Creative cafes in Sydney are confidently reshaping breakfast and lunch. The latest is Boss Lady Food & Co, a first-time project from hospitality veterans and friends, Suzanne Bebawy and Helen Munday.
The pair says it’s not in the business of reinvention, that this is simply the food they’re comfortable with. “We wanted it to be really personal to us,” says Munday. “You can see on the menu that we've named the dishes after important people in our lives.”
Munday’s mum, Shirley, is represented by a cold ploughman’s plate with a Mexican mozzarella-like cheese, ham, pickles, labneh, sourdough and basturma, an Egyptian air-dried beef.
“Both Dina [Bebawy’s mother] and Shirley had harder lives than we'll ever have. They're very strong, determined women and they run the house. It’s part of the reason for the [cafe’s] name,” Munday says.
Bebawy and her mother Dina provide the Egyptian influence in the burgers. They have slow-cooked beef ribs; coffee-infused barbeque sauce; and either slaw or egg.
Ful is an Egyptian breakfast of baked fava beans coloured with a tomato salad, boiled eggs, labneh and brassie sourdough. Lahma mu'assaga, a stew of spicy lamb mince is topped with eggs and served alongside a pickle salad and toast.
“I would go to Sue's place and her mum would serve this amazing food, which was quite different for me, but I came to love it,” says Munday.
The space itself is barely bigger than most living rooms and relatively unadorned, but a bar at the front saves it from feeling claustrophobic.
The duo plans to extend the menu with cheese and wine nights, served from the street-side bar, in the coming weeks. Don’t expect buffalo mozzarella, roquefort or Parmeggiano, though.
“It’ll be Greek cheeses, obscure stuff,” Munday says. “We were playing around with a cheese the other day: you roll it in sesame and fry it and then drizzle it in honey. It's so decadent.”
Boss Lady Food & Co
1/18–22 Purkis Street, Camperdown
0404 683 750
Tue to Sun 8am–2pm