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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cafe Giulia, Chippendale

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.

Cafe Giulia on Urbanspoon

Cafe Giulia
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

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Chippendale - Buon Gusto
Chippendale - Lansdowne Hotel
Chippendale - Toby's Estate
14 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/07/2008 12:43:00 am


  • At 2/07/2008 12:53 am, Blogger Jess (fushmush) said…

    I used to work around the corner from Giulia and would lunch there at least once a week.

    Food was fantastic but the service was always lacking. I like the full cafe experience. Are they any better now?

  • At 2/07/2008 10:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can taste the flavours - Great Post!!

  • At 2/08/2008 3:39 pm, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    I was working around the corner from there yesterday but I couldn't bring myself to go out in the rain at lunch time :( The food looks delicious, I will definitely have to check it out at some point!

  • At 2/09/2008 4:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Panzanella Salad - Yum...;-) Very envious here.

  • At 2/09/2008 1:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yum, I love this place, especially for breakfast. They have amazing omlettes and pancakes and it's so hard to decide whether to take the sweet or savoury route. The juices are good as well. It's a shame it's often so crowded though... why must people find out about my favourite cafes!

  • At 2/10/2008 2:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried to go here Saturday morning and it was packed with lots of trendies. They all looked like they were in for the long haul so I split. What is a real shame is that there isn't anywhere else decent to eat nearby open on a Saturday morning! I had to trek to Glebe.

    I might try to go back super early in the morning next weekend.

  • At 2/10/2008 6:20 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jess - It's still counter service only. The place was pretty busy when we were there so although service was a little harried (one of our orders got mixed up but then rectified) it wasn't too bad :)

    Hi Pete - Thanks. I'm getting hungry again already!

    Hi Lisa - It seems to be very popular with locals, so arrive for lunch early or late :)

    Hi Sherry - The panzanella salad was very tasty. Can't beat a good salad, esp one with tasty croutons!

    Hi Ashlee - I am sure I would be torn if I came here for breakfast, and yes, I was picturing my potential order. And yes, it is annoying when good cafes/restaurants are overwhelmingly popular. Why can't the good ones be kept extra secret? :)

    Hi Serp - Cafe Giulia is almost always busy methinks. Weekends are usually crazy but an early start would probably be your best bet. Good luck for next time!

  • At 2/11/2008 5:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This looks great! Have you tried South End cafe on King Street, Newtown (as the name implies, down trhe south end of King street, corner of Bray St)? I found it recently and the sweetcorn pancakes are to die for - they do a version with peas which is even better. Comes with brilliant homemade onion relish and a fab mayo thing too. Would love to know what you think of the place.

  • At 2/12/2008 8:07 am, Blogger GollyGumDrops said…

    Giulia looks great, but a bit too far for me. I may have a go at the shrimp panzanella at home, it looks heavenly.

  • At 2/13/2008 1:02 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jax - I haven't tried South End Cafe yet - those sweet corn pancakes sound pretty darn good! Thanks for the tip.

    Hi gollygumdrops - I love replicating dishes at home too :) Hope your panzanella goes well!

    Hi the bakery & the currymaker - Good to hear. Glad you enjoyed it and that you managed to get a table too!

  • At 1/24/2009 2:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    must try one day.

    You've obviously been spending far too much time with divedude.

  • At 1/25/2009 5:10 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Divemummy - lol. We should definitely do much brunches together.

  • At 9/14/2009 9:12 pm, Anonymous Trish said…

    I am so lucky to work around the corner from Cafe Giulia as I am in every morning for my coffee and a couple of times a week for a feed......but every monday, even though I am aware they are closed, I still walk past in hope, and then sigh when I reach the end of the street :(

  • At 9/15/2009 1:00 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Trish - You are lucky to work so close! I love the extensive menu here and lol, I guess one can always hope that one day, they just might open on a Monday for you :)


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