Spiced chai $3.90
It's funny how whenever I drive past the old Weston's biscuit factory in Camperdown, I can still smell that delicious aroma of biscuits baking, a combination of heated butter, sugar and flour drenching the air with golden brown caramelisation. The factory no longer makes biscuits of course--it closed down in 2003--but those memories from childhood, of basking in that heavy fog of biscuit heaven, and then slowly, reluctantly, leaving them behind, makes me hungrily wistful whenever I am in the area.
So, too, does biscuit reverie take place on Parramatta Road near the old Arnott’s factory in Strathfield. There was always a deep intake of breath as we drove past, a futile attempt to capture so much smell that perhaps one could pretend we were actually eating those fresh baked biscuits.
Today the Arnotts factory site has been converted to a community precinct of cafes, restaurants, shops and offices known as the Bakehouse Quarter. It's a fairly clever blending of old factory warehouses alongside new but complementary buildings, a commendable achievement given that some buildings date back to 1904.
We stop in for a late breakfast at Bar Biscotti, and given the proximity to lunchtime we go for an all-out feast.
The Big Biscotti $16.50
Egg, bacon, tomato, mushroom, sausage & hash brown
served with toast, bottled juice & coffee or tea
The Big Biscotti is not for the faint-hearted. There's enough protein here to feed a football team. The sunny-side up eggs are perfectly cooked and there are plenty of tasty mushrooms. Sausages, which are often a mealy fatty type of travesty when it comes to cooked breakfasts, are surprisingly meaty. They are lean and full of flavour, perhaps a bit too much for this time of day with their pork and fennel overtones.
Grilled chicken breast $11.00
Served with sautéed spinach and mushroom in a Napoletana sauce
Grilled chicken breast is simple but nourishing. A slab of chicken with just enough golden blush to its cheeks, sits on a bed of baby spinach leaves, just-cooked mushrooms and a Napoletana sauce coloured a brilliant ruby red.
Vegetarian breakfast $12.90
Poached egg with hollandaise sauce, sauteed spinach, mushroom,
hash brown and haloumi cheese served with toast
I opt for the vegetarian breakfast which is not modest by any means. Two poached eggs are painted with stripes of hollandaise, and there's a forest of mushrooms, a grilled roma tomato and a grassy knoll of sauteed spinach too. Two wedges of haloumi are browned both sides, and although my hash brown is forgotten, a quick check with the kitchen has it rectified within five minutes.
Sweet breakfast options include banana bread, blueberry bagels, pancakes, french toast and fruit salads. They also do foccacias, melts and pastas for those with bigger appetites.
There are plenty of biscuits, tarts and slices in the dessert cabinet but for some reason I'm craving a Milk Arrowroot with butter and a tall glass of milk.
Building B, Tenancy 1
24 George Street, North Strathfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9746 7333
Monday to Friday 7am-5pm
Aerial map (very cool)
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6/17/2006 10:06:00 pm