Oh Giulia, Giulia, wherefore art thou Giulia?
Where hast thou been all my life? Sure I'd read about Cafe Giulia in various blogs and online reviews, its breakfast merits trumpeted with mirthful glee, but the legs have taken some time to catch up with the heart. Oh what fool am I.
Panzanella salad $13.90
with grilled prawns, tomato, basil, parmesan and croutons
We set off at a brisk pace down Abercrombie Street, almost walking past the place, a corner cafe in what was once an butchers shop, its business marked only by a small red name plate, hanging up high. It's all systems go inside, a chaotic blur of staff rushing past, customers queueing at the counter, a frenzy of chefs at the open kitchen, and an enormous blackboard that is dizzying with its relentless white scrawl of menu options.
Everything is cooked to order, and it's both exciting and enticing to see, hear and smell the sizzle of bacon, the flipping of pancakes, the chopping of salads, the final flourish of dishes. The noise is punctuated by the happy clatter of bowls, plates and coffee cups onto the sleek silver service counter, pounced on by waitstaff who dispense them to a bingo of customers.
Our panzanella salad arrives first, a rustic salad of tomato wedges, crisp discs of crouton and a tumble of cooked prawns, slightly charred. I would've preferred more than a few slivers of basil, but the garnish of lemon provides zing and the serving of prawns (six) is reasonably generous.
Kefte and scrambled eggs $12.90
with haloumi, tomato and mint
on rye sourdough toast
Kefte and scrambled eggs is a feast fit for a Turkish king. Three hefty stumps of kefte lamb mince are seasoned well and pan-fried for a crispy edge. A mountain of scrambled eggs is a tad overcooked for my taste (although R is happy enough), but this is offset by the contrasting bits of diced tomato, morsels of mint, and occasional surprises of halloumi. Two huge slices of rye sourdough provide plenty of carb filler.
Steak casa roll $8.90 with bacon $1.00
with horseradish, dill pickle, aged cheddar and chilli jam
Lox has the steak casa roll with bacon, a steak sandwich crossed with a ploughman's lunch it seems. Diagonals of dill pickle, a yielding slice of aged cheddar cheese, and a languishing curl of bacon marry well with minute steak embossed with horseradish and a splodge of hearty chilli jam.
The chicken caesar ($12.90) looks great and I watch it descend onto countless tables around me, the large white bowl adorned delectably with real baby cos leaves. The smoked trout salad with balsamic strawberries ($12.90) sounds fantastic, served with aged grano padano, avocado, croutons and mixed leaves.
Turkish bread, bagels, casa rolls and burgers all come with different fillings. An all day breakfast includes all manner of pancakes, breakfast rolls, Belgian waffles, pancakes, french toast, Tuscan tosat, raisin toast and porridge.
I'm already drooling about my next visit. But oft, what bite through yonder hunger breaks?
It is the feast, and Giulia is the one.
92 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9698 4424
Tuesday to Friday 6.30am - 4.00pm
Saturday and Sunday 8.00am - 3.00pm
Closed on Mondays and long weekends
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2/07/2008 12:43:00 a.m.