But not too different,” says Bhagwandas.
Irish-born head chef Frances Flood (ex-Story Coffee & Foodstore) is also currently serving hearty winter fare, such as the free-range gammon (ham) steak and fried eggs with fried chips and chilli-pineapple relish. A dauntless ode to the mothership is Flood’s breakfast and/or dessert toffee-apple crumpets, with Cremorne-based Dr Marty’s Crumpets, mascarpone, candied pistachios, vanilla fairy floss and blackberry compote. For beneath every Sloane ranger, is a simple English crumpet.
13 Cremorne Street, Cremorne
(03) 9943 4122
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–3pm