Sydneysiders, what a busy life we lead. Travelling at such a hectic pace, darting to and fro, here and there, sometimes it feels without a care. Living in this day to day way brings to mind Pink Floyd feelings of being 'lost souls living in a fish bowl year after year'. Jumping from one task to the next, always with the goal of crossing and ticking an act off one of countless to-do lists. Deadlines, d-days, work and study, it can all feel so overwhelmingly important that we stay on track to meet these. But allowing ourselves delightful detours from completing our tasks doesn't lead to death. In fact they just enhance life.
One of these such delights I have discovered is 'doing breakfast'. Last semester a simple request to sample a few breakfast spots with two of my close girlfriends, in a bid to make more time to catch up, has now led to a beautiful ritual. The breakfast club, is what we call our informal meetings, and although they don't happen as regularly as we'd like, the fact is they do happen.
This year we have enjoyed breakfast at a few venues including Hungry Darling at Balmain, Bambini Trust Cafe just off Hyde Park and now Qube on Bay at Broadway. I stumbled upon this gem when playing around with my sexy new iphone4. Of course, when my handset had finally arrived I downloaded dozens of free apps including this gem: urbanspoon. The app is super for searching for cafes, restaurants and bars in sydney - you can use your iphone gps and allow a search by location, so that the app will find places to dine by kilometre raidus. But my favourite way of searching is the shake, which consists of three columns, one for location, one for cuisine and one for price range. When you shake the phone, all the sections roll around until finally stopping on three choices - for example - parramatta, Lebanese, $ - these choices will find a relevant matching venue (El Jannah in this case). At the moment I have been shaking it like a polaroid picture. You can actually lock a section or two if you want a more specific search, an option I opted for when finding a breakfast place in Ultimo.
From the suggestions, you can then view menus and other reviews which assist the research process immensely. Qube on Bay with it's convenient location at a stone's throw from my university and rave reviews about it's great coffee, and cute all day breakfast, was very enticing!
|Street Art near Qube|
We strolled from Central Station, along George street and then skipped down Bay street, which slips down the side of Broadway. Bustling down Bay street we were greeted with unfamiliar shops, like a cool wine outlet and wicked street art.
The cute barred window view from our table
Stepping inside we were instantly in admiration of the mis-matched furniture, quaint courtyard, and huge, chunky muffins on display in a basket on the counter.
We grabbed a round table by the front window and the counter so as to be able to ogle both the muffins and the early morning sunglight streaming through the wrought iron bars. Shortly after we arrived a waiter came by and provided us with menus. Not long after these menus arrived a waitress decked out in hot pink doc martens sashayed up to us, but we simply needed more time. We realized later why she'd been so eager for us to order, as suddenly a crowd of a dozen formed at the counter ordering coffees - business people and parents crowding like flies. We deliberated over the menu with dishes like the Qube bagel including bacon, avocado, hash brown, the buttermilk pancakes and the grilled mushrooms on toast, tempting our hungry breakfast bellies. It was hard for me to select a savoury option as I love something sweet in the morning, usually a fruit smoothie or muesli (that's why I'm such a sweetie I guess :P), but we eventually settled on some cool sounding egg dishes. The prices were all very reasonable for students, around $15 for what we ordered, and less than $10 for favourites such as banana bread, muesli and a bacon and egg roll. There was also a selection of juices, coffee, shakes and other beverages under $6.
|White clouds (scrambled egg whites) with avocado, tomato relish and cheddar cheese|
Katie and Courtney ordered the white clouds - a heavenly sounding dish. It arrived with all the components in their own little ramekins, allowing for easy, personal assembly of one's breakfast - perfect for fussy eaters. The white clouds were scrambled egg whites, fluffy and well seasoned with pepper. The avocado was creamy and perfectly presented, simply astoundingly intact! The tomato relish was pleasing, a sweet, rich, chunky blend, salted just enough to complement the subtler elements of the dish. The cheese, cheddar, was tasty, but I would have loved something with more bite. The bread was just ever so lightly toasted and needless to say the girls gobbled it up to no avail.
|Truffle scrambled eggs with goats cheese and roasted tomato on sourdough|
Wanting to try something different as always, I leapt for the truffle scrambled eggs. It appeared looking divine. It was a winner. The mound of smooth, scrambled eggs, enhanced with the rich truffle oil married wonderfully with the oily, creamy, blobs of goats cheese and chewy sourdough bread. The tomato was pleasingly roasted, warm, a little crisp, but still chewy. The only flaw I could find was the forest of rocket underneath the scrambled eggs. Myself, not being a big rocket fan found it torturous trying to consume the bitter leaves with the rest of the sweet, rich creamy dish. For others it may have provided a great break in taste and texture, but I would have preferred spinach. Also, I would have loved more of those tomatoes!
|Retro bric a brac|
Looking around the room after breakfast, the bustle had died down a little closer to 9am. I was now able to scout out the decor which consisted of some random artworks. My favourite find was a small table by the bathroom with an assortment of old household items. Being a huge retro fan, I was pretty rapt by it :) The impending time of our lecture meant I had to grab my coffee take away, but I'm sure glad I grabbed it. Served in cute takeaway cups with a brown and white swirly pattern, the coffee was roasted wonderfully, with sweet, citrus and chocolate notes. I loved it so much I kept trying to get my friends to try some!
Overall, Qube on Bay is a lovely, hidden escape from the noise and pubs of george st. A lovely Surry Hills esque dining option, but in the heart of uni territory. I'd definetly go back to while away an hour or so in that quaint courtyard and try the buttermilk pancakes with blueberries!
Now, I like nothing more than a bit of deep reflecting. Cause when things get so busy I often tend to let my brain jump into auto-pilot. The take away shop I work in called 'Building 12, is the perfect place to showcase this state of mind. When asked the other day of whether I get into some deep thinking in that little shack when it's quiet, I admitted that my thoughts or lack thereof are so vacant it feels like a stone skipping over the water. It's songs like this smooth, genre meshing number by lo-fi band Mount Kimbie, called 'Before I get off' that kicks a chilled out, but active thought process into my mind. It's the perfect Sunday afternoon study music, best played in that fading sunshine, with a laptop or book in hand and just not quite enough momentum to tackle the books.