The Cross Eatery

Clean lines: The Cross in central Sydney.
Clean lines: The Cross in central Sydney. Photo: Christopher Pearce

155 Clarence Street Sydney, New South Wales 2000

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Opening hours Mon-Fri, 6.30am-4pm
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Phone 02 9279 4280

Hard-core business-breakfast and lunch eaters throw your hands in the air for this new inner-city cafe that has just opened in Clarence Street.

While you're at it, celebrate the beauty that is the All Day Breakfast Sandwich - an epic construction of Feather and Bone ham (fancy!), a perfectly poached egg (no snotty 65-degree whites here), kale salad, chilli relish and aioli on a seeded Brickfields bun. Chewy and gooey with just the right amount of heat, this is a roll that doesn't judge you for eating it at 7am or 3pm. It understands your needs and is happy to fulfil them.

Clean lines and Danish-style communal furniture mean no romantic tete a tetes, but then there's always an opportunity to meet some new pals over an espresso. Barista Marcelo Soto is ex-Mecca, so you can be assured his tamping skills are strong. At one point, I could swear he weighs the group head before pulling a shot, but that would be next-level nerdy. So yeah, it probably happened.

All Day Breakfast Sandwich.
All Day Breakfast Sandwich. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Don't dig a coffee? There's kombucha on tap – light on the fizz and heavy on the fermented, so you can in no way slam it down quickly, but rather sip it like the fine probiotic health drink it is.

So there's a real holistic approach here – kale, quinoa, lentils, cold-pressed juice all commune on the menu – but the base line is properly cooked and seasoned food.

An ultra-comforting soup of blackened onion, peas, potato, eggplant and zucchini is thrown into sharp relief with a one-two combination of black pepper and fresh chilli for warmth and, because it's all we actually ever really want to eat for lunch on a weekday, they do really exceptional salads.

Combination salad: roasted lentils, persimon, blackbean and ricotta.
Combination salad: roasted lentils, persimon, blackbean and ricotta. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Choose three combinations for $16 (we go for roasted roots and spiced almonds with feta dressing crunched up with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas, almonds and a little black sesame, along with lentils with persimmon and black beans – super delicious).

They've pitched it pretty perfectly, if you think about it.

The Cross Eatery is opposite the Clarence Street Cyclery, where even a new set of spokey dokes is a second mortgage and shares a fairly cavernous yet light-filled lobby with start-ups. You can tell, because everyone's under 30 and they all look as if they still have a reason to live.

Double down: the flat white.
Double down: the flat white. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Can a $7 cold-pressed juice really induce that much hope? We'd like to think so.


THE TAKEAWAY:

Pro tip: Double down on the coffee – it's that good.

Eat this: The salads here are perfectly seasoned and perfectly formed.

Like this: Check out Brickfields for freshly baked treats and house-made sodas. 206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale. 02 9698 7880.

http://www.crosseatery.com.au