Rosebud, a relative newbie sitting on the old About Life site on Darling Street. This restaurant-slash-bar-slash-café is one of many jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of the new NSW licensing laws – meaning it's a café by day and wine bar/restaurant by night.
The large airy space certainly looks like the perfect place for a breezy brunch, and espresso-heads will be happy to discover that Rosebud churns out a particularly good latte. A combination of long, Bills-esque communal dining tables as well as cosy tables for two and banquettes for bouncy toddlers fill the warehouse-style space, and exposed wiring completes the vibe.
While the all-day breakfast looks appealing, we're lured by promise of more exotic fare. The lunch menu and blackboard specials trot the globe with the likes of spaghetti vongole, lamb shanks and that café staple we'd thought had left the building in the late 90s, chermoula. Here, it's crusted on flathead fillets. The whitebait and mint fritters lose something in translation and instead of fresh, flavoursome crisp pucks of tiny wee fish, they're disappointingly stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth gluey – it's only a tasty garlic and yoghurt dipping sauce that saves this dish. The mezze platter is more promising, with a generous serving of classic Lebanese fare: lamb shish, pickles and falafel. Big props go to the falafel with its green, soft interior hidden beneath a crisp brown crust. The shish has the aromats right (garlic, cumin and coriander) but the old bugbear of forgetting to salt the food seems to plague this restaurant, too.
Great café vibe, killer coffee and a family-friendly Inner West destination.
654 Darling St
|Opening hours:||Lunch Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 8am-4pm; Dinner Wed-Sat 6pm-late.|