Bona Fides, Sydney


date of visit: Saturday 13 October 2012

Barely 24 hours in Sydney saw us attend a wedding before heading to the UK, as well as find an hour or two to cram in brunch with an old friend.

We needed to eat somewhere close to our hotel and while I’d done a little research in advance we ended up stopping at an unknown quantity while on our way to somwhere else. We were wandering down Druitt Street when I spotted Bona Fides and suggested we stop there (yep, I was hungry). A small outdoor seating area down a lane by the side of the cafe meant we could park up the pram without causing too much havoc (and take the opportunity to enjoy a last little bit of sun).

This is no greasy spoon when it comes to breakfasts. I enjoyed a HUGE plate of gluten free muesli, served with yoghurt, honey and strawberries and Andy chose scrambled eggs with chorizo – rather scarily called the Brazilian Breakfast! We ordered raisin toast for the Toddler but of course he preferred the chorizo. Our friend ordered the eggs benedict.


The food was all beautifully presented – even the fruit toast was artfully arranged and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. And it did taste good. I really enjoyed the muesli – not something I’d typically order but on this occasion it absolutely hit the spot, and Bona Fides scores big points with me for serving it with plain yoghurt.

Service did the job: friendly and efficient although it did tail off a bit once we had received all our food.

My gripe is the cost. Now, I have no benchmark for breakfast/brunch in Sydney so it’s possible that this is standard but … $64 for 3 people for brunch, no booze involved?! The fruit toast alone was $5.90, while my muesli was $11.90. The two cooked breakfasts were $16 and $18. Coffees were all around the $4 mark.

A lovely breakfast but too pricey. If these are usual Sydney CBD prices I daresay the locals are more likely to head to the suburbs …

BonaFides cafe on Urbanspoon

East Terrace Continental – etc

East Terrace Continental

photo by bram_souffreau

date of visit: Sunday 26 February 2012

I was in charge of organising a weekend brunch/lunch for about 10 people. Our challenging group included at least 2 babies (and possibly more), one vegetarian and a varied collection of tastes. I was nervous when I chose East Terrace Continental as reviews on the internet were mixed.

Still, we were a group of old friends, we used to go to etc when we were at uni, and one of us was visiting from New York. I figured that things could really foul up and I’d be forgiven.

Things didn’t get off to an awesome start … I turned up and I could see no large table set up and ready with high chairs. And at midday on a Sunday you don’t turn up to etc with a big group and expect to wing it. Now etc had done the smart thing and rung me the day before to confirm (I’d had to ring back and leave a message) but I suspect I was looking pretty nervous and ticked off when the guest of honour arrived. After a fair bit of faffing around my booking was found, some customers were moved and our table was pulled together. I don’t know the extent to which this was good planning or good luck on the part of etc, but I commend the staff for their can-do attitude in sorting things out.

Table sorted, our group filtered in in dribs and drabs. etc is very casual which makes it perfect for a large group. You order and pay at the counter. This is perfect if you have people on different schedules (we did) and also if you have people who are money sensitive in any way (ahem).

Also, the cafĂ© runs a very sensible policy on breakfast – it’s served until 3:30pm (they close at 4pm). This meant that I was able to indulge in a huge smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, with asparagus, while those around me ate a proper lunch, or a sandwich, or whatever they fancied.

I certainly wouldn’t go as far to say my breakfast was the best I’ve ever had – I like my scrambled eggs really soft and these weren’t, and the asparagus was a tad under cooked, and the silly (large) size of the portion meant that everything didn’t stay as hot as might have been ideal. But really – why quibble? The feed set me back $14.50 and I would go back and order the same thing in flash. Or would I? Because there are quite a few things on the breakfast menu I fancy trying. Around me plates were cleared so I guess everyone else was happy too.

Most importantly, the coffee at etc is good!

So decent food, good coffee, not too expensive and a sizeable range of vegetarian options. We ended up staying for about 3 hours and at no point did we ever feel like they wanted to move us on (maybe we drink a lot of coffee …). Yes, etc is noisy and buzzy (and busy) but I think that’s exactly why people go there.

Ignore the internet and give it a whirl!



East Terrace Continental on Urbanspoon