In amongst a quiet little nook of shops on Macpherson Street in Waverly, Eugene’s is a fresh new face. Open just under two months, this is one cafe that’s raising the bar for the area, with 5 Senses coffee, Larsen & Thompson teas and a selection of soups, salads and mains available to eat-in or go. And the best part? Everything is made in house (don’t miss the pomegranate tarts).

It’s a first time solo operation for chef Eugene Giesinger and girlfriend Natalie Bayfield. Working back in his hometown of Sydney after 21 years in the business, with stints in London, the French Alps and at Melbourne’s Newmarket Hotel under his belt, Giesinger is chuffed to have opened his own place.

“The response has been amazing,” says textile designer Bayfield. “It’s been very busy and packed out on weekends.”

And it’s easy to see why with a relaxed and almost French feel to the space. “We even have regulars already, so many people whose names we know and who have said it’s great to have a place like this where we are. There isn’t really much else around here.”

Giesinger enlisted mates to help to gut and rework the space, making it clean, simple and open. Giesinger has put in a huge amount of the work himself and there’s a lot of love in the details.

“He wanted to be near the beach,” says Bayfield. “And he knew what we wanted to do would be well received around here.”

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And judging by the weekend queues, they were right. There’s a reclaimed focus here, with lights, wood and marble counters all repurposed from the existing building, found under the floor or even snaffled from Sydney uni. Cabinets came via hunting online and picture rails were a rescue job.

It all comes together with an effect of effortless chic, which manages to look more heritage than second-hand. There are future plans to add dinner to the menu, but for now breakfast and lunch are looking pretty good. We’re for Eggs Kosciuszko: poached and served with smoked Snowy River trout, hollandaise and salmon roe. You’d be proud enough to stamp your own name on it too.

69 Macpherson Street, Waverley
(02) 9369 1110

Winter Hours
Tue to Fri 7am–4.30pm
Sat 8am–4.30pm
Sun 8am–3pm