Complete with a quaint, country kitchen-style interior, Something for Jess is Chippendale’s youngest cafe and one that comes with something of a tribute in tow. Owner and chef Philip Ocampo named the space after his partner, Jess, a graphic designer responsible for the shop’s striking design.
Littered with charmingly mismatched furniture, colourful artwork and cornflour blue walls, little pots of herbs decorate the room, while two vintage wooden ladders prop up mini blackboards proclaiming the day’s specials.
The menu, which changes weekly, is small and considered, focusing on whatever’s fresh and available. There are no eggs and bacon here; instead you’ll find sourdough toast with a range of toppings, from maple ricotta, fresh figs and grilled asparagus, to smoked trout with white bean puree, fresh corn, watermelon and radish, all served on beautifully decorative floral plates.
Ocampo, who previously toured Sydney’s markets and festivals with his organic Mexican street food stall, wanted a menu that reflected his love for organic, sustainable, fresh produce that supported small-scale suppliers and producers, including produce grown in his mother-in-law’s Blue Mountains garden. “I just use what’s fresh. Simple,” he offers. “It’s good food done properly, so it doesn’t matter how flashy it is.”
Coffee, a Five Senses blend, is also a focus here, with the barista’s area occupying more space than the tiny open kitchen. The day’s blend is chalked up on a blackboard outside to tempt passersby, while cold drinks are available from Victorian producers Daylesford & Hepburn.
We’re sure Jess would approve.