With a gleaming storefront, Anvil Café & Grocer is cleansing in more ways than one.
It might have been the one-and-a-half-hour journey from the eastern suburbs, but we arrived at Anvil Café and Grocer in search of a feast.
Arriving between the madness of the midweek breakfast rush and coffee runs, we took our place towards the back of the industrial dining room. Lounging back on the plush leather couches, the floor to ceiling window at the door beamed a welcoming light to our back seat hang out. Anvil Café truly epitomises its light and vibrant ethos.
Hidden by energetic emerald hanging ferns, dulcet tunes subtly throbbed above us. Upon being seated, the bubbly staff took our drinks orders. From $3.50, the coffees and selection of teas at Anvil are generous sizes. Despite the appeal of $7 cold press juices, we opt for a mid morning pick-me-up and order a Cappuccino and Flat White.
Feeling the buzz after a burst of caffeine, it’s time to eat. Upon first glance the Anvil’s breakfast menu, served all day, is nothing revolutionary. However, below the overarching titles lie gems of foodie invention. Sourcing inspiration from both the Middle East and Instagram the menu is a well crafted adventure through successful flavour combinations.
To begin we indulge in our dreams of Arabian Nights with the Arabian eggs ($16). Fit for an Arabic prince, the tower of morning goodness that arrives before us is a visual delight. Balancing delicately, the dish is a high rise of three pieces of bread, two perfectly poached eggs and an onion jam infused with lemon juice and cumin. The jam is a sensational burst of sweet, with a sour hint introduced by the acidic lemon. The swirls of Greek yoghurt drizzled with burnt butter surrounding the main event is the perfect addition to the already fulfilling dish.
Content with our first foray into the Anvil’s breakfast menu, we order the chard corn fritters ($19) with high hopes. Our expectations are exceeded. Once again a sphere of yoghurt, this time speckled with pomegranate seeds, encloses a visual and flavour delight. The corn fritters themselves are textually soothing. There are enough kernels in the three fritters to avoid them being either to greasy or doughy. When paired with the abundance of smoked salmon and yoghurt the dish is reminiscent of blinis, a Christmas favourite with my family. Completed with the aid of a lemon vinaigrette, the fresh herbs and greens are a welcome inclusion. As with our first dish, the two eggs are poached to perfection, but they are a potentially unnecessary inclusion in a dish that stands on its own.
Almost full, we couldn’t resist dessert. Sort of. At $13 the granola is the most inexpensive item on the breakfast menu. Like its counterparts, the portion is beyond generous. Wedged between the puffy gloriousness of whipped coconut yoghurt, the granola is served in a large glass. Mixed with deliciously roasted pistachios, almonds and cashews, flakes of coconut and other unidentifiable shards are the finest balance of crunchy and buttery. Paired with the not-so-sweet fruit compote and fresh yoghurt, Anvil Café has created a nourishing delight.
Even as the crowd builds, the wait staff allow us to soak up the soothing ambience. As the clock clicks close to lunch we are tempted to stay and dabble in the cafe’s lunch menu. Served from 10.30am until 2pm, larger lunch offerings include a slow cooked Moroccan beef served with Israel couscous ($18) and the porky burger married with slaw and pickles ($16). For those in a rush, toasties (starting from $8.5), or a selection of sandwiches and sweets on display in the front cabinet may be your calling. While you are browsing, Anvil has set up a grocer, providing everything from nuts to dates (the edible kind).
It may have been the stunning July weather, the irresistible calm radiating from the front window or the simple food done to majesty, but we were transfixed by the Anvil Café and Grocer.
Anvil Café and Grocer
54 Alexander St, Crows Nest
Open Mon–Fri 7am – 3pm, Sat 7.30am-3pm, Sun 8am-2pm