Winner: One Another
The collection of cookbooks on the shelf at the back of this unassuming corner café boasts some pretty big names – David Chang, Bill Granger, Fergus Henderson and the Larousse Gastronomique among them – and it’s a strong indication that the crew in the compact open kitchen here has done some homework.
It becomes clear that they have, indeed, when a triumphant dish starring flowering cauliflower arrives. It’s a riot of flavours and textures: crunchy stalks, soft florets, unctuous egg yolk, chickpea pangritata, truffled pecorino cheese, a swipe of judiciously seasoned white bean purée and potatoes fried to impressively delicate crispness. A picnic-chic salad of hot-smoked ocean trout that appears once the five lunch options kick in at 11am is equally fresh and finely tuned. Everything clocks in under $20, and the menu changes almost fortnightly, but the knack for handling quality produce with utmost care remains constant. That extends to the expertly brewed Sample coffee, too.
Much like the food, the place itself has a laidback polish that never feels overworked. There’s a quiet confidence that comes across in the entire operation that gives you the sense owners Mitchell Antman and Louis Spangaro know what they’re doing, but they’re not eager to rub it in your face. In a city full of cafés that sacrifice substance for style, all too ready for their Instagram close-up, One Another is the real thing: that elusive, earnest, #nofilter neighbourhood spot that just nails it. And that’s exactly why it’s our Café of the Year in 2019.