It is with great regret that I concede that we all have to be honest with ourselves, every now and again anyway. I don't want to shock you or anything, really I don't. So sit down and brace yourself for a big one. As it turns out, it kind of sort of seems that I just might perhaps on occasion be a wee bit of a... yuppie. A yuppie. Oh, God, can you imagine? Well, I said it. Said that Awful Dirty Y Word. I feel as though I only ought to whisper it very low and check over my shoulder before I do. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with yuppies myself, I think we're shiny, lovely, empty, well dressed, great examples of trifling humanity - but the yuppie pride movement is still definitely a few decades away (at least). We're still a bit of a persecuted lot, it's true, we have to hide behind our soy green coffee lattes, our pricey woolen ponchos and our seriously overpriced mustard in this crazy little thing called life. Yuppiekind needs a break. Damn it!
And as such, I offer a wonderful tip of where you can get your wild and wanton yuppie on all in the comfort of a single Blue Mountains block - now you will have to travel up the M4 and through Penrith, but you can always pull the windows on your Beamer up and pump your surround sound and AC. So, CakeKnifeYuppieHeads, put your expensive jeans and designer sunglasses on and drop Juan the poodle off at doggie daycare - we're heading to Leura. We are. And after you've browsed in Megalong Books and bought something on modern art that you'll never even open again but will put on the coffee table for guests to see, after you've popped into Whisk and purchased a ceramic French cooking pot, after you've snagged some dark chocolate truffles and orange spiced coverture hot chocolate from Josophans - walked passed all those gimmicky tourist brekkie traps the time is here and the time is true for heading into Leura's true and tireless cafe stellar: Stockmarket Cafe.
Ah. Stockmarket. I have been coming to Leura with family, friends and Dan for years just to eat here. Right here. Right here in this tiny, wooden rustic coffee-sandwich-cake spot. It is always wafting with exactly the sort of aromas that say it's the weekend: strong coffee and freshly baked bread. With a Tetsuya trained chef as the genius behind this cosy cafe, the myriad of magic on each and every plate should be no surprise whatsoever, yet still, it is.
The menu is painful: lusciously toasted panini such as the leg ham, tomato, gruyere w dijon and wild rocket or open rye sandwiches dancing with chargrilled chicken, tomato, lettuce basil + lemon chive mayo and homemade pies enough to make a yuppie yelp. We started with the roasted vegetable stack drizzled w yoghurt dressing. Well, it wasn't drizzled as such because (like any good yuppie) I asked for the sauce on the side. Beautiful seasonal vegetables, gorgeously oiled and voluptuously gentle: the mushroom was simply intergalactic. So fresh and woody and deep. Twirling vibrant green asparagus through the creamy-cool white dressing was beautiful. This dish was stunningly more than the sum of it's parts - it relies on nothing trickier than amazingly good produce paired well. If it's a little light for your palate, never fear. Meet the dish that Danny loves as much as me...
Stockmarket's famous BLAT - a saucingly sandwichy saga of bacon, lettuce, tomato + avocado w chive mayo (and if, you so choose - a fried egg). Bitching bacon, aching bacon, simply foresakenly baconly grilled in salty-crunch-fat-searing raging against shards of lettuce and dollops of pale green cream-cool avocado with whispers of chive-mayo'ed tomato all bundled for eternity within a beguiling poppy seed speckled toasted turkish. This BLAT is the stuff of urban yuppie legend. You hear about BLAT's this good all the time but you never really try one. If you only came to Stockmarket once and if you only ever ordered one thing, even if you're a Muslim vegan, make it this BLAT. It exists in a world of pure poppy spangled joy, beyond regret, cholesterol and calories. Become one with a Stockmarket BLAT and your life will suddenly start making sense to you again.
Shoestring fries w fresh rosemary and aioli (and mustard and yoghurt dipping sauce if you ask, nicely, for them). Oh my lord. These are the sort of chips to make you cross your legs. They're Stockmarket blue chip chippe stocks. They are burning and brilliant and entirely alive. Crunchy and golden and fired in a beautiful, quality oil, starry with sea salt and dancing in waves of burnt rosemary. They are light and crunchy-salted divinity. Dunk into dijon, absolve in aioli and yield them to yoghurt. Perfectly pretty painting pots of colour and flavour for your delectable hot chip canvas. These are some of Sydney's best chips. They're so elegant and refined but still everything you want a hot chip to be. They're stout, sure, crispy and true, none of those soggy, sorry chip-bastards that go all weak-kneed and wilted when you try to pick and dip them. No, these are like potato soldiers going bravely into battle inside your mouth. Salute them.
And salute the moroccan lamb pie w orange infused yoghurt, salad + fries. If you can say no to the chicken and leek with house made chutney, this is your other pie-hole bound pie option. Bold and steaming and gorgeously poppy seeded, full of deep, intense colour spiked flavour. Oh Pie God, you'll be chuffed. Healthier people who still pack a raging appetite would do incredibly well to go with...
...the open rye egg salad deluxe. A salad cyclone of sorts, this is a truly imposing structure of peppered boiled egg and fresh lettuce avocado capsicum spanish onion cucumber beetroot tasty cheese and tomato. Furiously, ragingly fresh but not at all dry, the rich avocado sliced cheese and egg give a beautiful, collapsing, comforting mouthfeel to all of that fresh, cool, calm and collected cucumberish crunch. Add the slight warm-sourness of a gloriously baked rye and you have whimsical wow on a plate.
Factor in solid coffee, a range of teas to inspire both the hippies and the yuppies alike and sweet sticky treats that we were entirely too full to even contemplate on this day, and you have the perfect saturday or sunday morning experience. Try and snag the VIP-like window nook which can seat four (or just a romantic two), pull up with the paper, a magazine, a great book or a yuppie ipad 2 and just linger as long as you possibly can - if you're a good yuppie and you did your pilates in the morning, where else could you possibly have to be?
The Stockmarket Cafe happens at 179 Leura Mall, Leura. Phone 4784 3121. Open Daily from 7am - 2pm. This place is everything a cafe should be, it's one of the few places that I still go to years on. Somehow they have never dropped the ball and the quality has stayed as amazing as it did that first time I tried it. There are wonderful eggy breakfasts, pizzas and enchantingly rustic soup specials that will keep you coming back even once you think you've tried everything. Because Stocmarket doesn't have a view out the back, tourists tend to pass it by which makes it even more of a treasure for knowing locals. It's always busy but still private - even at the long communal table. The service is always warm and friendly, mountain people are usually lovely.
The Stockmarket cafe at Leura. This is the only Stockmarket that involves no gamble whatsoever and gives you guaranteed returns every single time: absolute and consistent foodie satisfaction, always, sideways and forever.