As soon as we sit down, an espresso arrives. It sits on the edge of a homemade concrete block (mixed with oxide to make it look like rough marble) with two dehydrated orange slices on the side. It’s very pretty and the brew from Colombia Connection is good.
Everything here is pretty. The white walls are speckled in modest prints, tables are decorated with bits of the bush, and everything is steel, concrete or wood. “It's a pretty weird space, it starts wide and it gets narrow, the ceiling comes down a little bit. We just wanted it to look spacious and cosy,” says Joshua Seeto. He’s one of the cafe’s four owners.
“We are four friends who have worked in hospitality for many years. We've always wanted to have a food venue,” says Seeto. His partner, Shy Libre, is the chef.
The menu is divided into four sections: salads, sweet stuff, specials and things on bread. For the latter there’s the typical choose-your-own-toast-topping menu, which includes an epic breakfast spread for two. There’s also a range of smørrebrøds (Danish-style open rye-bread sandwiches). These date back to before the industrial revolution when, it’s believed, agricultural labourers used slices of rye bread as substitutes for plates, piled high with various toppings. Here they’re topped with slow-cooked chicken, pistachios, watercress, avocado, goat’s cheese and dehydrated pumpkin shards; or house-smoked salmon, crème fraiche, pink peppercorns, fried capers and dill.
The sweet menu has just two entries, a house-made granola and a chia pudding that’s swimming in a house-made chocolate, date, banana and hazelnut paste – “notella”, they call it. Specials, as you’d guess, change regularly, but considering the early popularity of the salmon-stock-cooked black rice poke with smoked salmon, avocado and edamame, we wouldn’t be surprised if this dish becomes a mainstay.
At some point in the future the four friends hope to open at night as a cocktail bar. “We've always worked in beverage-based venues, so having good wine and beer with food is really important to us,” says Seeto. Until then, you can have a Young Henrys or glass of wine from the Sly Fox Hotel selection (the second workplace for the other couple of owners, Luke Marshall and Gemma Levy) at lunch.