Orto Trading ♥♥♥

38 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills
Saturday 2 December 2012

3.33 'Hanging lamps and plants'

Hello Orto. Gosh I liked you. I'd visited you previously for a couple of vinos and vowed to come back for a couple of cappuccinos. And here I finally was - amongst your rugged brick walls with hanging plant-filled bottles and dim-lit lamps, seated at one of your fresh wooden tables, with eleven of my closest friends. You went above and beyond for us, tending to our every need. Your menu was definitely appealing. But tragically, when the food arrived, it was tasteless. And not just mine, the same sentiment was felt by many at my table with their respective dishes. How could something so colourful and pretty taste quite so bland? Perhaps it was just an off day for the chef? I sure hope so cause you are the sweetest little venue, perfect for group dining on a fresh sunny Sunday morning. I'll most certainly be back. 

Coffee: 4   
Eggs: 3  Beautifully prepared, but lacking flavour. 
Toast: 3.5  Lots of variety. 
Knife: 2.5  Nice, but not spesh.
Ambience: 4.5 Bright and open, lots of simple wooden tables, bare brick walls, greenery hanging from the ceilings and a chilled out vibe. 
Price: 2.5 Eggs on toast are $11, which is pretty good given the meals are hefty sizes. 

Thelma & Louise ♥♥♥

1 Hayes Street, Neutral Bay
Saturday 1 December 2012

3.0 'Colourful harbour-side diner'

Hello Thelma and Louise. You are by far one of the most gorgeous little cafes I've been to in Neutral Bay. Literally on the ferry wharf, your balcony can't get much closer to the yacht speckled harbour. I felt like I was on holidays. Your furnishings and crockery are infectiously colourful. And yet your menu looks like its come straight out of an American diner. Nothing appealed on it at first, but I was very satisfied with my eggs on toast. Your portions are pretty sizeable and your coffee is large and tasty too. We liked you very much. Perfect way to kick off a sunny morning. 

Coffee: 3 Yummo. Huge. 
Eggs: 3.5  Gosh there were so many scrambled eggs. And so creamy. 
Toast: 3 It was a little under-toasted. But there was lots of it. Lots.
Knife: 2 Average. 
Ambience: 4 It's nice to sit by the harbour - I would've liked a seat on the balcony, but I was just as happy surrounded by your colourful furnishings. You've got gnomes and wine and flying cars and spotty mugs and crazy mis-matched chairs. You've also got groovy music. 
Price: 2.5 Not cheap. Eggs on toast $10.50. But portion sizes and location considered, you're not bad. 

Beach Cafe (Malabar) ♥♥♥

59 Bay Parade, Malabar
Saturday 17 November 2012

3.0 'Basic beachside brekkie'

Hello Beach Cafe. I hear you're the rogue twin brother of Pool Cafe. You're almost identical, but located a little further down the coast and attracting far fewer brekkie questers. Given your menu was similar to Pool's, I opted for your crispy corn fritters with bacon and avo salsa. They looked delicious but alas, they were merely pancakes with a sour salsa mix, not one bit like Pool's. I wasn't a fan. Thankfully I had a nibble of Damien's eggs benedict with potato rosti to mitigate the disappointment - that dish managed to stack up against your twins. You're pretty quiet and out of the way, but you're a peaceful alternative to the usual bustle of the city. I liked you. I didn't love you. 

Coffee: 2.5 Nice.  
Eggs: 4  Damien's poached eggs were very gooey. 
Toast: ? No toast today. 
Knife: 2 Average. Nothing to write home about.
Ambience: 3.5 You're a quiet spot, just near tiny Malabar Beach, with a few tables out in the sun and some inside. I wouldn't put you down as a people watching beach hang-out, more the kind of spot for a quiet brekkie out of the way. 
Price: 3 Pretty good actually, $8.50 for eggs on toast and nothing over $16. 

Shenkin (Erskineville) ♥♥♥

53 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
Sunday 11 November 2012

2.83 'Listen to Timeout, go for the Israeli salad'

Shalom, Shenkin. You are a groovy Israeli haunt with funky music, friendly service, great Mecca coffee and one heck of a breakfast knife. I thought I was on to a winner with you, until my eggs arrived. I know Timeout rate your brekkie (I even brought my fat-pants in eager anticipation) but I was bitterly disappointed with your food. Your omlette, despite being somewhat tasty with the chorizo and all, was dry and horrifying to look at. Your toast was also dry and not exactly toasted. I couldn't figure out if I was a satisfied or dissatisfied customer? I left, confused. Quite full, but confused. 

Coffee: 4 Mecca. Good coffee. 
Eggs: 1  I was saddened by my omlette. I wish I'd had the Israeli breakfast like Timeout told me to. Dammit.
Toast: 1 Your toast was comparable to dried cardboard.
Knife: 4.5 It was serrated and sporting a sturdy handle. If only I had toast that was worthy of the battle.
Ambience: 4 I liked your vibe. Your service was faultless, you had groovy tunes playing and three large spaces in which to file patrons into. 
Price: 2.5 Price is good. Eggs on toast $8.50.