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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cafe Giulia, Chippendale

The biggest problem with Cafe Giulia is deciding what to choose. The blackboard menu stretches across six columns of food and drink items, a bewildering bonanza of choices that renders newcomers helpless with indecision.

Converted from a 100-year-old butcher shop, Cafe Giulia has been a long-running favourite with locals and uni students. Regular lunch-goers know to arrive early to avoid the queues and to snare a table.

Casual and cheerful service starts at the counter, where orders are taken in exchange for numbered stands to take back to your table. Plenty of DIY water jugs and glasses are available, and the trek toward the back of the dining area will take you past the open kitchen, sizzling with hot grills and buzzing with activity.

Lamb, beetroot and fetta casa roll $9.90
with a roasted pepper and yoghurt sauce

We always head for the outdoor courtyard to eat, as picturesque as any back garden with an eclectic collection of tables, bench seating and plenty of flower pots scattered throughout.

Several visits have enabled some progress made through the sandwich menu, and the winner so far is the lamb, beetroot and fetta casa roll. You'll find a luscious combination of tender well-seasoned lamb skewers served with a spicy capsicum sauce. On the side is a bright and refreshing salad of beetroot strips that works brilliantly with the lamb. 

Grilled eggplant on Turkish bread $8.90
with ricotta, spinach and roasted capsicum

Vegetarians are well looked after here, with Turkish bread options including chickpea, spinach and tomato; and grilled eggplant, ricotta, spinach and roasted capsicum

Grilled fish casa roll $9.90
with pesto and fresh tomato

Grilled fish is seared to a pleasing crisp, resting on fat slices of ripe tomato slathered with pesto.

A wedge of fresh lemon is provided for patrons to add extra zing.

Tomato, egg and cheese roll $6.90

Breakfast is available all day, and the tomato, egg and cheese roll is even better with barbecue sauce. The fried egg is deliciously runny and yes, there are bacon, sausage and smoked salmon fillings available too.

Prawn bagel $9.90
with grilled tomato, watercress, cucumber and yoghurt tahini

The prawn bagel comes with fresh grilled tomato, cucumber chunks, yoghurt tahini and a sprawling nest of peppery sprouts.

Steak casa roll $9.90
with horseradish, dill pickle, aged cheddar and onion relish

The steak casa roll is more refined than you'd expect, the tender slab of meat sliced into manageable pieces. Aged cheddar, onion relish and dill pickle add some welcome piquancy, but watch out for the horseradish which is spread with such generosity, you'll clear your sinuses with the first mouthful.

Chips with rosemary and rocksalt $5

I've saved the best for last, of course. The chips are a standout. You'll spot the big tub of fresh handcut potatoes in the open kitchen as you walk past, steadily depleting as the potatoes make their way into a baptism of hot oil.

Thick cut wedges with skin still on, the chips are deep-fried with sprigs of rosemary and sprinkled with rocksalt. The rosemary flavour does come through, bringing forth memories of a Sunday lamb roast with all the trimmings. Deep-fried to a mouthwatering crispness, you'll be glad you're sitting down as your knees start to buckle.

View Larger Map
Cafe Giulia on Urbanspoon

92 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9698 4424

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 6.30am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am-3pm
Closed on Mondays and long weekends

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chippendale - Buon Gusto
Chippendale - Lansdowne Hotel
28 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/09/2011 03:31:00 am


  • At 2/09/2011 4:46 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    A steak casa roll and bowl of chips thanks; see, no problem choosing from the ridiculously unmanageable menu! :-)

  • At 2/09/2011 5:05 am, Anonymous Jenny said…

    Oh goodness this all looks so amazing, so keen on trying this place out now! I'm a total carnivore yet I'm salivating over the eggplant sandwich!

  • At 2/09/2011 7:57 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh "baptism of hot oil" why must you make me hungry so early in the morning!

  • At 2/09/2011 8:22 am, Blogger Buggles and Squeak said…

    Our fave is across the road....Bar Mattino.


