Side Plate

planted-4_tinyThis tiny spot on newly gentrified Bourke Street is an offshoot of a catering outfit called ‘The Plated Group’. It promised great things, having been launched with appropriate fanfare to the foodie cognoscenti in inner-city Sydney a couple of months ago, and has developed quite a following amongst locals since then.

Given its ‘foodie’ credentials we went there expecting great things, and were surprised to find that the food options were quite limited. The menu was fairly brief, offering the basics but not much more. Items included Homemade Muesli [$9.50], Toasted Banana Bread [$4.50], Fruit Toast and Ricotta [$6.50], Scrambled Eggs [$8.50] and a range of toasted sandwiches.

The scrambled eggs were nicely cooked, but the surprise was that pretty much everything you order apart from the eggs themselves are counted as an ‘extra’. I had mushrooms and smoked salmon with toast, so my dish quickly went from $8.50 to $14. The meal itself was OK, but nothing special – certainly adequate, but nothing more.

Again promising great things was the shiny Syncra Cynesso three group espresso machine on the stainless steel bench – an attraction for coffee purists ‘in the know’. However once again Side Plate disappointed, my flat white having a slightly ‘burnt’ character. The Cynesso is a beautiful machine, allowing custom espresso settings, but definitely needs to be perfectly tuned to turn out the perfect shot!

Service was pleasant enough – although to this reviewer’s mind, it just seemed a little fussy – perhaps the result of the close quarter contact, due to Side Plate’s rather intimate size. One slightly annoying detail – they don’t have a toilet for customers – in this day-and-age, you would not be wrong for considering that pretty much a ‘given’ for any cafe.

Overall the deal at Side Plate seemed to be one which over-promises and under-delivers; in these recessionary times, it’s also a little pricey for what you get. [AF]

664 Bourke St

Redfern East, NSW 2016

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One Response to “Side Plate”

  1. Shinoko Says:

    I feel like Side plate needs defending here.

    Personally I love the coffee served there and you’d be hard pressed to find a barista with more coffee knowledge than Matt Brown who is the barista who is normally on. So, in my mind I believe that there is no working barista in Sydney that would be better suited to fine tune a “Synesso” than Matt. I’ve not yet had a bad coffee from him yet despite the finicky nature of managing coffee which changes from day to day.

    Also, I don’t think many people know how pricey it is to have a toilet that customers can use installed into a cafe the hoops that must be jumped through to make that happen. I am actually surprised at the amount of cafes that have them! Personally If I was to set up another cafe and I had the choice between having a Synesso or a customer toilet I’d choose the Synesso any day but I’m a very selfish barista.


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