Surry Hills has an amazing array of foodie holes for dining as well as picking up ingredients. In amongst them I had read quite a few positive reviews for Café Mint and their Middle Eastern-influenced menu. So, on a day that he had off work, Monsieur Poisson and I decided to go and try – what else, but – their breakfast menu! (Do you notice a trend emerging?) We were swayed by the Middle Eastern menu to sample something a little different from our usual breakfast fare.
Parking is always a bit trying along Crown Street in Surry Hills, but the problem we had was not quite that – we couldn’t find Café Mint and had unknowingly driven past it three times without seeing it! The shop front is wood-panelled in a medium shade that lacks eye-catching signage and is a little dwarfed by the awnings of adjacent shops. The shop space is narrow; however it doesn’t feel too cramped inside. Rather, it is cosy and conducive to casual conversation befitting an intimate café. The silver ceiling fans spinning overhead add a relaxing retro touch.
We order coffee and, although I’m happy with flat white, Monsieur Poisson feels his café latte has a bit too much foam and is bordering on being a cappuccino.
We’ve ordered the Turkish breakfast which has two fingers of grilled haloumi with a beautiful golden crust balanced atop half a roast tomato alongside a boiled egg cut open in half, spinach sprinkled with sesame seeds, a selection of olives and za’atar toasted pide. The haloumi is grilled to squeaky-centred perfection and is contrasted by the almost caramel roast tomato and smooth boiled egg. The spinach leaves my mouth a bit chalky as per usual but is a welcome break from the salty olives (Monsieur Poisson doesn’t eat olives so lucky me!). The toast is light due to the absence of being weighed down by butter and is covered in fragrant herby and spicy flavours. Four slices of the crusty, spongy stuff is more than plenty, even for a bread-lover like myself.
Next up is the bacon, ricotta, avocado and tomato with Turkish toast – I was actually surprised by the appearance of bacon as I didn’t expect there to be pork on the menu. And, to be honest, I would have happily had this dish vegetarian as there was a generous pile of fluffy ricotta and about a third of an avocado to squish onto two large slices of toasted pide. Along with almost a whole tomato sliced raw, the dish was creamy and filling without feeling greasy.
We sit for a bit longer, watching the vast selection of locals wander past. Two well-groomed elderly ladies come in, are seated near us and have a bottle of chilled white wine opened for them. That’s when we realise we must be having a rather late breakfast or that these lovely ladies are getting into the swing of things very, very early!
Tel: (02) 9319 0848
Opening Hours: Mon 7am-5pm (breakfast & lunch)
Tues & Wed 7am-5pm (breakfast & lunch)
Thurs-Sat 7am-5pm (breakfast & lunch)
Sat 8am-5pm (breakfast until 3pm only)