The CBD has long been a tricky place for brunch. There are food courts, takeaway counters, sandwich shops, chains and fine-dining restaurants, but not many modern cafe options. Owners Noelle and Nagendra Gautam noticed this and saw an opportunity.
“If you go to Glebe, Marrickville or Newtown, there are loads of cafes like this. But in the city, there aren’t many nice cafes where you can sit down, relax and have a nice breakfast. People want that, they want a nice place to eat,” says Nagendra. “Lots of the options around us are very traditional and have been here for a long time,” Noelle adds.
The Walrus takes its name from a Beatles song and stands out on its end of Pitt Street. Flanked by tired office buildings and shopfronts, The Walrus is filled with light and adorned with high ceilings and lush greenery. Designed by Adam Burns of Design Portfolio, the cafe is simple and relaxing.
The Gautams cater for the weekday lunch crowd with a takeaway case full of easy decisions: salads, Bircher muesli, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, smoked chicken baguettes, Moroccan chicken piadas and palm-sized paninis. Coffee is by Toby’s Estate.
If you have the time, take a seat and try something from the extensive and eclectic menu. The food arrives intricately plated because as Noelle says, “people eat with their phones first”. The Breakfast in Bread has eggs, tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms and cheese baked inside a sourdough roll. Other options include a gin-cured trout served with cucumber, radishes and lime granita a lamb ragout on pappardelle pasta; and a fried chicken burger with kimchi and chipotle mayonnaise.
The drinks menu is simple. Along with the regular line-up, The Walrus offers housemade sodas, fresh juices and smoothies. The Gautams are considering opening on Saturdays too.