It’s a wonder how there are some places so close to home yet you know nothing about them.
In Neutral Bay, down the end of a cul-de-sac, overlooking the water is such a place in Thelma & Louise Café. Nestled in a stretch of a few eateries and a hairdresser’s in an otherwise residential area, this cosy café is just past a narrow stairway which leads down to a small beach. The ocean blue interior is entirely apt for its location and there is a vintage play car hanging from the ceiling befitting the getaway of the café’s namesake characters. A display of garden gnomes, including a particular ‘cheeky’ female one, lines the shelves behind the counter of sweets where we spot some from a certain Mr Zumbo… Score a table out on the wood plank balcony under the yellow canopy – or book ahead like we did to secure one – and you’ll be treated to relaxing views of Neutral Bay dotted with yachts and the aforementioned beach.
With my professed love of brunch and with Sydney International Food Festival introducing Let’s do brunch deals this year, you know that Monsieur Poisson and I aren’t going to stop with just Café Ish. We find ourselves at Thelma & Louise Café this blustery Saturday morning not only for brunch, but also to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. And although the SIFF program has the brunch deal listed as ‘Rustic breakfast… with freshly squeezed juice and organic tea or coffee’, we are kindly informed that there is also the choice of their ‘Salmon Benedict’ as well as something else that I simply cannot remember – sorry!
We start with coffees – Monsieur Poisson with his usual caffe latte and me with my flat white. We’ve ordered one ‘Rustic Breakfast’ which comes with bacon, eggs cooked to your liking, a sausage split down the middle, grilled tomato segments and two slices of thick-cut toast – one white and the other wholemeal. This is one seriously hunger-stemming breakfast with the first thing we notice being the generous amount of bacon! The eggs are perfectly poached and there is ample toast to soak up all their flowing golden yolkiness.
Our other choice is the ‘Salmon Benedict’. The magical combination of smoked salmon, poached eggs and Hollandaise is a big weakness of mine and the version here is served with one slice each of white and wholemeal toast as with the ‘Rustic Breakfast’. It comparatively appears only half as filling as the ‘Rustic Breakfast’ but looks can be oh-so deceiving! There is a thick blanket of Hollandaise which is rich, creamy and very, very buttery. Definitely not for the faint-hearted (or those with heart problems), the sauce is without even a tinge of tartness and possibly the best I have ever tried.
When we’ve finally worked our way through our mega-brunches, we round things off with a freshly squeezed orange juice for myself and, upon recommendation, an orange, apple and ginger blend for Monsieur Poisson. The ginger is not at all overpowering, being more like a warming note at the end of each sip. The juices are sizeable but most welcome in cleansing the palate after our belly-popping brunch.
The Let’s do brunch offer is available at Thelma & Louise Café for $25 per person on weekends only during the month of October, from 7am-12pm. There are two weekends still to take advantage of this deal! Bookings are recommended, especially for coveted seating overlooking the water.
Shop 1, 1 Hayes St (right down the end of the cul-de-sac), Neutral Bay NSW
Tel: (02) 9953 7794
Opening Hours: 7 days 7am-5pm