Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: Alley Break Cafe

Shop 2

4-6 The Kingsway

(02) 9527 6119

Daily 6am - 4pm

It is a gorgeous Tuesday morning after a lovely sleep and leisurely read in bed. The sun is shining the breeze is brisk and Squeak and I decide a trip to Cronulla's Alley Break Cafe for lunch is on the agenda.
We have read that chef Darren de Boer spent time working at Danks Street Depot and upon reading the menu we can certainly see the influence in some of the dishes. What a shame the caramelised garlic bread with butter and parsley was not on the menu today!!!

Alley Break Cafe has a great position and, if you sit at one of the outside tables especially, you get a great view of the beach. Due to the nip in the air we opt for an inside table on this occasion though.

We order some house baked sourdough with olive oil, aged red wine vinegar and cultured butter. The hefty chunks of house baked bread are really good with a fantastic crust (coming quite close to the phenomenal Iggy's crust). The olive oil and vinegar work well but ours is missing the cultured butter which is a shame as we would  far prefer the butter.

We also cannot go past the house olives marinated in lemon and orange peel with thyme, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. The green olives are beautifully meaty and have good flavour, but the flavours noted in the description promise more than they deliver.

We wash this all down with a Little Creatures Pale Ale for Squeak, while I cannot go past a Phoenix Organic Creaming Soda Spider.

Alley Break Cafe bring in whole sides of the amazing Taralga Springs beef and, after our experience of the Taralga Springs beef at the Butter, Beef and Wine dinner hosted by Restaurant Atelier late last year, Squeak  is very keen to try the 'Cut of the Day', which she is hoping will come in the form of an amazing dry aged steak or beef daube. Unfortunately the cut of the day seems to come in the form of a beef sandwich and this just isn't up her alley (yes, I know it was a weak attempt!) today. She decides on the Wagyu hash with spinach, tomato and a poached egg. Squeak and I LOVE the bacon hash at Danks Street Depot, so she is expecting similar brilliance despite the variation of flavour. Squeak finds that she enjoys the flavour of this hash overall but had expected potato in her hash, and this one doesn't have any. After chucking in some torn up hand cut chips and adding some salt and pepper, she proclaims the hash quite tasty. Having devoured the sourdough earlier however, she leaves the slice of sourdough toast to one side.

Squeak has decided to be somewhat virtuous these Easter hols, after shunning all chocolate over the break, and continues this by ordering a mixed green salad to go with her meal. Greens are greens, but a great dressing can make all the difference. Unfortunately today this salad is very under-dressed. In fact I cannot really see much evidence of it at all.

I can rarely go past anything that involves the term 'pork belly', and when that is combined with the fact it is braised, shredded and mixed with plum sauce and accompanied by a rocket and apple slaw - well, what is a girl to do?  Well, she adds a side of hand cut chips of course.

No-one could ever accuse this serving of pork of being meagre. It is a large serving indeed! The flavour of the plum sauce is delicious and the pork is moist and flavourful. A whole forkful of pork, with the rocket and apple slaw is excellent with the apple shards adding good crunch and a bit of sharpness. I would have liked the slaw to have a little more of that sharpness though, perhaps through a dressing. Overall though I am very happy with the dish, and certainly can not finish it all.

The hand cut chips are very good also..

We contemplate dessert, looking at an Eton Mess or a chocolate fondant, but we are truly stuffed so have to pass it up.

Alley Beak Cafe do sell their own house made jams, peanut butter, marinated fetta and the like. We spy a very tantalising Salted Caramel Spread on the blackboard menu so decide to grab two of those to take home, but unfortunately they don't seem to have any.... we aren't too sure if that is just on the day or generally, but it is a bugger nonetheless. We love salted caramel!

Alley Break Cafe has a great location and does some good cafe food. They also host monthly produce dinners which might be on the agenda in the near future.

Alley Break Cafe on Urbanspoon

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