As I tuck into smørrebrød and skagen at this cafe touted so unique and different,
I am thinking, “Where’s my bacon and eggs?”
It’s true there are literally hundreds of cafes all over Sydney churning out bacon and eggs for breakfast to the point some say it’s blasé. For those short of time and prefer a quick brekky before heading to work, these cafes are gold.
It’s also equally true Sydneysiders have been blessed with really good cafes that get the hard core out of bed with breakfast specials that dare to be different yet give a sense of wholesome goodness about the first meal of the day.
And where else would you plonk a Nordic-Japanese cafe except in the heart of supposedly trendy Darlinghurst? Located at the corner of Liverpool and Crown streets, this precinct is the epitome of Sydney’s bohemian lifestyle as our friendly and colourful waitress (cover image above) is living proof.
Dare to be different is the cafe mantra and a new Scandinavian-slash-Japanese newcomer promises to be one of them.
Edition Coffee Roasters, Darlinghurst
I am no coffee connoisseur and thought Mysaucepan‘s Ethiopia Kochere pour-over at $6 must be something special.
Apart from some fragrant aromas, it smells like plain ole coffee to me.
Monk‘s cinnamon roll from a daily selection of pastries looks too sickly sweet for low-sweetness tolerance me.
There are eight items on the menu and if you are looking for a hot breakfast in this cafe, this venison roll is your only option.
Coffee-braised strips of venison is sandwiched with Japanese coleslaw and lime green wasabi mayo. Two slices of pickled carrot and cucumber round off this tangy number.
Is it good? For me, crunchy coleslaw and savoury red meat don’t belong in the same mouthful. For what appears to be a burger, lets just say the ‘dare to be different’ mantra has certainly ticked the box so far.
Japanese influences are found in a Bircher which is kombu cha (Japanese kelp tea) poached pear and seasonal fruit ($15). Or a tofu salad with enoki, nashi pear, wakame, daikon and shitake ($14).
Smørrebrød (top) and Skagen
A Swedish-inspired skagen is prawns, pickled beetroot and radish on knäckebröd (crisp rye bread) topped with tobiko (flying fish roe) and green garnish.
There is minimal cooking effort apart from cooked prawns tossed with mayo unless you count slicing beetroot and radish into thin disks with a Japanese mandolin. A circular swoosh of red beetroot juice adds colour but I wonder about substance.
At $19 for beetroot and radish disks, cold mayo prawns with the occasional pop of salty flying fish roe, I am yearning a hearty big breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, sausages, hashbrown, mushrooms and toast.
A Danish-inspired smørrebrød is true to tradition with dense, dark brown rye bread, smoked salmon, graddfil (creme fraiche), pickled cucumber, red radish and tobiko.
There are black and white sesame seeds to reinforce the Japanese influence of tobiko but smoked fish on limpu is distinctively Scandinavian though the fish tasted more raw than smoked. The slight bitterness of Nordic-style bread is most definitely an acquired taste for non-natives and I choose crusty wood-fired sourdough any day.
This hole in the wall sits fifteen at most and the kitchen appears to be all but a solitary grill doing some kind of obligatory cooking after all.
Apart from the lukewarm venison roll, the other seven items on the menu are cold dishes fiddling around with pickles, fish roe, coleslaw, nashi pear, yoghurt, smoked fish, seasonal fruits, tea jelly, grains, seeds, Nordic bread and Japanese seaweed. It will be interesting to check out this menu come winter.
I commend eateries that are passionate about offering a point of difference because a niche player among so much competition can be highly lucrative. Edition Coffee Roasters may insist on being different with its Scandi-Jap fare but I see absolutely nothing wrong with offering a Japanese style eggs benedict a la Chase Kojima at Sokyo which has taken off like a rocket since its launch last year. Perhaps the coffee here is kick-ass good but unfortunately, I don’t drink that stuff.
And who needs hearty bacon and eggs, hash brown and toasty sourdough when Sydney now has Edition Coffee Roasters?
Bring it on because I so bloody well do.
Edition Coffee Roasters
265 Liverpool road (Corner of Liverpool and Crown streets)
Darlinghurst, New South Wales.
Tel: No contact number on website.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7am – 3.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am – 3.30pm.