Anyone would think Joseph Hyde was running for office, so dedicated is their effort to keeping everyone happy. Can’t eat meat, dairy or wheat? This Potts Point café goes beyond the solitary vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free option that some places begrudgingly add as an afterthought, and offers plenty of inspired dishes instead – from spiced carrot waffles to hash brown stacks that can be accessorised to meet your dietary needs. Feel like a Negroni, Aperol Spritz or chenin blanc at 10am? Joseph Hyde will deliver your boozy hit with no judgments. Aiming for something more virtuous? Well, how about a glass of cold-pressed carrot and apple with turmeric and ginger or a leafy green juice? And if you’re chasing a caffeine buzz, the punchy Double Roasters custom blend is served every way you can think of – even as an espresso with tonic water.
Perhaps this all-in-one convenience shouldn’t be a surprise as Joseph Hyde is run by a pro – this is the fourth café for Lou Hunt, and she’s a veteran at pleasing the brunch crowd (as previous ventures Orto Trading Co and Baffi & Mo proved). You won’t see her posting dockets on Instagram, loudly complaining about diners with dietary requests – instead she’s a menu ninja who has engineered every dish to easily adapt to any restriction. The poke bowl with Japanese furikake seasoning and edamame can be turned vegan with avocado switched in for cured trout. The ultra-crunchy potato hash – sandwiching lemon-dressed rocket and cherry tomatoes – is not only gluten-free, but can be ordered with vego-friendly asparagus and poached egg. And while the excellent carrot cake waffle is so pretty it deserves a Hollywood screen test (the ribbons of carrot and edible flowers are especially good looking), it’s also safe for coeliacs and even vegans (if requested without the mascarpone on top). Made with coconut milk, grated carrot, mixed nuts and some sprinklings from the spice rack (cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice), the waffle tastes like gingerbread hitting on carrot cake. Order it.
And if you thought the menu is accommodating, wait until you encounter the staff. Ask them for tomato sauce to go with your fries and they’ll also present you with Sriracha mayo as a chip-dipping extra. (The fries are attached to a notable burger, made with topside beef, Monterey Jack cheese, housemade apple-chipotle relish, jalapeño and pickles.) Waiters will also kindly offer blankets as a defence against the cold laneway that Joseph Hyde is located in.
The café has taken over the semi-outdoor spot that once housed Wilmer and Wilbur’s Place and it is blessed with the neighbourhood charm of its predecessors. Even the name has local cred – Joseph Hyde Potts, who arrived in Australia in 1816, was one of the first employees of the Bank of NSW (now known as Westpac) and was cashed up enough to buy the land that is now known as Potts Point. He loaned money throughout his career; now he lends his name to an excellent addition to Sydney’s café scene.