Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review : Envy Cafe and Gallery

109 Smith St
Summer Hill

6.30am - 6.00pm

6.30am - 5.00pm

7.00am - 4.00pm

Summer Hill....even though relatively close to where we live, is not a suburb often frequented by Buggles & Squeak . For starters there isn't a whole lot going on cafe/restaurant fact the suburb is sadly lacking in this area.

This fine Saturday morning however, does indeed find us in Summer Hill.... just as the tummy rumbles begin to hit!

We had visited Envy years ago and we weren't that impressed back then. However, the previous owners have long moved on & we are keen to see if things have improved.
When we arrive the place is teeming with young families; Summer Hill is nothing if not gentrified. We manage to find a table in the back courtyard, order coffee (Karmee is the brew of choice, which I find incredibly bitter but Buggles seems to enjoy it) and look over the menu.
Toast, Banana Bread, Muesli, Fruit Platter, BLT etc. I know there isn't whole lot of competition in Summer Hill, but don't cafes want to do something different?
With so little choice, Buggles opts for French toast with banana, bacon & maple syrup ($15.50) & I decide on the Bruschetta - woodfired toast with roast tomato, goat’s cheese, basil and olive tapenade ($11.00).

Buggles isn't overly impressed with the French Toast. The bread has barely been 'dunked' into the egg mixture so there are a lot of mainly dry, bready bits. The banana is not so much caramelised as it is mushy. The bacon is ok & the maple syrup is served on the side, which Buggles does prefer. I hate to labour the point, but seriously, not a patch on the French Toast from Bar Mattino (the cafe by which all cafes are measured!).

Is it just me? But when I think "Bruschetta" I think of a mound of diced tomato, I don't think of 3 withered pieces of roast tomato per slice of bread! I am quite stunned. 
The smear of tapenade is as nice as any store bought tapenade; the goat's cheese is lush, smooth & tasty (if not abundant) & the basil not too overpowering. Thankfully, I order a side of bacon as I am quite peckish & this bruschetta ain't gonna cut it.

What sets Envy apart from the other cafes in Summer Hill is its jacaranda dominated courtyard, it is quite lovely sitting out back under its huge branches. 

The cafe also doubles as a gallery & there is an abundance of art work on show.

Service is tired, disinterested & barely there.

Look... Envy isn't a complete write off - the food is ok, if somewhat overpriced & lacking imagination.

Envy Cafe on Urbanspoon

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