Contessa Balmain Review

Cafes, Eat, Sydney / 8 March 2017

Bow down to Contessa Balmain

The gentrified streets of Balmain are filled to the brim with health-conscious cafes, new restaurants and of course iconic pubs that require a mandatory pub crawl now and then. All these elements combine at Contessa Balmain, cafe and bar, smack bang in the middle of the suburb. It’s the perfect spot to drag yourself to on a weekend morning, (after one too many whiskeys the night before) to indulge in some hearty hungover cures. Or for health food, if that’s your thing.
Contessa Balmain nside
We go for the former. Contessa Balmain serves an all-day breakfast as well as a very popular lunch menu featuring Italian-American delights and typical cafe fare. A bright, open cafe on bustling Darling Street, we are hard-pressed to find a table on a very busy Saturday morning. We manage to snatch one outside and immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of this buzzing suburb and the cafe’s patrons, busily chatting away. A giant mural of a woman, we believe to be  “Contessa” which translates as the word for “Italian countess” draws our attention. It’s a nod to owner Marco’s Italian heritage.
Contessa Balmain burger
We order their infamous deluxe cheeseburger ($19.50) to see how it compares to some of the other big players in the Sydney burger game. The burger contains a delicious combination of a well cooked home-made beef patty, hickory-smoked bacon, caramelised onion, and to tie all together some American mustard and homemade tomato relish. Served on a brioche bun, all the juices soak through making it a delectable but soggy burger that drips down your fingers. The burger is up-to-scratch. But it comes with some pretty unimpressive beer-battered fries. For just short of $20 we hoped for something a little bit more exciting but all in all this meal has the right amount of grease for a good hangover cure.
Contessa Balmain bruschetta
We dabble in the all-day breakfast menu and try Rosa’s Breakfast Bruschetta ($14.50) with the addition on smoked salmon on top. There is a good, even ratio of salmon, avocado and toast, topped with a delicious salsa of tomato, basil and rocket and a poached egg on healthy soy and linseed bread. While there’s nothing particularly unique about this breakfast, it’s certainly tasty.
Contessa Balmain coffee
Getting an old-school malt milkshake ($7) seems necessary and being thick, creamy and delectable it doesn’t dissapoint. We match this with their dairy-free green smoothie ($8), a refreshing mix of fruit, coconut and had a healthy dose of spinach. Being a hot summers day, an iced long black made with Grounds roaster coffee is the cherry on top of a good brunch experience.
Contessa Balmain counter
Pop into Contessa Balmain for a good coffee and one of their delicious Nutella donuts, or stay for a boozy brunch, complete with bloody Mary’s, espresso martinis and more. Whilst there’s nothing particularly innovative about the dishes served here it’s a good, solid option next time you’re in Balmain. The warm service and competent staff make dining here easy and enjoyable. And just like that, hangover be gone!
Contessa Balmain
371b Darling Street, Balmain
Open Mon – Fri 7am – 3:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 3:30pm
Feeling inspired to try the notorious Balmain pub crawl? Try these bars and thank us later.