Runcible Spoon

27 Barr St, Camperdown, NSW

All Details
  • 02 9519 2727
Sydney's best hangover cure? Thai style fried eggs with jasmine rice, nam jim sauce and pork belly.
Sydney's best hangover cure? Thai style fried eggs with jasmine rice, nam jim sauce and pork belly. Photo: Fiona Morris

Sarah McInerney

The warehouses and factories of Camperdown's light-industrial past are rapidly being overtaken by residential developments. Apartment complexes are as much a part of the housing mix as old terraces and workers' cottages, and population growth has triggered the arrival of new places at which residents can eat.

Locals no longer have to venture to Newtown for a decent coffee and plate of eggs. This small cafe has nabbed a spot in the old Westons biscuit factory, tucked away in a pedestrian thoroughfare in the middle of the development. If you weren't aware of its existence, it would be easy to miss, but clearly the word is out. The place is packed and we're lucky to get a table.

Deep-fried eggs come Thai-style and served with rice, salad and a spicy nam jim chilli sauce. This year's Good Food Guide reviewers rated it as Sydney's best hangover cure, and it's easy to see why. 

Inside, floor-to-ceiling shelves hold cookbooks and large jars of spices. It's probably design-by-practicality given the small space, but it adds a homely, almost ramshackle touch. Breakfast and lunch items are listed on a large blackboard behind the counter. There are fresh juices, milkshakes and the coffee is from Golden Cobra.

Homely ...  Runcible Spoon in Camperdown.
Homely ... Runcible Spoon in Camperdown.

An old biscuit roller hints at the building's past, but Wagon Wheels are not produced here any more. Instead, Runcible Spoon offers all manner of twists and turns on classic breakfast fare. Deep-fried eggs come Thai-style and served with rice, salad and a spicy nam jim chilli sauce. This year's Good Food Guide reviewers rated it as Sydney's best hangover cure, and it's easy to see why. The eggs are puffed up and golden, but somehow the yolks stay runny. Every mouthful packs a flavoursome punch, and my mouth tingles from the heat of the chilli. It is at once a seriously unattractive and terribly addictive dish, and can be ordered with a piece of pork belly.

A dish of mushrooms with Roquefort sauce is super-rich and for serious blue-cheese lovers only. A piece of bread is topped with a generous serving of fried mushrooms and spinach, in turn topped with a buttery blue-cheese sauce and caramelised onion. The cheese sauce permeates everything; a few mouthfuls in and it's hard to detect the mushroom flavour. It still gets polished off, but could do with a lighter, fresher element.

The classic breakfast fry-up of bacon and eggs is spruced up with a potato roesti and oven-roasted tomatoes. The Berrima Ridge eggs are nicely poached and the roesti is thick and tasty, with a good crust on the outside yet fluffy on the inside.

A sweet mint frappe gets the table talking as we try to guess the ingredients. Mint, of course; maybe strawberries; and something we can't quite put a finger on, which turns out to be lychees when we ask.

Wandering around Camperdown afterwards, it's clear the transformation is not complete, with more big developments under way. Change can be challenging, but Runcible Spoon proves there's usually an upside.

Recommended dishes

Thai-style fried eggs, crisp potato roesti with slow-roasted tomatoes, poached eggs and bacon, fresh juice, coffee.

Rating

3.5 stars (out of five)

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27 Barr St, Camperdown, NSW

  • 02 9519 2727
  • Prices - Breakfast $9-$18, lunch $12.50- $19.50, coffee $3-$4.50, fresh juices $5.50.
  • Opening Hours - Mon-Fri, 6.30am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 7am-3pm.
  • Author - Sarah McInerney
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Reader ratings (6)

2 comments so far

  • This is a great little cafe. It's small and very casual but the food is lovely. The Spanish baked eggs are good too.

    Commenter
    Sydneygal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 03, 2012, 4:51PM
  • I went here this morning on the strength of this review. Unfortunately, the cook didn't understand the point of the deep fried eggs, which is that the whites should be puffed up and crisp, but the yolks should be runny, to make a sauce for the rice etc. Mine were cooked hard. Any idiot can do that. If, on the other hand, the cook did understand the point of the dish, and sent it out anyway, draw your own conclusions.

    I drew this to the attention of the waitress, but the cook did not put in an appearance. Draw your own conclusions about that, as well.

    We won't be back.

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    Pyrmont
    Date and time
    June 13, 2013, 12:04PM

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