60 Bayswater Road Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales 2011
|Opening hours||Tues-Sat 5pm-late|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 8068 0932|
You might know ACME as the prog-Italian restaurant with a Yes We Can attitude that stole the heart of Rushcutters Bay when they opened a few years back.
Their MO is punking pasta (Filipino-style braised pig's head meets macaroni, alphabetti spaghetti that takes a turn for the Adult) and fancifying old-school party snacks (never has the noble Jatz risen so high).
Only now, chef Mitch Orr is applying those same fun dining principals to mid-morning, making supper for brunch.
Peach cheeks, charred till their middles are black and caramelised, are doused in pistachio oil and strewn with thin strands of shallot – three elements, maximum savour.
And then there's a gooey breakfast sandwich. A soft roll holds sausage meat that's pressed into a kind of delicious puck, along with a fried egg and a river of barbecue sauce that runs down the arm of the unsuspecting sandwich-eater (ie, the correct amount). And, because it's ACME, there's a hot towel on hand to deal with the fallout.
There's only one decision to be made when it comes to the menu (which is probably about the acceptable limit when it comes to thought at 11.30 on a Saturday morning.) And that's the main savoury.
Now, there's a very easy solution to the quandary of whether you have the roast pumpkin, all yielding and nutty and doused in coffee butter.
Or Orr's twisted take on an American roadhouse classic – crisp fried chicken on a lurid purple Japanese yam waffle sweetened with maple syrup.
Or the leather jacket fillet cooked on the bone, the firm and tender flesh liberally doused in green onion oil with a side of steamed rice.
And that's to take your pals. No need to say anything except "all of it".
On that, if the Saturday morning "Oh God Whys" are taking hold, consider a Bloody Mary, made New Orleans level strong (read: vodka with a tomato juice float and a few pickles for the look of the thing). There's cold drip coffee, too, if you're there in your yoga pants.
Such is the level of service here, you're more than safe to also put the business of drinks straight in the hands of maitre d' Cam Fairbairn, if the idea of a lengthy and impressive drinks program is giving you the shakes.
He might spike your juice with gin, mind, but only if you look like you might secretly like that kind of malarky.
Set brunch menu $50 per person, Saturday only.
Pro Tip: Err on the side of earlier rather than later for a chance at a table.
Go-to Dish: The soft and squishy chocolate and pretzel cookie is about the sweetest punctuation mark a breakfast could wish for.