The Moody Chef, St Leonards

You know how Cheers is a bar where everyone knows your name? Well the Moody Chef is a cafe where I definitely wouldn’t mind them knowing my name.

Located in St Leonards on a relatively quiet side street, we joined a number of other lunchtime customers who found this warm and friendly cafe as the perfect place to escape the grotty weather of a wild and windy Saturday.

</p><br />
<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />
Mushroom Bruschetta: perfect eggs on top of meaty mushrooms

I must admit that I looked up the menu online before we arrived and I’m glad I did, otherwise it would have taken me forever to order. Despite the great looking lunch menu, I generally find that an all day breakfast section is hard to resist and this time was no exception. In fact, we all decided to have breakfast for lunch.

</p><br />
<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />

Poached Eggs with spinach, feta and lentil ragu

I decided to have a very eggy breakfast and with about six different poached egg dishes, I was spoiled for choice. I went half and half on the Mushroom Bruschetta with pesto, parmesan and poached eggs ($16.90) as well as the Poached Eggs with pumpkin, feta and lentil ragu ($16.90). Both meals were delicious. Generous in size, the eggs were the perfect balance between soft and hard. The mushrooms on the bruschetta were the meaty, flat cap variety and they were lovely. Both also came with golden brown sourdough – a great compliment.

</p><br />
<p>A tower of fluffy deliciousness<br /><br />

Banana and Blueberry Pancakes: a tower of fluffiness

We also ordered two serves of the Blueberry and Banana Pancakes ($16.90). Stacked three to a serve and topped with mascarpone and candied walnuts, these pancakes were light, fresh and seriously tasty. The fresh berries cut through the maple syrup sweetness, and with no heavy batter or floury flavour that often accompanies cafe-made pancakes, this dish was a winner.

Despite being happy with our choices, there were many other menu items I would have liked to try, namely the Nutella Pancakes and the Slow Roasted Lamb Melt. I also spied a delectable looking cinnamon scroll sitting in the dessert display case as we made our way out at the end of the meal and waddled back to our car. With so many more things to try, I’d say there will be many more visits in our future. So Moody Chef, let’s get acquainted. I think you are someone who should definitely know my name!

Rating: 8/10

Where: 1/30 Atchison St, St Leonards NSW 2065
Why: An enjoyable cafe you can book
Cost: $15-$18 a meal
When: Mon—Fri 6am-5pm.
Sat 7am-3pm

Good for kids: no
Take away: yes


The Copper Mill, Alexandria

I was looking for a cafe in the inner west where the food is solid gold. I ended up at The copper mill in Alexandria which, despite making a solid effort, doesn’t quite achieve that feat of alchemy.

Situated on the long, mostly industrial length of Mitchell street, the copper mill is one of the fresh new places that have sprung up in the last couple of years to cater to the new, young crowd who have made this former warehouse area their home.

The Copper Mill

The Copper Mill

With an extremely high rating on Urbanspoon, I was really looking forward to checking this place out one sunny Sunday morning. Given that the place was packed by 9, obviously so were a lot of other people.

First impressions were really good. From the moment I arrived, the staff were really cheerful, accommodating and attentive. I was greeted by a friendly waitress, seated and handed the drinks menu on a cute little clipboard while I was directed to a slatted chalk board on the wall behind me to check out the available food options. My friend was a bit late so I got to see the dishes that my fellow diners ordered. Good thing too because I was tossing up between about three different choices and couldn’t make up my mind. Ah decisions decisions. So hard.

The drinks menu

The drinks menu

Although the breakfast roll (two different versions $10) were very popular and the granola with oats, coconut and almonds ($12) looked fresh and wholesome, I decided on the mushroom medley with basil, pecorino and poached egg ($16). I can never resist a little alliteration in the morning and I seem to be obsessed with these little brown caps of nutritional goodness at the moment.My friend went for the brisket hash with kale, feta, caramelised onion and poached egg ($16) which was one of the more unique options available.

The alliteratively named mushroom medley, with basil, pecorino and a poached egg.

The alliteratively named mushroom medley, with basil, pecorino and a poached egg.

Unfortunately I have to say both meals were a bit disappointing. Though decent in size and well seasoned, the mushroom medley was doused in oil and smothered in cheese. The mushrooms were quite greasy too, making the whole thing a wet and heavy concoction that left an unpleasant slimy mouth feel. The beef hash on the other hand was quite tasty but inaccurate in its description – the was no kale or feta in sight and rather than consisting of a brisket pattie, like at Brewtown in Newtown, it was mashed potato with some brisket mixed through and sprinkled on top. Not bad but unexpected.

The beef hash

The beef hash

On the plus side, the coffee was good and If you have furry friends with you who would also like a feed, that’s no problem. While they are not specifically catered to, there is plenty of room on the sunny side walk for them to laze while you, aka their slave, bring them tasty morsels to nibble.

What the morning lacked in food, it made up for in service, atmosphere and company. Looks like the search for an inner west goldmine is still on.

Rating: 6/10

Where: 338 Mitchell Street, Alexandria, 2015.
Why: Really lovely staff.
Cost: $10 – $16
When: Monday – Friday 7am till 4pm, Saturday 8am – 4.30pm and Sunday 8.30am – 3pm.

Good for kids: Not really.
Take away: Yes.