The name is Bond…James Bond. Ok it’s not, but trying to eat at this cafe has been a bit of a mission.
Due to its immense popularity, getting a table at Cook and Archie’s can seem quite impossible. This, combined with holiday closures has resulted in two prior aborted lunch attempts. On this sunny Saturday though, I achieved success. The secret? Plan for a late lunch.
Located on the corner of Buckingham and Devonshire streets, this café, with its generous and wholesome approach towards food attracts a broad clientele from the health conscious to those looking for a serious feed.
Surrounded by old warehouses, office buildings and converted apartment blocks, Cook and Archie’s is furnished with concrete floors’ a dark colour palette; factory style high ceilings, and light fixtures fit right in to its industrial surrounds, and the establishment provides locals with a good breakfast or lunch option. The giant painting of a knife, spoon and fork leaves diners in no doubt as to what they are there to do – just eat.
Within minutes of walking in, me and my two Canberrian buddies, eager for some good food Sydney is becoming known for, were seated and ready to get stuck into lunch. Between the all day brunch menu; the extensive lunch menu and the specials boards; there were lots of decisions to be made. Knowing I had a big dinner scheduled, I was looking for something healthy but interesting. Luckily for me, the menu was filled with such items. Oscillating between the Gravlax on Rye ($19) and the Potato Cake with smoked salmon and poached egg ($19.80), I broke the mental tennis match by choosing the Tuscan Grilled Chicken Salad with wild rocket, pear, walnuts, caramelised onion, fetta & lemon dressing ($19). It was flavoursome, decent in size, and had a nice crunch.
One berrian buddy chose the Reuben Sandwich ($18), an expertly layered picture of yumminess containing the perfect ratio of Wagyu corned beef to cabbage.
The other chose the Pappardelle, duck ragu special ($22).
We paired these with a great cup of coffee ($4.30 reg) and a glass of freshly squeezed juice ($6.50).
A bit of an order mix up, which resulted in a late delivery of the Pappardelle was handled really well, with a sincere apology and the offer of a free drink while waiting. Much appreciated. After much discussion, we arrived at the final verdict: definitely worth a return visit. Mission complete, over and out. Rating: 8/10 Where: Shop 1a 4/14 Buckingham Street Surry Hills NSW Why: Diverse menu and generous portions. Cost: $7- $23 When: Monday – Friday: 7am to 4:30pm Saturday: 8:30am to 2pm Good for kids: Enough space, but no children’s menu. Take away: Yes