We all have them sitting somewhere in the draft folder – or perhaps just floating around our heads – the favourite little cafe, the go-to easy dinner recipe, the brilliant new cookbook or appliance or spice mix. The things that we should share but somehow always push aside to do some other day.
Enter Booth St Bistro in Annandale, a regular on our weekend brunch rotation. I take photos every time we go with the intention to share it here, yet for some reason it always gets pushed to the back of the queue… So why now?
Cue fog and flash-back sequence as we go back a year ago to where it began…
It all started with pancakes. Or more accurately a craving for pancakes. Not flimsy rounds made from too thin batter, but proper, fluffy, plate sized, diner-style pancakes.
A search or two on the internets kept turning up the same result – Booth St Bistro does the best pancakes in Sydney… “I’ll be the judge of that“, I yelled with a shake of my fist and off we went to Annandale for brunch.
A green tea, fresh squeezed orange juice and sunny booth started us off.
And then the food arrived.
Even before our plates were fully settled on the table we knew we’d made the right decision. It only took one bite to seal the deal, Booth St Bistro has the best pancakes in Sydney.
Buttermilk pancakes ($14.50) made with Pepe Saya buttermilk. Thick and fluffy with crisp edges and a tender crumb. Disks of honeycomb butter gently melting under a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Dessert for breakfast? Perhaps. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
On that same day we also ordered the Corn fritters ($14.50) – a bit of savoury to offset the sweet if you will – loaded with corn kernels, layered with a proper serve of avocado, rocket, tomato and capsicum jam, topped with a perfectly poached egg.
I have to admit the fritters aren’t my favourite version of the dish (that sits with another regular haunt incessantly Instagramed but yet to see the light of day here) but they were still better than many I’ve had and certainly hit the spot – especially with that egg on top.
A dinner date with the MIL for Mother’s Day was next and the Sticky Date Pudding had us nearly licking the plate. Another brunch stop or two saw RJ order a thick banana smoothie well worthy of the quirky over-sized milk bottle it was served in.
Then one time I decided to take a closer look at what was on offer for brunch other than pancakes and fritters. As my eye landed in the mushroom stack I knew I’d found it.
When I agreed to work with Australian Mushroom Growers as part of their Mushroom Mania winter campaign there was no question that one of the stops on my list was Booth St Bistro. I would finally have the push I needed to blog it, and RJ of course had no issue with another round of pancakes. So last weekend we headed in for a feast.
Behold the Mushrooms and Spinach ($13.50). Such an unassuming name for such a festive creation. The description goes on to paint the picture a bit better ‘Roasted field mushrooms, sauteed spinach, Persian feta and dukkah on olive and rosemary toast’ but it’s not until it lands in front of you that you truly appreciate the wonder of this towering stack.
The mushrooms are juicy and meaty, the feta creamy and rich with just the right amount of tang, the tender spinach offset by a plume of watercress and spiced shower of dukkah. Chef has just recently changed the bread to a lighter than air green olive and rosemary Italian style loaf by The Bread & Butter Project.
A thousand times yes.
Sometimes I order it with one of those aforementioned perfectly poached eggs on the side. I use bites to barter with RJ for pancakes.
My only complaint is that it is often too big for me to finish – but generous serves at reasonable prices are a theme at Booth St – and besides, RJ tends to do a pretty good job on any leftovers.
The nearly three year-old Booth St Bistro is not a hipster cafe, and I say that in the best possible way. You won’t find recycled furniture, opp-shop crockery or too-cool-for-school servers here but lets be honest, there is plenty of that kind of thing in Sydney right now.
The patterned walls, dark wood booths, bright white tabletops and clean lines of the space lend themselves to a proper lunch or dinner as easily as they do a lazy weekend brunch.
The servings are huge, the prices incredibly (incredibly) reasonable and the food is very good. Chef Wayne and wife Teresa Borgese-Coom have a very good thing going at Booth St.
- Value: With all but one of the (huge and delicious) breakfast dishes under $14.50 this might be the best value brunch place we go to. Seriously.
- 5 Senses: Clean bright lines, big booths that are more comfortable than they look and space for big or small groups. The only page they may want to take out of the hipster cafe book is a decent loose-leaf tea supplier… just saying.
- Service: Pleasant and reasonably quick.
- Boomerang Effect: I’ll be the one at a window table drawing on the paper table coverings with the pencils intended for visiting children. Coloured pencils make me happy, so do pancakes and mushrooms. We’ll see you there next weekend.
- Curtain Call: Chef Wayne has just started offering the Sunday roast dinner for Sunday lunch. The roast changes every week – anything from duck to lamb to pork to beef – and from what I saw and overheard at the table next to us if you are a roast dinner kind of person you must go try and try it immediately. Oh, I can’t forget to mention one of the most important things – Booth St Bistro serves breakfast on the weekend until 3pm. Brilliant.
BOOTH ST BISTRO – ANNANDALE, SYDNEY
127 BOOTH STREET
ANNANDALE, NSW 2038 AUSTRALIA
Mushroom Mania 2013
Mushrooms really are one of my favourite brunch – or any time really – foods, and with both Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D among a raft of other health benefits, it’s no wonder I adore them. If you’re looking for some ideas here are a few mushroom recipes I prepared earlier.
You can see my first Sydney restaurant mushroom post here and there will be one more appearing in the next week – but I’d love to know what your favourites are!
Find out more here about how you can participate in Mushroom Mania this July and enter to win a $100 dining voucher just for sharing your favourite mushroom dishes from cafés, bistros, clubs, pubs and restaurants across Australia.
The search for mushroom dishes across Sydney has been sponsored by Australian Mushrooms Growers as part of their 2013 Mushroom Mania campaign. Review venue chosen based on inclusion of mushrooms on the menu, all meals were paid for, all opinions are my own.