Monte Alto, the Crows Nest café that’s now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Located in the heart of Crows Nest, on of the Pacific Highway, sits the unassuming cafe Monte Alto. These former coffee roasting specialists have expanded to a humming café by day and restaurant and bar by night. So you can now get your mocha and martini fix in the one place.
Their moto, printed on the glass doors, ‘eat well, drink well’, pretty much sums up our life, so if you’re anything like us, you’ll feel right at home here at Monte Alto. Step inside away from the highway rush and feel instantly at ease by the friendly staff and refined, stylish interiors which feature leather chairs, and gold light features.
The menu is predominately modern Australian with a touch of owner and head chef, Harry Nguyen’s Vietnamese heritage with dishes like the Vietnamese Stew ($19). Rest assured, you could pick from the menu blind-folded, everything looks damn good here.
Two words grab our attention – haloumi fries ($13). The squeaky, fried cheese, topped with pesto aioli and tomato salsa is a wonderful idea. We’ll never look at potato fries the same way.
The zucchini flowers ($15) are filled with not one, but FIVE Italian cheeses and cooked in a tempura batter. I’m still not sure how they manage to fit that much cheese into one flower but we’re not complaining.
The expansion into night service has left Monte Alto too busy to continue roasting their own coffee beans onsite but it is still a main feature on the menu from breakfast through to dinner. The 12-hour slow cooked, coffee rubbed pork roast is a stand out. Tender and soft, the coffee adds an exciting flavour without being overpowering. The Aubergine Stack (V, $21) is another stand out dish with layers of delicious crispy panko crumbed aubergine slices, melted buffalo mozzarella, and Grama Padano topped with ripped tomato herbs and Neapolitan.
We’re told Monte Alto boasts one of the largest whisky and wine collections in Sydney’s lower North Shore so it would be rude not to grab a drink while you’re there. Let the friendly staff help you navigate your way through the extensive drink list.
If whisky isn’t your thing, the Purple Rose cocktail ($17) marries Tanqueray Gin and Parfait Amour, for a sweet lychee martini, with hints of rose and lavender- topped with a rose floating atop the violet coloured martini.
Breakfast and Lunch: Monday – Friday: 7.00am – 2:30pm, Saturday – Sunday: 8.00am – 2.30pm
Dinner: Sunday – Thursday: 4.30pm – 9.30pm, Friday – Saturday: 4.30pm – 10.30pm