[invite] Bianca: I’d been ogling the pancakes at the recently opened Cafe Claire for some time before my initial birthday visit in October. It’s a cute, blink and you’ll miss it, hole in the wall cafe in Annandale. I felt it needed a revisit with some back-up.
Owner Nat’s enthusiasm for her cafe is pretty infectious and fine detail is paid to everything – the decor is modern yet homely, the food stunning and the coffee, stellar.
While pageantry regarding serving ware might not be for everyone but I’ve really only been impressed by two places in Sydney, Auvers Cafe in Rhodes & Cafe Claire. Coffee is just coffee at the end of the day but it’s the small things that stand out. The little marble coasters and earthy ceramic cups elevating a simple everyday experience.
I’ve had two of the dishes twice now, both were consistent on each visit. The dish that drew me in initially was the Wholemeal Rose Pancake – w/walnuts, seasonal fruit, caramel & maple syrup $16. These are definitely on the daintier side of life, with three pikelet size pancakes forming a stack. These really aren’t your traditional pancakes. They’re quite dense and lacking the fluffiness of a traditional guilt-inducing pancake. In saying that, the flavour was fairly unique, with a floral undercurrent mixing well with the light maple syrup & caramel. The texture of the nuts and fresh berries tieing it all together.
I particularly enjoyed this dish last time around and it’s a good addition to break up the sweet dishes we ordered. Herb Roasted Mushroom -w/walnuts, truffled ricotta, watercress, poached egg on soy linseed $18 is a fairly hearty vego offering. The egg was perfectly poached and once broken, gloriously spread across the dish. What really made this for me was the truffled ricotta.
The next dish pulled me in on name alone. The Cheesecake French Toast – w/cream cheese, banana, seasonal fruit, almonds & maple syrup $16 was a whimsical delight, the cream cheese encompassing the ‘cheesecake aspect’. This was very decadent and it’s probably the dish you’ll order if you’re in for a sweet fix. I appreciated the toasted slithered almonds adding a depth of flavour. Had the banana been caramelised it would have gone up a few notches in my books (as it was, the banana was a little tough in the centre).
And lastly, Benita in his quest to shred to 10% body fat, went the healthy route with the Ham, Cheese & Tomato Toastie $8 with generous thick slices of bread. A good toastie done right.
It’s a cute little spot for a light breakfast, coffee was reliable both visits and the sweets cabinet, all made in-house is worth the visit alone. The Peanut Butter & Popcorn cookie was incredible.
*For Food’s Sake dined as a guest of Cafe Claire.