Sub-Station Café is powering Alexandria with coffee and a fancy cheese sambo.
A few years ago a number of decommissioned power stations were sold off around Sydney. As these squat brick buildings sat on modest sized blocks in some of the most sought after real estate in the city they quickly were transformed into itty bitty homes, snug offices and compact studios. But it was up to husband and wife team Orit and Ram Stern to turn one into a café to power the people with snacks, not volts.
You’ll find Sub-Station in the food and drink friendly pocket of Alexandria that counts Cipro, Bread and Circus and Campos amongst its prized tenants. From the outside it looks just like any other civil serving power station, but inside it has had an extreme makeover. All the electric gadgetry has been replaced by a busy open kitchen and a sturdy window bar that is regularly occupied by the local police rescue officers, fortifying themselves for a day of saving lives with warm spinach and fetta pastry fingers.
The space is tiny so a wall of succulents and herbs in the shaded courtyard, vintage newspaper advertisements for David Jones and Lowes and light fixtures fitted into old mattress springs is about all the decoration they have room for. Everything else is needed for cooking and sitting.
If you like to assemble your breakfast like an edible meccano set get the Sub Station breakfast plate. It’s a feather-light take on a cooked breakfast with poached free-range eggs hemmed in by a little dish of ricotta, baby spinach, tomato wedges, thick-cut ham off the bone and soy and linseed toast. It’s filling without being weighty but lacks impact without relish or sauce.
Sure, you could go the easy route and order the bacon and egg roll fancied up with avocado, spinach and tomato, but where’s the adventure in that? Especially when a quick flip of the menu will reward you with a goat cheese sandwich that will change the way you see cheese sarnies forever. This one sports generous daubs of rich, creamy Meredith Dairy goat’s cheese, sweet roasted pumpkin, grilled ribbons of zucchini and spinach leaves.
They bake a lot of their snack foods on site, including ham and rosemary scrolls and strawberry crumble muffins but they leave the finicky stuff to local experts, which means a Luxe lemon tart is also yours for the asking (and eating.)
Too early for food? They punch out satiny espressi from the Single Origin Roasters house blend, or if it’s high noon and hot milk isn’t pushing your buttons, the iced coffee is a frosty shot with vanilla ice cream to cushion the blow.
The loss of sub-Station 152 from the grid doesn’t appear to have interrupted our electricity supply one jot, so from here on in we’d like our sub-stations in café, not conductor, form.
|Venue name:||Sub-Station Cafe||Contact:|
124 McEvoy St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 6.30am-4pm; Sat 8am-4pm|