The Walrus Cafe is the newest CBD café serving up affordable twists on reliable breakfast classics.
Open Monday to Friday, The Walrus Cafe is ready to take advantage of hungry workers escaping the monotony of homemade sandwiches and soup. Radiating white from the block between the Town Hall and Hyde Park, the seemingly never-ending Sydney downpour does not dispel patrons from taking a gamble on The Walrus.
Despite the 9am rush of work breakfast meetings and coffee catch-ups, we are greeted by a calm and collected staff. Owners, Noelle and Nagendra Gautam, are never too far from the front of house to extinguish any confusion. The couple’s constant presence is testament to their passion for their business.
With passers-by having a sticky-beak through the floor to ceiling windows, we decide to take a seat at the back of the expansive dining room. The Walrus Cafe is awash with white. Intentionally dull timber tables and chairs play second fiddle to the green pops of vibrancy exhumed from randomly assorted pot plants. With such a simple aesthetic it’s clear that the food is the key ingredient at The Walrus Cafe.
Serving coffee from Toby’s Estate ($3.80 for regular), we choose instead to get our morning energy boost from the duo of house made smoothies ($8 each). An immense 500ml in size the milky mixes are a meal on their own. Banana smoothies are nothing new, but chia seeds are the health food flavour of the month. So, pairing the duo with a mix of honey, dates and light milk, will appease those keen to continue their health food cleanse. The smoothie is a cool rush on a chilly morning as we struggle to suck up the dates clumped at the bottom of the decanter style bottle. With a shot of ice-cream, the mixed berry smoothie is less of a health kick. Creamy with the crunch of fresh berries, the sweeter treat is the better of the two.
The mix of healthy and naughty transcends to the food offerings. Conventional savoury options are available for conservative breakfast goers. Smashed avocado ($18), oatmeal ($16) and eggs on toast with a raft of sides (starting from $9) are all on offer for people who don’t need to add another decision to their busy day. Willing to test The Walrus Cafe we wade into unknown waters.
We begin with the Norwegian smoked salmon and quinoa salad ($21). One of the more interesting dishes on the eclectic menu, the sizeable portion comes with two poached eggs balancing on top of the salad. Lightly seared asparagus stems provide a crunch, as slices of avocado mix with the quinoa. The salmon is hero of the dish and there is enough to go around. A bed of rocket gives the dish a nice bitterness whilst the grapefruit is a little overbearing. Depending on how you like your poached eggs, some may be disappointed. Slicing into each bubble we’re met with a hard yolk each time.
The pain perdu ($19) is next – French toast drowned in a slowly expanding puddle of maple syrup is a visual delight. Flaked almonds, caster sugar and edible blooms conceal a serving of plums and bananas that have been sweetened to the dark side.
Two servings of toast are more than enough with the addition of the sweet fruit. Gloriously crisp with a cloudy white bread delight hiding inside, the toast and syrup would suffice as its own meal. Nevertheless, the gooey carmalised banana and voluptuously tender roasted plums introduce another welcomed shade of sweetness to the dish. Never fear a sugar overload, The Walrus’ pain perdu is light enough to avoid the expected feeling of self-lament.
In spite of the consistent workday crowd demanding coffee and on-the-go breakfast from The Walrus Cafe, we rise from our table less than an hour after being seated. Come at lunch time and The Walrus Cafe offer an array of takeaway sandwiches. With the kitchen closing at 3pm daily, why not make your way back to Pitt Street for lunch and try the kitchen’s favourite buttermilk fried chicken burger ($18)?
Fast and friendly service, with nothing on the breakfast menu costing more than $22 is what you can expect at The Walrus Cafe. Although the menu is somewhat basic, The Walrus is determined to satisfy customers with a cleansing menu and refreshing CBD attitude.
Open: Mon-Fri 6.30am-4pm