At The Brotherhood Cafe the vibe is particularly important; it’s an LGBTQIA+ safe space. “We create a place where there are no labels; where creative individuals come together and share their passions. A place to feel like home,” says Hammie Pongphanote, the cafe’s owner.

Pongphanote runs the horseshoe-shaped cafe with his brother, Bacon Poomvorapon, a chef who was recently at David Thompson’s Long Chim. Hence the name, although with the cafe’s safe-space philosophy, it has a broader meaning.

“If anyone wants to set up meetings or events where they don't want to be judged or to feel different they can come here,” says Pongphanote. “Outside of Oxford Street there really aren’t that many [LGBTQI] spaces.”

There’s a good set up for meetings – the wooden benches are comfortable, most of the cafe is spacious and well lit and there’s a darker back room for more serious discussion and round-table chat. The work of local artists hangs on the walls.

Brotherhood’s not exclusively for the LGBTQIA community or those planning meetings; the menu is reason enough to visit. English muffins are topped with baby spinach, smoked hollandaise, a 63-degree egg and pork floss (something that should be far more common in cafes). Coffee is by Waterloo roasters Numero Uno. There’s also sort-of Thai fried rice with crab, and a green-tea noodle salad wrapped in smoked salmon and dressed with sesame and Vietnamese mint. “We don’t want to be completely Western, Asian or Thai. Just everything,” says Poomvorapon.

The Brotherhood Cafe
176 Victoria Street, Potts Point
(02) 8958 7985

Hours:
Mon to Fri 6.30am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8.30am–4pm

facebook.com/pg/thebrotherhoodhouse