Breakfast has, and always will be, my favourite meal to eat out. Going out for dinner and going out for lunch is great, but going out for breakfast is just that much more decadent. Having worked as a waitress, breakfast is always a different time in a cafe, its much more personal. Its when regulars come in, sit on their own with their papers or their thoughts, you usually know their order by heart, its the same every day, a lovely modern ritual in an age where we dont really ever slow down. You come to know these people well, even though there may never utter more than a shy good morning and request their choice off the menu. You do know them, through their mannerisms, how they have their coffee or tea, the way they sit and the way they wait for their food to arrive. Cafes are like what I imagine churches to have once been, a place where people come to offload who they are and just contemplate. Going to breakfast also reminds me of my dad, who would often take me out to a cafe before school. It always felt like beautiful time stolen, and it still does.
Besides food, Tatsu and I have very little in common. That doesn't stop either of us from doling out advice or telling the other one how to live, but we usually have the good sense to do it over something yummy. Id been complaining to him for a while that there were no places in Sydney for a really good breakfast, he kept mentioning F and B. The name sounded ridiculous, but he has always been someone i defer to on where to eat, and again, he was proven right.
The coffee, to begin with, is perfect, never too bitter, its a nutty and smooth blend. The tea is divine, im not sure what brand they use, but they infuse it in reverse osmosis water, which makes it a very pure infusion without any of that metallic taste of tea made with dodgy water. It comes in an old school/high brow tea pot which i love. They also serve only bonsoy, which is one of the standards i usually judge a place by. Any other soy milk not only has a vile beany taste but also wreaks havoc on hormone systems, especially for females. Bonsoy tastes quite like caramel and the whole soy bean is used in its production, not only the isolate as in most other commercial brands. It also follows macrobiotic principles by adding seaweed to the process of making it, as soy inhibits thyroid production and seaweed speeds it up, its a very balanced product, especially if you cant tolerate dairy. Good cafes know that its the only soy milk to serve for flavour, any other milk usually defiles a great tea or coffee blend.
The breakfast: melt in the mouth croque monseuir with the crusts cut off, made with bechemel cheese and toasted very thin, my boyfriend is in love with these to the point where he will actually be lured out of bed on a weekend morning by prospect of one. The eggs, scrambled and poached, are spot on. There's alot of raving about Bills scrambled eggs, but i find them way too heavy and creamy, these are rich without being over powering. The mushrooms, spinach and pork and fennel sausages i usually order with them are the perfect complement. The French toast, muffins and banana cake are also great examples of sweeter offerings. They get desserts right by never making them too sweet, too much sugar usually kills all the other flavours off, it doesnt allow the delicacy of the other ingredients to come through. Mum, who is diabetic and hates sickly sweet sweets like i do, finds the muffins here beautiful and light.
This place gets it all right, the ambience is great, cosy and energetic and the service is flawless. Even my cranky father loves it. Ive tried dinner and lunch here and loved them both. Finally somewhere that is stylish, moorish and has a reputation that is so well deserved. There are some funny dirty limmericks written into the wallpaper in the loo that are also worth checking out. The music they usually play is great as well, usually indiealternativesomethingorrather
Im actually doing a fast at the moment and have been to F and B twice this weekend without eating or drinking a thing, the torture of it all is unimaginable, its masochism on a level i cant even explain. If you havent been to this place youve got to try it, on your own or with friends. Its my current high temple of culinary perfection. I havent ordered a thing off the menu i havent loved, the people here clearly care about quality and take food seriously, and all of this with no pretension whatsoever.
Forbes and Burton at 252 Forbes Street Darlinghurst (thanks aimee)
T: 02. 9356 8788