For the past three years Auvers Cafe has been running a part-cafe and part-gallery for small independent artists in Rhodes, west of the CBD. Now the same team has taken its art-inspired concept to Darling Square for a second and bigger iteration of Auvers.
Both venues are named after Auvers-sur-Oise, a small, charming French town north-west of Paris where artist Vincent Van Gogh died, and where he is buried. It’s where he painted some of his famous works and landscapes too, such as Wheatfield With Crows (1890). House-shaped canopy frames made from natural timber are fitted throughout to give a sense of the rural town, and art is a main feature; there are vibrantly coloured murals by Sydney artists Gillie and Marc on the walls. “We’re trying to create the feeling you’re in a French village,” says co-owner Leo MuRong.
The food is not strictly French; there are elements of Asia threaded through too. Diners can still order Auvers’s Instagram-worthy matcha pancakes and its popular crab omelette with bonito mayo served with cheese and corn on a golden toasted croissant – both plated as beautifully as an artwork – but this new place also offers dinner.
There’s escargot with bonito and crisp wonton skin; confit duck with yuzu, apple puree and red-wine sauce; and crisp-skin pork belly with ginger and sweet potato puree, puff quinoa and potato fondant.
Artistic impressions of Van Gogh and his works have been translated into the drinks. There’s the Sunflower in Hand (Montenegro, spicy pineapple, lemon and shiraz), which is garnished with a sunflower and named after the still-life paintings Van Gogh did of those bright flowers. The Telling to Van Gogh (Calvados, cinnamon maple syrup, orange and plum bitters) has a stencil outline of Van Gogh on the top.
Auvers Cafe Darling Square
Shop NE04, 12 Nicolle Walk, Haymarket
(02) 9188 2392
Mon to Wed 7am–10pm
Thu & Fri 7am–11pm