This homely space with whitewashed walls, fringing banquettes and quirky collection of art deco pendant lights has a hint of understated celebrity about it.
As the name suggests, it is located on Avenue Road, home to some wonderful exemplars of Federation architecture, and the first proper road to be constructed in Mosman back in 1860. The pavement tables provide a good base to watch the good burghers of Mosman pass by. I was kept entertained by frighteningly mature white-clad teens collecting skinny lattes; the immaculately dressed plastic surgeon next door struggling to raise an eyebrow about the café’s seating impinging upon her egress; and the somewhat performative arrival of sports columnist Peter FitzSimons wearing his trademark red bandanna.
Marrickville’s Double Roasters scrubs up well in a Flat White ($3.50), though its bitterness means you may need to add some of that hipster sugar they have in jars on the tables.
Avoid the sweetness with their Healthy Start ($7) designer juice, made on an earthy, blend of beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger. Even a Mint Sensation ($7) combining pineapple, mint, apple and lime tastes pleasantly light on sweet.
The morning menu contains all your regular breakfast standards, from porridge and pancakes all the way to omelettes and bacon and egg rolls. A side of Bacon ($4) clues me in they care about cooking with quality stuff. The menu twist I wasn’t expecting were the unique brunch dishes that take their cue from the heritage of owner Taran Tamana, drawing flavour inspiration from across Asia and India.
With crisp, well-rendered duck, The Ave Benedict ($17) is hard to resist. Cleverly switching out English muffins for more robust sourdough, this dish combines the expected poached eggs with cauliflower, dukkah, quinoa and couscous before smothering the lot in apple cider hollandaise.
The even better Palak Eggs ($18) proves a smart update to baked eggs in tomato sauce. Using spinach, fetta, nuts, beans, slow-cooked lamb, a bright green gremolata and curry-like spicing, the Avenue Road chef makes this almost ubiquitous café dish diverse enough to be interesting until the last bite.
Avenue Road Cafe
185 Avenue Road, Mosman
Ph: (02) 9969 8999