Bianca: Leichhardt, it’s taken a few recovery years… but you’re starting to be cool again! Step in The Carpenter Cafe, a bare-bones warehouse conversion, a few minutes walk from Market Town. My grandparents lived in Leichhardt for 60+ years and I spent a good portion of my early teens working at Brumby’s Bakery on Norton St.
Its a fairly minimalistic fit-out, with the real focal point being the Mavam coffee machine built into the front bench. Coffee’s were excellent but post F45 we were in real need of some food. We were also in love with their Zuga Kosaku handmade Australian Ceramic homewares, swooooooon!
Truffle Eggs -w/scrambled eggs, black truffle salsa by Tetsuya, parsley, sourdough $12 were wonderfully velvety and creamy. Hints of truffle linger on the back notes, essentially perfuming the dish but it’s not overpowering.
Spring for the Hashbrowns (2) $5 well seasoned, fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside.
We ordered the next dish more out of interest, the Smashed Avo Croissant -w/a poached egg $14. An interesting concept but one that perhaps wasn’t overly successful for us. The croissant was buttery and flaky with an excellent crunchy exterior but the creamy avocado (which needed seasoning) texturally melded with the interior of the croissant, so it was a little mushy.
I actually hadn’t seen the menu prior to visiting so was happy to see some pancakes on the menu. The Hotcakes – Ricotta Hotcakes, seasonal fruit, fresh herbs, burnt Pepe Saya butter & Cream $17. So, the amount of sugar I’ve ingested on my recent pancake missions is bordering on the ridiculous but I’ve sampled quite a lot that Sydney has to offer and I could instantly see these were going to have some flaws. Firstly, I prefer mine thicker and fluffier, they were airy and light but had no body. There was no discernable ricotta flavour whatsoever, I adored the well developed burnt butter, which had seeped into the pancake. But this badly needed some form of sauce.
I returned a few weeks later with my foodie Squad – Steph, Jeremiah and Elva. I was a little torn as to what to order but I zeroed in slow-cooked pork shoulder pretty quickly. The Pulled Pork Roll -w/pork shoulder, gravy, chilli sauce, panini and a side of crinkle cut fries $14 had the makings of a killer dish but needed refinement. The pork was tasty, no question and I adored the soft fluffy sub roll but the chilli sauce lacked punch and it needed some sort of creamy and textural element – i.e cheese and slaw for freshness. The fries badly needed seasoning and could have been cooked a touch longer.
The Triple Cheese Toastie -w/ jack, swiss and parmesan cheese on a milk bun $8 takes comfort food to stratospheric heights. It’s everything you’d want in a portable, one-hander snack.
Service was a little haphazard on both visits, I waited at the front door for a good few minutes with staff eyeing me several times before I walked up to the front counter to ask about available tables, finished coffees and plates were left on the table for quite a chunk of time and cutlery hadn’t been topped up from the previous patrons before us.
Photos by Alex & Bianca