La Cantina Makes La Leap To St Leonards
With already three cafés in the city and North Sydney, La Cantina Cafés and Catering has just expanded its mini-empire with a leap into the foodie scene of St Leonards. Only a short walk from the train station, the large, new La Cantina café is open for breakfast, lunch and treats. And decked out in a manner that can only be described as bright, light and airy, it sure does inject some much needed flair into the area.
Sweetcorn fritters bruschetta with smoked salmon, avocado and poached free range eggs
La Cantina seats a whopping 120 people both indoor and out. The painstakingly tiled walls and floor combine with a monochrome mural, hanging plants, timber accents, and Danish furniture to create a beautiful and welcoming space. And while the wooden stools are a little hard under the derrière first thing in the morning, they are immediately out of mind upon detecting the tantalising aromas wafting in from the brass-clad coffee bar at the front entrance.
The beverage list is extensive. Caffeine hunters will enjoy the flavourful Will & Co “Eight-o-Eight” Blend with 100% Arabica beans from Guatemala and Brazil ($4.00). And for the non-coffee drinkers there are eight different types of tea by French maker La Maison du Thé ($4.70), including English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Darjeeling Ripe Fruits. Soy and almond milk are also available, as are a selection of freshly squeezed juices, milkshakes, wine and beer.
All the usual suspects appear on the breakfast menu; think croissants, bircher muesli, and bacon and egg rolls. But for a more leisurely, and perhaps lavish, start to the day try the sweetcorn fritters bruschetta ($18.00). Sweetcorn and zucchini fritters topped with smoked salmon, sliced avocado and poached free range eggs. The fritters could have done with a little more time in the pan to cook right through, however the eggs were expertly done. The yolk flowed to perfection when sliced open. And with the avocado and salmon it was simply a delicious dish.
The salmon and avocado stack ($17.50) was also a hit despite the stone cold rye sourdough toast. The poached free range eggs were again skilfully prepared. The avocado and feta smash was creamy and dense, just like it’s meant to be. And the smoked Tasmanian salmon added a silky, briny note to the dish, raising it from the predictable.
For the sweet-toothed, look no further than the French toast ($15.00). This was a pretty faithful interpretation of the classic recipe, but why mess with custom when it tastes this good? Thick slices of eggy bread headily drizzled with maple syrup, and sprinkled with sweet strawberries and icing sugar made it rich, comforting and downright delicious.
Open also for lunch, and packed with burgers, salads, 10″ pizzettas, pastries, wraps, and baguettes, La Cantina has a wonderfully bountiful and extensive menu with clearly something for everyone.
Shop 1, 6-16 Atchison St, St Leonards
Phone: (02) 9460 8008
Monday – Thursday: 6am – 5pm
Friday: 6am – 4pm
Saturday: 7am – 3pm