Clementine's

Is this Sydney's best meatball sub? Find it at Clementine's Cafe.
Is this Sydney's best meatball sub? Find it at Clementine's Cafe.  Photo: Ben Rushton

2 52 Harris St Pyrmont, NSW 2009

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Features Cheap, Breakfast-brunch, Lunch specials
Prices Cheap (mains under $20)

Folks, there are two crazily popular things I'm confused about this year: Donald Trump and Nutella. Interestingly, there are a few crossovers between the two. Note how utterly unphotogenic both of them are. The pair have enjoyed a stratospheric rise to fame that few could have predicted. And seemingly normal people you never thought would be fans turn out to lose their bananas any time they're near. There are, however, a few things that Nutella can do that Trump definitely can't. These include - but are not limited to - tasting good on toast, doughnuts, ice cream and pie. At the end of the day, I think most of us can agree that we'd prefer a jar of chocolate spread to run for the US presidency.  

And now you can get your celebrity hazelnut spread fix in a hot chocolate thanks to cafe owner Eric Mendoza. You might recognise the newly-minted cafe owner from past gigs at Porteno, Baxter Inn and, most recently, Bloodwood. Given what we now know, putting Nutella anything on your menu is pretty much a license to keep your cafe open. But I'm also here to tell you it's just one of many compelling reasons to visit this shoebox-sized Pyrmont newbie. For one thing, there's a steady parade of handsome dogs and their owners in varying degrees of unsoiled activewear. (Note to self: ask next passing trustafarian how they keep their drop-crotch track pants so soft and fluffy-looking.)  

And then there's 'the Godfather'. This is a meatball sub with some serious weight. A long white roll holds three highly seasoned meatballs covered in sugo and a whole lot of melted provolone. Madon. Flavour-wise, the Reuben does what it says on the box (corned beef, melted swiss cheese and the bite of sauerkraut on two slices of toasted rye) but the meat's a little tighter than ideal. Now I don't know about you, but I don't like to be this challenged when biting a sandwich. Happily, there's Mendoza's take on dirty rice which gives great veggo. Corn, roasted capsicum, green onion, coriander and avocado all come to the fiesta, mixed up with black beans, rice and finished with a blob of sour cream. And if, for some reason, you need an extra protein hit, you can add chicken thigh.

Clementine's Cafe owner, Eric Mendoza.
Clementine's Cafe owner, Eric Mendoza. Photo: Ben Rushton

I'm very keen to come back for what Mendoza describes as a classic Denny's style breakfast. Here, that translates as a couple of slices of rye toast, eggs, bacon and orange juice. No, there's no horrible American filter with half and half (which I actually secretly love) but they will do you a beaker of pourover or a beautifully oily ristretto. Either way, it sounds like a one way ticket to hangover salvation.

Forget about Nutella, forget about Trump. Vote one, Clementine's.

Pro Tip: Grab an outside table for optimum people-watching action