Family runs deep at this new Pyrmont eatery, opened by siblings and co-owners Ben and Emily Calabro. “This is not only a venue for our passion, but there is a deeper root to why we’re in this,” says Ben Calabro. “It’s family.”
It’s not entirely a family affair though – they’ve hired Kido Kwon (Buena Vista Hotel, Bondi Hardware) as head chef and recruited Tomislav Martinovic to consult on the menu. Martinovic worked in Heston Blumenthal’s lauded UK restaurant The Fat Duck and used to run well-regarded Darlinghurst restaurant Tomislav, before going on to assist Sydney cafe operators, including Holly.
The results are impressive. The all-day breakfast menu includes elegant dishes such as folded eggs with truffled crème fraîche, poached ocean trout and black-forest toast, and a show-stopping koshihikari (premium short-grain rice) congee that will challenge morning-meal expectations in the best way. It comes with a chilli fried egg, enoki mushrooms, maple-glazed bacon, grilled cabbage, chilli relish and optional quinoa-fried chicken or king prawns.
For the team it’s all about defying expectations and doing things really well. Ben sums up the approach with a quote from legendary chef Marco Pierre White, “‘Perfection is a lot of little things done right’ – and that’s what we’re aiming for”.
For example, for the French toast they churn the ice-cream fresh each morning, and make cardamom syrup so they can infuse it in the labneh. For the sprouted-buckwheat muesli, the chefs reduce strawberries to create a juice. “It’s just one element of the dish, and we do it all just for that one dish,” says Calabro. “But it’s important. It’s the emphasis on doing things right and having a menu that separates us from the rest.”
This is backed up with quality suppliers such as Tea Craft teas, Simon Says juices, Kombu Kombucha, Highland fresh eggs from Goulburn, focaccia from nearby Pioik Bakery, gluten-free bread from Nonie’s in Botany and Single O coffee.
The cafe – named after the pangram (a sentence containing every letter in the English alphabet) “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, which Ben says reminds him of his childhood – will soon be renovated. At the moment timber beams pop out of sandstone walls at this heritage-listed corner spot, but after the reno there’ll be contemporary touches such as marble and concrete too.
With a list of six classic cocktails (including a Mimosa and Espresso Martini), along with a 16-strong all-Australian wine list from small, local growers, we’re also counting down the days until they announce a dinner option. There's no launch date just yet, but there are plans for this to happen, maybe when the weather warms up.