The Bathers Pavilion
Owned by internationally acclaimed Canadian chef Serge Dansereau, The Bathers Pavilion offers a modern eating experience while taking in the peaceful views of Balmoral Beach. Opened in 1929, the pavilion includes a café, bar, private dining rooms, an a la carte restaurant and a beach kiosk. Dansereau is considered one of the pioneers in the ‘fresh food movement’, an approach that he still retains by sourcing his ingredients from local producers. The menu features unique and healthy Australian and Mediterranean fare, while the wine list includes bottles from many excellent small vineyards. Archibald Prize winning artist Kerry Lester’s paintings of Balmoral are featured on the covers of the menus. Located 15 minutes away from the city centre, The Bathers Pavilion creates an unbeatably relaxing environment, enhanced by stunning views and friendly service.
The Bathers Pavilion, Balmoral Beach, Balmoral, Australia, +61 2 9969 5050
At the age of 24, Bill Granger decided to drop out from university and open his first café, Bills in Darlinghurst. Imbued with a genuine passion for food and a love for the laid-back Australian way of life, Bills has been constantly delivering great fare in friendly surroundings ever since, and the efforts have paid off, turning the self-taught chef into a celebrity – with his many TV shows, cookbooks and six restaurants. The original communal tables with the classic ricotta hotcakes and sweetcorn fritters are still there for a new generation to enjoy.
Bills, 433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia, +61 2 9360 9631
Bills, 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia, +61 2 9360 4762
The Book Kitchen
It is hard for any restaurant, bar or café to survive in the trendy Surry Hills, where competition in the hospitality business is fierce. The recently renovated The Book Kitchen first opened in 2010 and has become a favourite of local residents. The owners’ concept behind the little café is to create a community space for people to gather and enjoy a homey eating experience by providing good quality and sustainable produce. The venue has welcoming outdoor and indoor seating, a communal dining table and a collection of food-related books on the walls.
A contemporary inspiration from the common Australian milkbars of the 50s, this cute little café is adorned with a pink front door, pastel coloured dining rooms, booth-seating in gelato hues and sweets everywhere. Daisy’s Milkbar brings a fresh touch to the weekend breakfast, where friendly and hip staff serve traditional milkbar fare with a modern twist . Oreo cookie and Milo Milkshakes, banana splits, ice creams with salted caramel sauce and lavish sundaes are featured on the menu alongside more traditional brunch favourites and savouries. There is a ‘lemonade stand’ in the corner with complementary cordial and fruit water, and lolly bags filled with old-fashioned sweeties to take home, in addition, the owners prepare specials every weekend.
Daisy’s Milkbar, 340 Stanmore Road, Petersham, Sydney, Australia, +61 2 8065 3466
This new café has attracted a lot of attention since it opened its doors a couple of years ago. The brainchild of James Naylor, who previously ran Le Monde in Surry Hills, and Anthony Svilicich, Excelsior Jones brings cool vibes to Ashfield. Opened seven days a week, the fairly new joint caters for breakfast – available all day on weekends – and lunch. It won the love of the local community through its creative dishes, like pork hock hash with poached eggs, the energizing interiors filled with natural light coming through the big windows, and also for being a perfect place to take children along since it has a designed kids’ menu.
Excelsior Jones, 39A Queen Street , Ashfield, Sydney, Australia, + 61 9799 3240
Glass walls, glass room dividers, mirrors and impressive glasses holding 10,000 bottles of wine are some of the features adopted by New York interior designer Toni Chi to turn Glass Brasserie into a spectacular crystal palace. Located in the Sydney Hilton, the 240-seat brasserie is run by head chef Luke Mangan, whose simple and contemporary approach to food guarantees a luxurious fine dining experience in the heart of the city. A lazy weekend breakfast is definitely a treat both for the eyes and for the appetite; diners can choose between the buffet or the simple but delicious a la carte menu.
Madame Frou Frou
Maybe it is because it is filled with exciting bars and restaurants, because of its interesting vintage shops and second-hand bookstores, or because its proximity to the University, but whatever it is, there’s something about Glebe that makes it such a great area to kick back and relax on a Sunday. Among the favourite local brunch spots, the always-busy Madame Frou Frou encapsulates the essence of Glebe: understated but warm, it serves simple but delicious brunch classics (with super coffee from the St ALi’s family) and it has an quirky vibe all its own.
Madame Frou Frou, 381 Glebe Point Road, Sydney, Australia, + 61 2 8041 1701
Chefs Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman joined forces with with Berri Eggert to open Pinbone in an old cottage in Woollahra. The team, already famous for their attentiveness in selecting their ingredients and for their experimental dinners, blends comfort food with modernity in their brunch menu, which is available all day on Sundays. Alongside appetizing classics, the menu has interesting sandwiches and salads. While the kitchen seems to be all for experimentation, eclecticism and some serious cooking, the décor is understated; the combination of the two makes dining at Pinbone an interesting and fun experience.
Pinbone, 3 Jersey Road, Woollahra, Sydney, Australia, +61 2 9328 1600
Yellow is the new venture by acclaimed chef Brent Savage and Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, who already made a name for themselves by founding the wine bar Monopole and the elegant Bentley Restaurant. Yellow is inspired by European dining and, compared to the other two venues, it offers a more casual environment. The brunch menu aims at combining dishes from the European bistro tradition with modern Australian favourites, such as the sweet-savoury liquorice bread and potato pancake with smoked ocean trout & tallegio.
Yellow, 57-59 Macleay Street , Potts Point, Sydney, Australia, + 61 2 9332 2344
Vaucluse House Tearooms
Ideal for quiet and peaceful brunch with family and friends, Vaucluse House Tearooms is surrounded by the picturesque gardens of the historical Vaucluse House. Visitors have the option to dine in the outdoor terrace or inside the art deco building. Vaucluse House initially belonged to the Wentworth family and it is now managed by Sydney Living Museums.The exquisite tearooms cater for breakfast, lunch and dinner,, with all the dishes prepared by using handpicked ingredients from the estates’ garden and from their farm. Brunch can be accompanied by a high tea or a bloody Mary.
Vaucluse House Tearooms, Vaucluse House, Vaucluse, Australia, +61 2 9388 8188
By Silvia Buonpadre