Suzie Q Coffee and Records

Restaurants Surry Hills
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We like the way they talk, and we sure as hell like the way they make coffee at this laneway café

They're really into music at Suzie Q. Next to the counter is a haphazard record collection from the golden days of rock and soul for sale. A shelf of staff records provides the day's soundtrack – on our visit it’s Jeff Buckley’s Grace.

Here the menus come in halved record sleeves and each item is attributed to a famous melody-maker. There’s the ‘Spanish Caravan’ (the Doors) arepa with egg and avo, ‘The Ghosts of Saturday Night’ (Tom Waits) breakfast platter, and the ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’ (Edith Piaf) granola.

It looks like these guys’ talent lies in food assembly – we reckon they’d be a dab hand at Ikea too. The breakfast platter is a gargantuan plate of food for one person and they make an even bigger version for two. Half an avocado, a boiled egg, seasoned ricotta, Kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato and lightly toasted brown bread appear on a board alongside enough smoked trout to feed a small fishing village. It also comes with prosciutto if morning seafood isn’t your thing.

Try the poached egg on an arepa if you and gluten aren't on speaking terms. Here, it's a crunchy pancakey thing made from cornmeal and water. It tastes like a Cruskit without any of the good bits. Like salt. The accompanying avocado, dill, coriander and lime goes some way to correcting the flavour deficit, but it makes a strong argument for toast.

The coffee here is by Victorian roasters Dukes. It’s smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness and you’ll find yourself staring at an empty cup before you know it. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait long for a second round. Oh, and if it’s available, order a slice of the impossibly moist Turkish orange cake, made with polenta – it's also gluten free.

When it comes to fighting those morning blues, it's all about Suzie Q. Baby, we think we love you.
Venue name: Suzie Q Coffee and Records
Address: 1/18 Hutchinson Street
Surry Hills
Opening hours: Mn-Fri 7am-4pm; Sat, Sun 8am-4pm
Price: $10-$50
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