Stix is in an industrial area not far from Poor Toms, in what was a formerly an under-underutilised loading dock. The schmick canteen-style eatery looks like a modern barn, and behind a slate-coloured roller door there’s a clever use of timber to accentuate the high, vaulted ceiling. Diners eat at dark timber, communal tables, with full view of the glass-enclosed kitchen and a counter display packed with goodies.
Apart from seafood dishes, everything is made with produce and protein from owner David "Stix" Allison’s 100-acre, fully certified organic farm on the banks of Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney. Or, if it’s a type of oyster mushroom, it’s been freshly harvested in a hidden incubation room upstairs of the cafe.
Stix Farm, which cultivates rare-breed pigs, free-range chickens and organic vegetables, not only supplies seasonal produce for Stix’s kitchens but also to some of Sydney’s favourite restaurants, including Firedoor, Saint Peter, Fred’s, Poly, Ester and 10 William Street.
Highlights of the breakfast menu include a warming bowl of chicken-and-sweet-corn congee topped with poached egg and tamari chilli; and an omelette with miso eggplant and ginger-shallot dressing. At lunch there’s a scotch fillet steak sandwich with beetroot relish, and a blood orange-cured kingfish with beetroot, kale, radicchio and smoked goat’s cheese.
The display of sweet treats includes almond croissants, Russian caramelised honey cake and Nechiporenko’s signature white chocolate-covered zen cake with yuzu and black sesame.
The cafe also has a mini retail section. Shelves are packed with fresh, organic produce picked from Stix Farm and freshly baked sourdough bread. There’s also a fridge stocked with jars of take-home relishes, pickles and condiments, whole cakes, butter, cured meats and fish plus pouches of ready-made meals for two.