Sydney has a strong cafe culture that London for all its pubs, fine dining and fish and chips, just cannot compare with, let alone compete with. Slowly, yes the cafe landscape is changing but noticeably it is being groomed by antipodeans.
Luxe Bakery lies just off the main drag in the Inner West suburb of Newtown. Written on the far wall is a list of cooked breakfast and lunch meals while at the front counter are pre-made sandwiches and various pastries and tarts. Having sat directly under the blackboard menu, our choices were made quite quickly. Skylights in the ceiling mean the room is bright, while the room is quite sparse. The room is quite sparsely decorated, why skylights mean the room is lovely and bright, making it easily to while away time there.
The Tijuana special caught my eye, but graciously I let Duncan order it, while I went for the Wagyu salt beef. The Tijuana special was made up of soft, slowly cooked pork, pulled into shreds. Hash, which was golden and crunchy sat alongside a fat wedge of avocado, a softly poached egg, and a slice of toast on the side. Mayo spiked with chipotle pulled the dish together. Corn salsa sprinkled over the top added bursts of freshness and crunch. This was a wonderful combination, not too heavy; more breakfast dishes need to incorporate corn into the mix.
I went for the Wagyu salt beef sandwich. Served open, shredded raw cabbage slowly wilted underneath thinly cut slice of wagyu salted beef and swiss cheese. Grated horseradish was thankfully sparse and not too hot on the tongue. All up, the dish was perhaps a little milder than expected. Due in part I suspect to the expensive nature of using wagyu beef requiring to be sliced thinly on a cost per dish need. The use of wagyu beef was probably a waste here – once salted, the delicate flavour and tenderness of what makes wagyu beef so prized was lost. A cheaper cut of beef would have allowed for thicker slices and more flavour. Pickle spears on the side were tart and sour, but lacked the crunch I like in pickles.
Luxe changes their menu fairly often. A few days later we headed there for coffees and the wagyu salt beef had been removed from the menu and replaced with a beetroot salad dish, so this is clearly a place that is constantly changing and growing. While my dish didn’t blow me away, the Tijuana special was great and credit is most definitely due for a cafe that shuns the standard breakfast items and pushes for something different.