    Got to admit though, the handcut chips at Cafe Giulia look fabulous.

  • At 2/09/2011 9:25 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    That is some good looking chippage...! I <3 prawn rolls - dunno why we don't see them around more often

  • At 2/09/2011 9:39 am, Anonymous jess @ fushmush said…

    I used to work on Balfour St which is down the road so Cafe Giulia used to be one of my locals. I haven't been there in ages though (5 years!). Will have to make a point to go back.

  • At 2/09/2011 9:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, with that many choices it's better to get there at breakfast to be ready to order by lunchtime.

  • At 2/09/2011 10:54 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Um...right around the corner from me and I had no idea! (I'm hopeless!) I'm off to have an early lunch there!

  • At 2/09/2011 11:00 am, Blogger Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said…

    I went here on a monday once desperate to try their legendary breakfasts and came close to crying when it was shut! one day...

  • At 2/09/2011 11:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sinful. Im living in a country where sandwiches just dont happen. Your making it hard for me to stay here.

  • At 2/09/2011 11:41 am, Blogger Sydney Shop Girl said…

    Sandwiches must be the new It food of Sydney.

    Thanks for doing the hard yards, Helen!

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  • At 2/09/2011 11:52 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Lamb and beetroot. What a winning match. The locals must be grateful to have this place at their disposal

  • At 2/09/2011 12:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh wow, the steak casa roll looks fantastic! i hv wanted to visit for a while now, think you have just convinced me to go!

  • At 2/09/2011 12:36 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Ooh, I wonder if they'd do the prawn bagel with the horseradish, dill pickles, and onion relish of the stea roll? A girl can dream...

  • At 2/09/2011 12:58 pm, Anonymous Chanel said…

    Lovely - everything looks fantastic but that beetroot has caught my eye!

  • At 2/09/2011 3:18 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    I love the way they've put everything and anything on a bread roll! Dill pickles will get me every time...and those chips! YUM!

  • At 2/09/2011 6:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, those chips have me swooning. I love a good spud fry-up.

  • At 2/09/2011 8:36 pm, Blogger Monica ^o^ said…

    it is hard to decide from the menu, I concur ! that's why I always stick to the french toast + bacon + banana + mascarpone hehehehe :P
    but that steak casa roll looked so delish, gonna try that next time I'm there.

  • At 2/09/2011 9:35 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    wow, wow, wow!

  • At 2/09/2011 10:57 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    Those chips look amazing!

  • At 2/10/2011 9:12 am, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    That steak roll is like a twist on a Reuben, and those big slabs of gherkin are seriously drawing me in!

  • At 2/10/2011 10:54 am, Anonymous Claire said…

    Giulia is such a great little hidden treasure! If you go there for breakfast a must-try is the Rhubarb Waffles with yoghurt and brown sugar - to die for!! but get in early because they often run out of rhubarb.

  • At 2/10/2011 10:58 am, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    I'd like a prawn bagel and a bowl of chips for lunch thanks Helen! Aww man, didn't pack lunch today and would so much rather to lick the screen... okay maybe not. =D

  • At 2/11/2011 1:34 am, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    I am not a lamb fan at all, can't stand it. If I just look at the photo and pretend that it is beef, O.. M.. G.. that looks so delicious (I wonder if they would pop the steak from the steak casa roll on it instead?)

  • At 2/12/2011 10:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Goodness! I hate fish AND I've been eating all day and that fish sandwich looks delicious.
    Great picture!!
    It must have been delicious,
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jess :D

  • At 2/13/2011 6:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A feast for the eyes. Although I can't get to most of the places you visited, gawking at the pictures is second to best :)

  • At 2/13/2011 9:38 pm, Anonymous Christopher Hinn said…

    I'll definitely grab my fork if these luscious food is on my table!

  • At 2/19/2011 6:24 pm, Anonymous Kate - Sydneyfile said…

    I had one of my favouritest salads ever here - watermelon with feta and spanish onion. OMG - so good.


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