Whole grains and green smoothies double-dose you with nutrients and smug achievement first thing in the morning, but there’s something to be said for the satisfaction of treating yourself to a breakfast whose only concern is being delicious, even if it takes an unholy amount of butter to get there. This appears to be the attitude at Bellevue Cottage by Antoine, the very French café and restaurant that has taken up residence in a beautifully restored heritage building along the Glebe foreshore.
Nutritional value is not the reason you order butter preserved lemon spanner crab over golden scrambled eggs, served atop a brioche with maple bacon and watercress, nor is it the motivation behind a dessert-for-breakfast order of paper-thin crêpes perfumed with orange zest and folded Marie Kondo-style into wedges to be served with a housemade mango jam and yet more butter.
Start your day on a high so that a parking ticket or a dropped lunch will struggle to tarnish the sparkle conferred by a bowl of pillow-light folded eggs (somewhere between a scramble and a omelette and ludicrously rich) that is doing a aristocratic take on a cowboy breakfast with caramelised onions, green peas, barley, soft tangles of white cabbage, bronzed bacon, cress and two slices of very good toast sticking out of the bowl like bunny ears. It’s straight from the Julia Childs playbook, a vessel of intense, salty, rich and earthy flavours that’s a Gallic two-fingered salute to every smoothie bowl in town.
You might not even realise this restaurant exists unless you are a card-carrying member of the Inner West puppercino parade, but the people who walk their dogs along the waterfront are fully subscribed to the delights of coffee out on the terrace for views out onto Blackwattle Bay.
They don’t take bookings for breakfast, and lunch begins firmly at noon when piscean eggs replace avian on a menu that reads like something from the Palace of Versailles: oysters, caviar, steak tartare, parfait, bouillabaisse and truffle mash. They’ll even flambé your crêpes with a citrus-spiked lug of Grand Marnier for six dollars.
A recent global survey found that Sydneysiders do the most exercise out of any city, but if your idea of a perfect morning is sitting in the shade of a historic terrace waiting on a freshly baked twin-set of madeleines with brown butter, this is a great place to watch other people run, ride and row while you eat cake.