This Marrickville cafe’s retro design is inspired by the milk bars that once dotted the inner west.
There are green velvet chairs tucked under a large crimson-tiled communal table. Two bulbous lamps hang overhead, holding the fort while the place waits for the arrival of an impressive Art-Deco chandelier feature. The marble and wood-panelled bar curves its way from the service area to the kitchen’s pass, presiding over a room where linoleum surfaces are in abundance. There are sky-blue floors and orange table tops.
Chef Michael Smith (ex-Otto and Brewtown) is serving a concise menu. For breakfast, hazelnut brioche is used to make French toast, which is served with caramelised banana and orange buttermilk ricotta. There’s a coffee-rubbed pork hash accompanied by poached eggs, or a Persian rice kedgeree tossed through with currents, goat’s cheese and rose petals.
From 11am the hand-rolled saffron pasta comes with hot smoked salmon, kale and tomato, and specks of bottarga. A classic Reuben is enhanced with crumbed eggplant and is best paired with draught beer from local brewery The Grifter Brewing Co. The fried-chicken burger is tempered by pickled onions and served on a brioche bun.
There are savoury muffins, brioche knots and a hemp brownie. Dietary requirements are accommodated, most impressively in the form of a dairy-and-gluten-free lemon meringue pie, which is made from aquafaba (a chickpea foam), so it’s vegan, too.
The house-blend coffee is designed to taste like Neapolitan ice-cream. There is a rotating menu of single-origin options for espresso and filter coffee.