With a wide corrugated iron awning that extends over the Keppel Street pavement, a leafy green outdoor arbour, and a large shopfront window that drinks in the morning light, The Hub is a pleasant spot to dine.
It’s made all the more pleasant by the warm welcome from personable owner, Nancy Natoli, who is busily working her own floor. Natoli was a manager at The Hub for five years, before taking ownership of this popular Bathurst café in January of this year.
She seats us in her popular front room, decorated with two beautiful pieces by Nicole Welch. Welch situates her art in significant Australian landscapes, taking chandeliers and other forms of illumination into bushland settings in NSW’s Central West. Welch also had an immersive video installation set over quartz rocks inside Tremains Mill during ArtState 2018, which was our reason for being in Bathurst in the first place.
Despite the fancy art, the furniture and feel of this café is more homely than hipster. The coffee beans are roasted locally by Fish River Roasters.
They went okay in a Latte ($4.40) but benefited from the Extra Shot ($0.50) we added to our Flat White ($4.40). The menu, which feels extensive for a café, covers all your basics from banana bread to corn fritters. You'll also find contemporary cafe favourites running from huevos rancheros to buddha bowls. The only drawback to my eye is that it's pricy, with their big brekkie coming in at more than thirty bucks.
However what you do get here is a strong connection to local suppliers, and I'd hope that their prices indicate they're paying them properly for their artisan wares. The bacon is by Trunkey Creek Bacon & Pork, who have their smokehouse about fifty kilometres away in Trunkey Creek, and an outlet in Orange where you can purchase their stuff. We get reacquainted with it on a tasty plate of Scrambled Free Range Eggs ($16.90) served with the aforementioned smoky pig, toasted and buttered sourdough, and a pot of tomato relish, just adding on a side of Sriracha Hollandaise ($3).
The Sweet Potato Rosti ($22.90) is even better. From a white cube of chalky fetta, to Trunkey Creek’s mild chorizo, to the fat field mushroom, to the olive and rosemary sourdough, everything that comes on this plate is premium quality and delicious. I’m also a fan of getting toast (as well as rosti) to mop up the sriracha Hollandaise, and bright yellow traces of the perfectly poached, free range eggs.
After I scrape up every last morsel of my breakfast, I feel a bit more comfortable that The Hub’s higher prices seem justified in their diligent use of the region’s best produce. I even buy myself some Trunkey Creek bacon on my journey home.
52 Keppel Street, Bathurst
Ph: (02) 6332 1565