Alex Harmon uncovers another killer cafe, this time in Erskineville...
As a knock-out pop up last year, it was no doubt that Erskine Villa would be here to stay. Serving up the most inventive brunch menu this side of King Street, this café is bold without being weird… for the sake of being weird. “It definitely has the eclectic-ness of Erskineville,” says owner, and longtime local, Ken Cheung, “which has traditionally been a melting pot area of ideas, creativity and different cultures.”
Take for instance the Autumn Congee ($17.50), which isn’t your standard rice porridge, but one made with slow cooked salmon, puffed wild rice and crunchy granola.
Or there's the Coffee Rubbed Black Angus Skirt Steak ($22.50) served on a deep-fried waffle, with bacon, onion sauce, and a fried egg.
I can’t decide if this is the perfect hangover cure, or if the Poutine ($17) should be offered the job? With fries, housemade black pudding, curry sauce, cheese, and a 63 degree egg, it’s a sophisticated but hearty twist on the Canadian classic.
Of course if you call it brunch, it's never too early for a Young Henry’s or a Bloody Mary ($17). The Erko version is made with Bombay Sapphire, and is sweet and spicy enough to jolt you back to life. If not, there's coffee by Little Marionette that will do the trick.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s not just comfort food, the Chia & Black Rice Pudding ($12.50) with poached rhubarb, yoghurt, and candied pistachio makes for an upbeat breakfast - or a glutton’s dessert.
With a Rose & Lychee Soda ($7), it’s a party. This diner is one for the foodies but will no doubt bring the hipsters, check out their events listings while you're there as Ken tells me he is throwing “some cool events with local creatives”.
63 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
Ph: (02) 9517 3957