I finally got around to writing about this hit of a café – John Smith (only 3 weeks after I ate there…). After a planned brunch at Bread & Circus around the corner, and horrifyingly finding a 20 person deep line, we headed instead to John Smith, located smack bang between Alexandria and Botany. Despite being set on Botany Street, the café is surprisingly tranquil and homely, helped out by their awesome veggie path and herb garden growing along the tables. Being a Sunday morning, we were in for another line – however at this café we were greeted with coffees during our wait and complimentary tasters of the pastries – who could say no to that?
And talk about a serious coffee. John Smith offers Rebel Roasters – a rich wake me up, suitable for all tastes. The staff were exceptionally friendly, giving us suggestions on the menu and having a chat between the busy periods. Just what you want out of a local café.
Now onto the good stuff – the food. First up was the Smashed Avocado with Goats Cheese on Sourdough with Fresh Lime, Coriander and Chilli Jam ($14). Now this was definitely the standout dish for the morning. The combination of the avocado with the chilli jam was absolutely delicious – giving all that creaminess the zing it needed. There’s really not much more I can say about this, other than it was a serious crowd pleaser (and would be even better with a little egg-porn!).
Next up was the Eggs Benedict on Sourdough with Daily Greens ($14). Although this looks pretty simple, that hollandaise sauce was an absolute winner! Somehow they made it creamy yet light, not making us feel as though we had just shovelled down 3 sticks of butter (we’ve all been there). And the addition of the few ‘daily greens’ including radish and spring onions perfectly balanced the Benedict – although a little more greens would have been great.
Last but not least was the breakfast special – Poached Egg on Potato Rosti with Pulled Pork and Red Cabbage Slaw. Although I didn’t try the pulled pork component of this dish, the rest of it tasted pretty damn good, so I can only imagine what the pork would have added to it! Although for my tastes, perhaps a little heavy for breakfast but definitely a great dish for those who need a big feed in the morning!
Although we didn’t end up ordering anything from the pastry counter (we were too stuffed from brekky), the ones we did try were pretty incredible. I would definitely recommend the Banana Cake – I think it had caramel in it – which I may have stolen a few extra pieces of before breakfast.
All in all, John Smith Café provided a pretty unforgettable breakfast, and one we’ll definitely be back for. The staff were absolutely top notch, a perfect match for the exceptional food and coffee. Keep up the good work boys and I’ll be seeing you soon!
John Smith Café
1 John Street
Hours: Monday to Friday 6:30am-4pm, Saturday to Sunday 7am-5pm