New eatery Brainwave serves standard cafe options and common Thai dishes. But there’s also a creative and unusual meeting of the two on the menu. Eggs are flavoured with green curry paste, burgers are filled with Thai-style meats and there’s a soft-serve machine churning out Thai-milk-tea gelato.
Brainwave Cafe’s owners, Thirawat Munesane and Ann Suwimon (also of Manly’s Thup Tim Siam), have inherited the laneway space from the sadly forgotten Another Hideaway. “From outside it looks like nothing, but inside it's such a great space,” says Suwimon. They’ve kept the set up; tables outside; the kitchen, coffee counter and a bar on the ground level; and an art-gallery-like sitting room on the upstairs mezzanine, which also has its own lounge area. Suwimon, who built the upstairs furniture with her brother, says she hopes the space will be used as a gallery – local student groups have expressed interest in exhibiting there. “It's a uni area, we want them to come in and be inspired,” says Suwimon.
The cuisine-merge here isn’t just a token addition of kimchi or a few specials. “We bring the flavour of our food,” Suwimon says. For breakfast there’s khao tom (soupy rice porridge) with spinach; hotcakes covered in Thai-style sweet banana and pandan sauce; and the aforementioned green curry omelette which is coated in fried Thai basil and bacon.
For lunch burgers are filled with massaman-flavoured pulled pork, Thai fried chicken or steak and Thai relish. There are hot dogs with green curry and crispy basil or a banh mi-inspired mix of sausage, herbs and pickles. A dish of fettucine is flash fried with Thai peppercorns, basil and drunken pipis.
Next to the coffee (from Canberra roaster Ona), the drinks menu lists Thai-tea lattes (a rarity in Sydney), lemon tea; and soft serve flavoured either with Thai tea, coconut pandan or espresso and milk (the latter two are on rotation).
Shop 94, 732 Harris Street, Ultimo
(02) 8317 4852
Mon to Fri 7am–7pm
Sat & Sun 8.30am–5pm