Good side of runny ... soft-boiled eggs are a house specialty. Photo: Brianne Makin
Late last year popular North Bondi cafe Porch and Parlour shifted to new digs. It didn't go far - from Brighton Boulevard to Ramsgate Avenue - and en route acquired a liquor licence, bigger kitchen and a revamped name.
Porch and Parlour became Porch Bread and Wine Parlour.
With its new split identity - cafe by day, wine bar by night - Porch is now within sea-spray cooee of the beach.
Location, location ... Porch Bread and Wine Parlour takes advantage of its sea-side setting. Photo: Brianne Makin
Large front windows take advantage of the position and striking wildflower displays add a touch of whimsy to the concrete walls and wooden parquetry-style furnishings.
We're perched on stools at the counter, the only seats left on a busy Saturday lunchtime. This spot has its benefits. We start with a pick-me-up flat white from Will and Co and are then offered a sample of freshly made juice from the machine that buzzes near our seats. We're sold. The Berry Detox with chia seeds is sweet and frappe-like, courtesy of the blitzed berries. The High C is light, refreshing and full of lemons, oranges and ruby-red grapefruit.
Home-made seasonal eating is the ethos. Breads, cakes and pies, for instance, are all made in-house to eat in or take away. A spinach and feta roll is encased in golden flaky pastry. The filling is a little bland but the homemade apple and tomato relish adds flavour. A side salad makes it a meal.
Made in-house ... Braised beef and red wine pie. Photo: Brianne Makin
The ''big breaky'' pan is more than a meal. Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, beans and spinach are all piled into a pre-warmed pan. Perfect for slow eaters, my dining companion remarks. Why? It keeps the food warm. The beans, cooked with tomato and a hint of basil, are light and sweet. We wish we had a whole bowl of them. Soft-boiled eggs are rolled in parsley, salt and pepper, a Porch specialty. They're on the good side of runny.
From the salads on the menu, the falafel and tabouleh option is a letdown. The falafel balls are dry and the rocket and baby spinach-leaf salad needs a kick of citrus. The dollop of hummous on top helps.
The cafe has a sense of fun, thanks to the friendly and welcoming staff, which makes it easy to overlook the odd slip in service. Confines are tight when the place is packed - we cop a few bumps as people brush past, and try not to do the same to others seated at the counter on our way out.
Still, we'd be keen to return one evening to check out the wine bar vibe. Mudgee vintner David Lowe produces three house wines for Porch – a pinot grigio, rose and shiraz, each available by the glass. Every alternate evening a drop normally only available by the bottle is opened and offered by the glass too. Cheese boards and platters with meats, dips and the like are the main food offerings.
Sounds very wine parlour indeed.
Cafe by day, wine bar by night with a focus on seasonal home-made food.
''Big breaky'' pan, Berry Detox juice, High C juice, coffee.
3.5 stars (out of five)
- 02 9300 0111
- Cuisine - Contemporary
- Prices - Juice $8; coffee $3.50; breakfast $7-$24; pies, parcels and quiches $8; rolls $8-$11.50; salads $14
- Features - Licensed, Vegetarian friendly, Outdoor seating
- Opening Hours - Daily, 6.30am-10pm
- Author - Sarah McInerney