Finally: a café in Coogee peddling more than firm scrambled eggs and heavily buttered Turkish toast. We’re doing an office-bound jig just writing this sentence
It’s a pretty little room, on the old Art Lounge site on Arden Street, just up from the beach. The communal table in the middle is comprised of a plank of wood balancing on white saw horses. Native flowers and shrubs decorate the space. The whole chilled coastal thing is extremely sympathetic to the suburb. Or at least, what the suburb should be. The café’s painted sign hangs over the open kitchen and features a fox biting a goose’s neck, which is particularly pleasing.
And the menu certainly makes all the right noises. Kedgeree, bacon and egg butties and a full English - nods to Brit-chef Neil Thompson’s heritage - appear on the menu beside Aussie cafe favourites like iced chocolates and burgers. The ex-Four in Hand pan-rattler certainly seasons like a pro. The chips with the accompanying Hulk-sized burger are perfectly crisp - almost blistered. The burger itself ($20 - eep) does the job with its soft brioche roll, massive thick rissole style patty, melted cheese, pickle, lettuce and tomato.
But what we’re really excited for is the one thing that disappoints us the most. We’re expecting soft, thick cut white bread on our bacon and egg butty, like a classic English sandwich - not fancy toasted brioche. And where’s the HP? Still, credit where it’s due: the sandwich features nice bacon, and a pretty gooey sunny side up egg.
That iced chocolate (served in a mason jar style glass - so edgy) somehow manages to be neither icy nor chocolaty, but that’s on our waiter, who looks a little lost. There’s not much to suggest his mind’s on the task at hand: he wanders around the room a couple of times with the ice cream-filled glasses before finally going back to the kitchen to finish the drinks. We almost want to get up and give him some help.
Despite the floor not quite firing on full cylinders, they’re a nice team here, and there’s a good vibe in the room. The table of burly young guys next to us orders a couple of extra plates of bacon with their lunch and the kitchen don’t even blink an eye. The coffee, supplied by Marrickville’s Double Roasters, is totally drinkable and best of all, they’re already on first name terms with plenty of the locals. We reckon Coogee’s heading in the right direction.
|Venue name:||The Little Kitchen|
275 Arden St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu, Sun 7am-4pm; Fri-Sat 7am-10pm|