No matter what time I visit this Northbridge cafe, it’s always buzzing. On a Tuesday morning at 10.30, there was nary a spare table in sight. By the time we left at midday, the place had thinned out and there were tables galore, inside and out. I guess the breakfast menu trumps the lunch menu these days.
AB and I were happy to sit at the long counter in the middle of the cafe and deliberate over the brunch options. So many things sound interesting and different, that it takes ages to make a decision. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it, right?
I’ve breakfasted here several times and love it as much as its counterpart, Sayers in Leederville. The thing I prefer at the Sister cafe is that it’s so much easier to park. Parking in Leederville is becoming more difficult by the day and it often deters me from visiting.
Anyhoo, back to the food. The word “rosti” popped out at me and immediately I was dreaming of holidays in Switzerland, chowing down on hot, crispy rounds of this starchy potato delight. Accompanied by poached eggs, rocket, baby spinach and parmesan slivers, the rosti sat on a bed of apple and thyme chutney. I couldn’t taste either apple or thyme; I’m sure there was a hint of mustard seed, but nevertheless it was a pleasant, sweet foil to the other flavours. The rosti itself was a monstrous portion. Two generous slices of bacon squatted on top, and AB was happy to take these off my hands as I usually don’t eat pork. He loved it.
The dish overall was satisfying, but the rosti was disappointing. The massive triangular slice was simply too big and it probably would have worked better as two smaller slices. The thing that makes rosti special for me is the crispy coating, and this is easier to achieve with a flatter rosti. Last year on holiday in Switzerland, Scotty and I ordered our final rosti at the train station restaurant in Basel and it was simply sensational. Cooked to crispy perfection and served in a cast iron dish, it came with a fried egg on top and smothered with melted cheese. My oh my. We soldiered our way through the enormous dish, unwilling to leave a single bite. It was heaven in a skillet and we still wax lyrical about it. It’s a hard act to follow and I haven’t tried another that comes close to being as good. I’ve even tried making it myself, but I can never achieve the crunchy coating. There are some things the Swiss just do exceptionally well – chocolate springs to mind too!
A long macchiato accompanied my food but this was lacking in flavour. Sayers Sister does both chocolate and floral coffee blends, but I didn’t know about this when I ordered so I don’t know what I was served. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by Di Bella coffee lately which is so darn good that it’s hard to find another blend as rich and flavourful.
AB went for the crushed green pea and ricotta pikelets and was happy with his choice. Nestled on a bed of minted pea puree and crowned with a poached egg and wilted baby spinach, this dish looked a million dollars with its bright green colours offset by the fluffy white ricotta. Slivers of crispy pancetta were dotted throughout the stack. Of course I had to taste test (without the pancetta), and as AB asserted, it was fluffy and minty and delicious.
I really love the inventive recipes and food presentation at Sayers Sister. The chefs put their modern spin on traditional breakfast food and the results are usually amazing. I wasn’t amazed today but I still thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You can’t win ’em all as they say, but you can have a damn fine time trying.
Sayers Sister now has table service, and you can reserve a table for brunch during the week. Their selection of cakes look pretty darn good too, though I’m always too full to try them.