Brickfields

206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale, NSW

All Details
  • 02 9698 7880
  • $
Good Food Under $30 - Brickfields Cafe and Bakery. 
Photo Edwina Pickles. 13th March 2013.
It's a bakery first, coffee bar second and cafe third. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Jill Dupleix

Scientific tests have proven people are nicer to each other in areas where there are pleasant ambient smells. In 2012, France's University of Brittany found that more people came to the aid of a stranger outside a bakery than outside a fashion store.

So how nice will we be to each other now Sydney's cafe bakery is such an established trend? As the streets fill with the aromas of freshly baked bread and freshly roasted coffee, there will be no more rudeness and bullying, no queue-jumping, no drive-by shootings and no mothers kicked out of cafes for breastfeeding.

It's a bakery first, coffee bar second and cafe third, with its distinct and deliberate lack of magazines, protein shakes, wi-fi and even tables. 

Now you can add Brickfields to your list of freshly baked cafe bakeries, along with St Malo in Crow's Nest, Flour and Stone in Woolloomooloo, Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery, Porch Bread & Wine Parlour in Bondi, Youeni Foodstore in Castle Hill and Labancz in Rozelle.

brickfields_narrow_egg
Breakfast ... soft-boiled egg, fried eggplant, tahini and zhoug.

Brickfields - a collaboration between Mecca Espresso's Paul Geshos, baker Simon Cancio and chef Ben Abiad - is a cool, contemporary evocation of the old village baker.

It's a bakery first, coffee bar second and cafe third, with its distinct and deliberate lack of magazines, protein shakes, wi-fi and even tables. But the thing is, it's a great bakery and a great coffee bar.

The blackboard lists not much more than four breakfasts, one salad and two fat sandwiches - including, perhaps, a ciabatta roll, filled to order with chorizo and spiced red cabbage. A small display case houses syrup-soaked Persian love cakes and an austerely beautiful plum crostata. There's no skim milk and no tea, either; just a rich, single-origin espresso from El Salvador that's full of hazelnut, mixed peel and nutmeg notes, capable of producing a stunning, oil-rich crema ($3.50) with milk.

For full sensory overload, there's an equally rich, Ottolenghi-inspired breakfast plate of soft-boiled egg halves resting on smoky eggplant and toasted sourdough, with dill pickles, tahini, lemon and dollops of a zingy, green Yemenite herb-and-chilli sauce called zhoug. Snare a swivel stool so you can watch the baker shower flour over sourdough bobs and the chef pull house-made pickles from a jar. And when you leave with half a loaf of their ripper rye sourdough, bury your face in the bag, take a big sniff, and go help a stranger.

Do ... buy bread to take home.
Don't ... ask for tea, they don't do it.
Dish ... soft-boiled egg, fried eggplant, tahini and zhoug, $12.
Vibe ... simple, artisanal and high on detail.

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206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale, NSW

  • 02 9698 7880
  • Prices - breakfast $4-$12, lunch $8-$12, coffee $3.50
  • Chef(s) - Simon Cancio, Ben Abiad
  • Owners - Paul Geshos
  • Opening Hours - Monday to Friday, 7am-3pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am-4pm
  • Author - Jill Dupleix
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6 comments so far

  • the food was great BUT I do not drink coffee and cannot understand why it is such a problem to offer tea. I will not be returning

    Commenter
    jenx
    Location
    nsw
    Date and time
    March 19, 2013, 11:57AM
    • As the food is great, you will not be missed...;)

      Commenter
      coffee drinker
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 12:47PM
  • Sydney's in the midst of a virulent coffee pretentiousness pandemic.
    Nothing a nice cup of tea won't fix.
    Just pop the kettle on and grab some non-artisanal bikkies.

    Commenter
    Anglophile 13
    Location
    Darlington
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 12:12PM
  • i think it makes perfect sense, what with tea taking so long to make and the ingredients being nigh on impossible to come by.

    *golf clap*

    Commenter
    the_halc
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 12:49PM
  • Sydney is in the midst of a full-blown coffee-pretentiousness pandemic.
    Nothing a nice cup of tea won't fix.
    Pop the kettle on and grab us a non-artisanal bikke.

    Commenter
    Anglophile
    Location
    Darlington
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 1:49PM
  • There's no tea :(

    Commenter
    Z
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 7:12PM

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