Near-unbeatable coffee and an all-day breakfast menu unlike any other elevate this 1920s Art Deco-inspired Five Senses/40 Hands/Spa Esprit Group mash-up to greatness. The frenetic eight-metre-long bar crawls with all creeds of coffee devotees rhapsodising about the rotating range of single origin brews, but it’s the uncommonly good brunch classics done with a twist that we can’t get enough of – the Common Man Full Breakfast ($27) sees back bacon, tomatoes, sausages, rosti and scrambled eggs on toast topped with housemade chorizo baked beans, portobello mushrooms and sour cream laced with mint. It sums up this café: hearty, honest and hella hefty.
And those qualities extend well beyond the all-day breakfasts into the lunch menu (available from 11am-5.30pm). For something less meaty, we say dive right into the seared salmon salad ($26), forks at the ready. We know what you’re thinking: ‘What?! A salad?’ But bite into a creamy chunk of fish – still rare in the middle – and chase that with a wasabi vinaigrette-coated Japanese cucumber roll or a crumb of fish crackling and you’ll be humming a different tune. That the whole plate is bigger than your face helps justify its admittedly steep price.
Elsewhere on the menu, you have your wagyu burgers ($29), squid bolognese orichiette ($28) and, for the vegans, a cold soba salad with green papaya, toasted seeds and asparagus ($19).