Campos coffee - large flat white $4.00
I'm not really a breakfast out person. I'd much to prefer spend breakfast asleep and wake up just in time for lunch. A late lunch is even better.
But on a gorgeous summer's day, a weekday when most people are working, even I can appreciate the little bit of luxury that a cafe breakfast can bring.
It can't start any better than with a Campos coffee. I'm overjoyed to see bags of Campos coffee beans sitting by the espresso machine at All About...Romana's, a bright, clean and airy cafe with funky wall decals, plenty of food magazines in the corner, and gorgeous Granny Smith apples adding a colourful flourish to each table.
Our coffees take about ten minutes to arrive but it's worth the wait. It's a deep rich flavour with a lingering but smooth finish. It's not quite as good as the coffees from the Campos cafe in Newtown but it's not too far behind. The rosetta latte art (also registered as the company's logo) is equally impressive.
The green eggs and ham (scrambled eggs with house-made basil pesto, double smoked ham and feta cheese on toasted sourdough $13.90) are the first thing that catch our eye on the menu, but we're probably more tickled by the Dr Seuss name of the dish than the actual thought of basil-flavoured eggs.
Divedude was starving. We could tell by his twitchiness and growing irritability. We expect him to go for the Romana special, the big breakfast of eggs, spicy sausage, bacon,
tomatoes, baked beans and toast for $14.90 but he opts for a DIY combination instead, one which seems to be a running favourite.
Scrambled eggs (free-range) with sourdough $7.90
with sides of smoked salmon and avocado $3.00 each
The smoked salmon is a deep sunset orange colour with a firm texture and smoky flavour. I would've considered the scrambled eggs a tad overcooked but Divedude likes his eggs well-cooked anyway.
Eggs benedict $13.90
Double-smoked ham and poached eggs (free-range)
served on house-made hash browns with James' hollandaise sauce
I'd hope to order to the triple pancake stack with ricotta, maple syrup and strawberries ($11.50) but after watching one sail past our table and placing our order, the waiter returns with bad news - they've run out of pancakes. I settle for the eggs benedict, but unfortunately here too, the eggs are overcooked for my liking. There's no delicious ooze of sunny runny egg yolk, but at least the hash browns are crunchy (if a touch oily) and the hollandaise is fresh and lemony.
Corn fritter stack with lean bacon, fresh avocado salsa
and house-made tomato relish $11.90
with sides of spicy sausage $3.00
and wilted spinach $2.00
Divemummy and I split the eggs benedict and the corn fritter stack. The corn fritters have nothing on Bill Granger's version, more a stodgy cake of flour that's studded on the surface with chewy corn kernels. The bacon, however, is deliciously crisp.
There's a great mix of freshly squeezed juices from $5.50, a variety of gluten-free offerings and the eggs are all free-range, the chicken is chemical and hormone-free. It may be called All About...Romana's, but for me it's all about the Campos coffee.
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All About... Romana's cafe
260 Darling Street, Balmain, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9555 1140
Monday - Saturday: 6.30am to 5.00pm
Sunday: 7.30am to 5.00pm
Breakfast available until 12.00pm weekdays, and all day on weekends
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1/14/2009 12:48:00 a.m.