The night before was a parade of preservative-free organic wines, ordered with gusto and quaffed just-so. So by Saturday morning, the absence of wine sulfites means I’m feeling... not very hungover. Therefore, not self-pitying enough to order Morris’ streaky bacon roll.
But my head is spinning for other reasons. The morning menu spans two pages, one page dedicated to complete breakfast dishes, and the other to Cornersmith-style ‘toast and sides’. In this age of cruffins and lasagna jaffles, everything here looks relatively, well, healthy. And no, I will not say “clean eating”… It makes me think of Ajax kitchen spray. My body is crying for nourishment and deliciousness, and I think I’ve found the right place at this shady corner spot in Paddington.
If you want smoke for brekky without having to resort to bacon, go for the beans. It’s a generous serving of cannellini and kidney beans, simmered with tomato and smoky paprika. The beans have an amazing depth of flavour that’s freshened up with shredded herbs, feta, more of those house pickles, and a sprinkle of pangratatto for texture. Simply delicious.
There is a moment of confusion at our table when the ‘Selwyn Street bowl’ arrives on a plate, but no matter. The non-specific crockery is heaving with brown rice, quinoa and black beans, a crunchy tumble of purple cabbage, leaves, fennel with tahini dressing, roasted nuts, house-made zucchini and cauliflower pickles, a wedge of roasted pumpkin, and the crowning glory, A Perfect Poached Egg. It’s essentially a breakfast salad—A Big Breakfast Salad—that would make a brunching Elaine Bennes very happy.
Morris Cafe is the second cafe venture from Georgia Woodyard and Anne Cooper. Their Redfern sandwich shop Scout’s Honour has been keeping punters happy with big sandwiches and even bigger cookies, and the treats continue at Morris. A line-up of three sambos and salads feature after 11.30am, as well as a superb sounding Marrakech Bowl (plate?) of slow-roast lamb, lentils, and labneh. A triple L lunch.
Balance is the key to good living, and so to “balance” out my Big Salad, I need a Big Cookie(s). With a coffee from 5 Senses roasters in hand, it’s mandatory that I sample the crispy Nutella option, chased with the soft and gooey salted peanut butter one. It’s not a question of self-pity. It’s about giving my body the common sense it deserves.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso