It’s early and I’m nervous. Every cafe we’ve been past so far has been closed. This is Newtown, and no self respecting hipster gets out of bed until the rest of Sydney has played 18 holes of golf, or swum to Newcastle and back. 8am is just too early to expect a King Street cafe to be operating. The closest I’ve seen so far on the long walk to nearly-St-Peters is someone mopping a floor. It would be alright if it was just us, but we have Quest guests this morning. Admittedly one of them is the Stropolina, who probably doesn’t count, being family and all, but the other is Jess, and she’s a media professional these days, so she definitely counts. We don’t want her standing around on the icy pavements of King Street, stamping her feet and watching her own steamy breath while we wait for somewhere breakfast-worthy to open. This could be a disaster.
Strop is unfazed. It’ll be alright, she says.
Blind faith and optimism is all well and good when you know things are going… I was just about to start making a fuss when we hove into view of tell tale signs of a functioning cafe: tables, chairs and banners advertising a well known coffee brand.
Saved. Foodarama is an early opener. Everything is going to be alright.
Foodarama has been a long time favourite of Strop. Her go-to coffee spot when she finds herself unexpectedly marooned at this far end of King Street. Despite the fact that I find it hard to believe that she ever unexpectedly finds herself anywhere, I have to admit that Strop has finely-tuned coffee receptors. I have been to Foodarama once, a long, long time ago. It was kind of grungy and nice, with good coffee.
This morning, the Foodarama we find has had a bit of a makeover. It is spick and span and a little bit spartan looking, but at least it is open. Coffees are the first order of business. Campos is the brand and my flat white does everything I need it to, but Strop has higher standards than most of us and finds hers lacking in some indefinable way.
With our coffees warming us up, we chat. Quite a bit. So much so that every time the waitress makes a move towards our table, she is scared away by the intensity of our conversation. Eventually, when our wit and words have settled down to a steamy simmer, Strop calls the waitress over.
Foodarama’s breakfast menu is divided into a big breakfast section and a small breakfast section. Which seems a bit silly to me. Who goes out to have a small breakfast? Slim people maybe.
It is my turn to take on the big brekkie offering, and because I want bacon I shy away from the vegan option towards the Big Fry Up. Oh well, some one has to.
Strop chooses the Moroccan breakfast which promises to come with dukkah, and the Stropolina and Jess both order the breakfast burrito. And orange juice.
We almost forgot the orange juice. Which would have been a pity because it is really very nice, although the Stropolina says she misses the pulp… her mother’s daughter.
The food doesn’t take long and looks good on the plate. My Big Fry Up doesn’t leave much room on the plate for manoeuvring. It is piled high with toast, very nice tomatoes and mushrooms, the best bacon I’ve had in a long time, and some spicy baked beans. The only disappointment comes from the eggs which are a bit too solid for my preference. But still, I’m well happy. Jess and the Stropolina are pleased with their burritos at first, excitedly discovering the jalapenos, but in the end they found the experience a bit disappointing. “Not enough flavours. Six and a half,” is the Stropolina’s verdict. Harsh. Strop too was a bit disappointed by the lack of complex flavours in her Moroccan breakfast.
Mind you no one left anything behind on their plates. Except me, I decided I didn’t really need the second piece of toast. Strength of character, right there.
Of course as we set out on the long walk back, all the cafes were open.