A progressive brunch for the Café of the Year Award

I once read that Rick Stein noted the strong brunch culture in Australia and I would have to agree – Australian’s LOVE their brunch, especially on weekends, and enjoyed at any time of the day. It has to be both the Husband’s and my favoured meal/style of food, and the most oft-seen meal on this blog. Brunch is a little bit special, a little bit indulgent and, most of all, about being relaxed and without time constraints.

So where to for brunch? It may be the newest, trendy “it” café with queues as far as the eye can see, or it may be a stone’s throw from your doorstep where you’re recognised by the staff. Everyone has a favourite café, but that may change depending on mood, weather, tiredness and proximity. Cafés are found in pretty much every suburb and competition is fierce, so the inaugural Australian Café of the Year Award is a great way for your café to make their mark especially if they are a low-key local haunt rather than the latest buzz.

The Café of the Year Award began its life in New Zealand a couple of years ago and has seen winners go from a local secret to acclaimed fame. Sponsored by Heinz and Don in Australia, any café could enter by creating a dish featuring ingredients from the sponsors. The downside is that cafés exclusively using other brands were precluded from competition, but the upside is that smaller, unknown venues who would otherwise not receive any mention were in with a chance.

PPR kindly invited a few hungry stomachs to try 3 café entrants in and around Sydney’s CBD. Admittedly I hadn’t heard of any of them and sadly none of these made the finalists list. That’s not something that should stop anyone from trying them out though, coz you never know what hidden gems you may uncover.

Bar Milazzo
A CDB haunt with lots of corporate suit-types, this place is perfect for people watching and tuning out from the area’s hustle and bustle. Their entry into the compeition was a tomato baked eggs with sausage and toast.

Berkelouw Books, Paddington
A café set on the upstairs level of a bookstore – a definite escape within the city! It’s quiet and tranquil and, for me, time stands still when browsing books (and stationery). Check out the late opening hours below, which would for a great location to sit and chat over coffee.

Their entry was also a tomato baked eggs with sausage, but with beans added to the mix.

Panama House, Bondi
We’re heading into hipster territory here. Panama House’s cosy shop space has a formidable bar, housemade chilli chutneys and more. Their entry dish was a panko-crusted, corned beef hash topped with runny fried egg and the standout dish of the day.

All entrants were open to voting by the public, which saw the number whittled down to 21 finalists with 3 from each Australian region. Check out the finalists and see if your favourite café made the list. If not, you should be visiting them more often and telling everyone about it! You can also see what the fuss is about at the venues who did make the finals. (As an ex-Shire girl, I’m excited to see a café down that way as 1 of the 3 NSW/ACT finalists!)

Mademoiselle Délicieuse dined at the above cafés courtesy of Professional Public Relations Australia.

21 Bridge St (cnr Gresham St), Sydney  NSW
Tel: (02) 9252 7355

Opening Hours:  Mon-Fri             6:30am-5pm
                        Sat & Sun         CLOSED

19 Oxford St (cnr Verona St), Paddington  NSW
Tel: (02) 9360 3200

Opening Hours:  Sun-Thurs         9:30am-10pm
                        Fri & Sat           9:30am-11pm

251 Bondi Rd (cnr Boonara Ave), Bondi  NSW
Tel: (02) 9365 0839

Opening Hours:  7 days  7am-late

happy eating!


  1. Who doesn't love a good baked eggs dish? But that runny egg on the corned beef hash looks so good

  2. Hadn't heard of this comp before either, but woohoo I hope you all liked eggs on this tour. lol

  3. Love a good brunch! That panko crumbed corned beef hash has my serious attention.

  4. I love brunch! Need to try Berkelouw Books, Paddington... that's just around the corner from me.

  5. Brunch is definitely my favourite weekend ritual :)


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