We head down the White Rabbit hole for breakfast at this CBD café/wine bar.
A glass cube perfect for people watchers, White Rabbit Sydney sits on the corner of the bustling O’Connell and Hunter Streets. Despite the location, head chef and owner Steven Fadda is determined not to make this family owned café and bar another suited up, high price CBD hangout.
Far from the neighbourhood friendly suburbs, the Sydney CBD can often be a ghost town on the weekend. A needle in a desolate haystack of weekend breakfast offerings, White Rabbit hopes to take advantage of the lack of competition in the CBD. We stroll into the café for brunch on Saturday morning and sit inside to avoid the encroachment of winter.
Randomly cascading lightbulbs above the bar and the open kitchen perpetuate a familiar industrial atmosphere. The shade of a towering wine rack reminds us that White Rabbit originally opened as a wine bar. Settling into our corner seat, we are left to our own devices until our coffees finally arrive. A freshly squeezed juice follows shortly after. The freshly squeezed orange, apple, pineapple and mint juices are a pleasant burst of summer but at $6 a glass we are underwhelmed by the size. Noticing the diversity of the White Rabbit menu we balance our experience with a hint of sweet and savoury.
The fire roasted granola ($14) pops off the menu and straight onto your Instagram feed. The honey glazed granola is tasty but dry without the addition of milk or yoghurt. Towering in the centre of the bowl sits a generous and squishy blob of passionfruit pannacotta. With passionfruit seeds hidden inside, the pannacotta is a textual and flavour triumph. However, its solid consistency makes it a little awkward to consume alongside the other ingredients, especially the shards of granola.
As we approach the miserable shivers of winter, crispy pork belly with beans and chorizo ($18) jumps out as a saviour to our winter blues.
Contradicting the granola before it, the dish is awash with bean juices. Drowning at the bottom of the plate, the beans offer a bed to the other elements. The chops of chorizo give the dish a kick of spice that is assisted by the beans’ emerging flavour. It’s a shame that there aren’t more pieces of the Italian sausage to go around. With two poached eggs bouncing beside it, the delicate cut of pork belly is almost lost. However, the subtle crispiness of the skin and the layered gooeyness of the belly make the whole dish worthwhile.
White Rabbit’s breakfast menu is calling food lovers to the CBD. The dishes are beautifully presented, but time will tell if weekend Instagram lovers are ready to migrate to the city on the weekend.
White Rabbit Sydney
28-34 O’Connell St, Sydney
(02) 9221 1841
Open: Mon-Tues 7am-4pm, Wed-Thurs 7am-9pm, Fri 7am-12am, Sat 7am-11am