Siree here! Dining with the brunch-o’clock crowd in Surry Hills is what I call an ideal weekend. Walking down the leafy, boutique-style Crown Street it’s never hard to find a place for a tasty stop over, which made Four ate Five the meeting spot for our Saturday GFTO… and also a mini game of “What did you say?” with the unusual name.
I heard a lot of talk about Four ate Five on the foodie scene and it’s just what you can expect of the Surry circle. It had a good mix of staple dishes like eggs and toast but combines it with a twist by adding tofu or balsamic reduction and the feel goodness of your inner hippie with fair trade and single origin coffee. It’s a great cafe to wake up in on a Sydney morning – unassuming and the food is well done too!
Breakfast is always a boring start to my day. All I can think of is banana bread or the big brekkie kind that is heavy on the stomach but browsing the menu, it’s nice to see how inventive breakfast can be. Although the menu is breakfast and lunch only, it’s got enough variety to keep you interested (there’s only so many breakfast varieties of granola and muesli to choose from) with the addition of weekly specials to change the normal roster around. If you’re in for being health conscious, than you’re in the right place. All the selections for breakfast and lunch feel light and about the quality on the plate. We got jelly from the girl across the table who ordered the baked eggs which looked amazing but found out too late (damn!).
But when we got our meals, the food envy went away:
mexican bean mix on toast w/ tomato, avocado & spanish onion salsa, with crispy tofu
Talyssa’s choice is this tasty open sandwich with the option between egg or crispy tofu. Talyssa says she thinks the tofu was the better choice as the egg would be too much and I agreed. The spices really shine and flavoursome compared to the latter of trendy Mexican joints popping around which is oh-so satisfying to drown out.
kumera chips w/ home-made aioli
Kumera (fancy way of saying sweet potato) chips was something I remember back from my visit to Vanuatu and it was so yummy I had to eat it every day! I really enjoyed how they sliced the chips at Four ate Five because it puffs up into airy cases of potato deliciousness~ it was slightly oily at first but it was really nice with the aioli. I could eat this all day!
caramelized pineapple coconut pancakes w/ maple syrup and vanilla ice – cream
My choice for lunch is… dessert! They actually had two weekly specials: Eggs Benedict and pancakes. The Eggs Benedict was sold out so I had the pancakes and it was yummy! Not overly sweet, and the nutty texture of the toasted coconut with the warm pineapple was a great substitute than the usual strawberry which I hate since Australia’s strawberries are sour like lemons.
ricotta cheese, semi-dried tomatoes, avocado, pickled beetroot & rocket
served on soy & linseed w/ balsamic reduction
Sora’s choice: It’s pretty hard to go past a combination like cheese and semi-dried tomatoes, and even though there’s a great deal of people who hate the root vegetable, beetroot in the mix made this sandwich yum. Talyssa even liked it better than her Mexican Breakfast because of the balance of flavour though I didn’t eat enough to compare.
Setting and Atmosphere
Though the interor is not wacky likree the other places we have been for our past GTFOs, Four ate Five’s vibe has a calm yet busy communal atmosphere that’s lively (especially during lunch time) but chilled enough to sit and talk while you wait. There’s an small outdoor area at the front which was great to soak up the nice winter sun on the day and the inside comprising of individual tables in the front and the large wooden communal table at the back which we ended up sitting on. I gotta say, I enjoyed sitting at the communal table more than the individual tables as I’m a fan of table real estate and the overall vibe it gave off when the table was full.
You’ll find a small line starting to form during the peak hours of 12 – 2PM allowing you to plate-watch what the people outside are eating as you wait your turn, or sneak into some nearby boutique shop while you wait for your name to be called from the list.
Overall, it’s a lay back type of environment.
I was pleasantly happy that, despite the hectic time we arrived the staff were friendly and quite prompted. Sitting at the back anywhere is like entering the black hole of invisibility, making you act like a pro active monkey to get anyone’s attention. But I didn’t feel the effort at Four ate Five. Be warned, when it’s busy they’ll try to bust your tables to make way for new customers so if you want to stay a bit longer, try to go there early or later in the afternoon.
Pricing and Value for Money
Ok, so a salad for almost $20 is like paying gold for lettuce leaves – which is expensive. Ranging between $$-$$$, that’s pretty average for good weekend brunch food and the area, but adding up the menu style and the portion size I’ll give it some slack. If Talyssa was so full she was gonna die and I was so full I could only eat 3/4 of my pancakes, that’s a good sign for satisfying.
Where to Find Four Ate Five
485 Crown St, Surry Hills, Sydney
Monday to Friday: 7.00 AM to 3.30 PM
Saturday: 7.30AM to 3.30 PM
Sunday: 9.30AM to 2.30PM