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April 11, 2011 / amyjmcintosh

Nielsen Park Cafe Sydney

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If you could only eat one course for the rest of your life, what would it be? Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert? For me, breakfast is the clear winner. Not only does it offer both sweet and savoury options, but it can be eaten at any time of day (yes, I have been known to eat cornflakes for dinner), and you get to wash it all down with an English breakfast tea or a cappucino. What’s not to love?

As luck would have it, Amy’s Cookbook was invited to review Nielsen Park Cafe’s breakfast menu on the weekend. Located in Vaucluse, the cafe comes in the shape of a charming heritage house sitting atop a grassy park overlooking Sydney’s sparkling harbour. Boats bob, children play, seaplanes soar and ferries chug as happy cafe goers sip on flat whites and watch the passing parade in this sunny corner of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Clifton Gardens is just a hop, skip and a jump across the harbour, while Manly beckons in the distance.

As we were shown to our alfresco table, I contemplated what planet I was on when I decided it was a good idea to deck myself out in winter woollens on this warm Autumn morning. I did my best to ignore the bikini clad passers-by as I ordered a soy cappacino and removed my scarf and cardigan. Wardrobe malfunction, tick.

But enough about my outfit. Back to the cafe. This place dishes up eye candy in spades. In fact, I would go as far as to say it offers Sydney’s most stunning water view. Where else can you gaze over the beach (which happens to be framed by a giant Moreton Bay Fig tree) whilst munching on homestyle granola and picturing your dream wedding (yes, I am a sad case)? It reminded me a bit of a smaller version of Balmoral Beach with less people and better (and free) parking.

But what about the food? While the menu is good, the view is the star attraction. I found it to a bit slim on options for the fussy eaters among us who don’t eat gluten or dairy. This is no-fuss, no-nonsense breakfast fare. All up, there are six dishes (which is heaven for indecisive Librans like me). Eggs are a big-ticket item as they comprise half the menu. The other dishes include granola with mixed berry compote, mint and yoghurt ($11); fresh seasonal fruits with natural yoghurt and ligurian organic honey ($11); and toasted sourdough with your choice of topping ($9).

I ordered poached eggs on toasted sourdough with sides of roasted tomato and smoked salmon ($21.50). I was a good girl and gave my toast to Paul. Whenever I order poached eggs, they come out hard, so you can imagine my joy at poking the eggs with my knife and seeing the orange yolk running all over the plate. Perfection! These aren’t just normal eggs, by the way. They are Kangaroo Island free-range eggs, i.e. eggs from happy chickens. That makes me happy.

I don’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur, so I asked Paul what he thought of the coffee. He thought it was strong and good, so I guess that gives it the golden seal of approval. He ordered scrambled eggs on sourdough ($13.50) which he said were great. I didn’t try them myself, but they smelt scrummy.

So, there you have it, folks. Amy’s Cookbook gives Nielsen Park Cafe the thumbs up. Just don’t make the mistake that I made and go there without your cossie. After all, there’s plenty of juice left in the Autumn sun and the harbour is still nice and warm. Just be sure to swim within the shark net!

Nielsen Park Cafe
Greycliffe Avenue
Vaucluse, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9337 7333
Open from 8am, 7 days a week.

Looking for more cafe ideas around the eastern suburbs? Check out my review of Savta at Bondi Junction.


Leave a Comment
  1. Brad / Apr 15 2011 7:26 pm

    Hey I love this place. I rented a kayak from Rose Bay a few months ago and stumbled across this place by paddling into the beach in front of it. Great location for sure.

    • amyjmcintosh / Apr 15 2011 7:27 pm

      Thanks Brad! I’ve always wanted to go kayaking from Rose Bay. It’s a great spot.

  2. chopinandmysaucepan / Apr 16 2011 6:00 pm

    Great place to treat yourself after a round trip swim to Camp Cove ­čÖé

    • amyjmcintosh / Apr 16 2011 11:56 pm

      I love Camp Cove too. It’s one of Sydney’s prettiest beaches. ­čÖé

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