Perched on an unlikely strip on Old Northern Road, Wolfe & Co. is hiding in plain sight on one of The Hill’s busiest thoroughfares. Until recently, this Sydney café was one of those places that I drove past and thought “I really need to try that place” before finally taking the plunge one chilly Saturday morning and visiting for breakfast… And then again the following Saturday afternoon for lunch.
I’m not sure whether it was the winter chill or sleek, modern décor, but walking into Wolfe & Co. is like walking into any café in Melbourne. With the comforting aroma of coffee in the air, cosy brown leather booth seating and modern white tiled bar top, I took the opportunity to pretend that I had escaped for a weekend jaunt to the garden state.
The day that I tottled along to Wolfe & Co. for breakfast was one of Sydney’s cold, blue sky and beautiful crisp days that fool you into leaving the house without a coat and the staff were kind enough to quickly offer up one of the last free tables inside the toasty warm restaurant without me having to ask. They clearly understood my need for an appropriate temperature to roll up my sleeves and tuck in. I did notice though, that the outdoor gas heaters were in action and on my second visit I was comfortably able to sit outside and bask in the heater’s warmth and crisp Sydney air simultaneously.
I swiftly ordered a coffee and was delighted to find that the beans were by Five Senses and service was snappy. The breakfast menu is a smorgasbord of local and seasonal produce that makes up naughty and nice treats, appropriate for any mood. I ordered the avocado; toasted rye, slathered in ajo blanco and smashed avocado, sprinkled with toasted almonds and dotted with Pedro Xinenez gel. I was happy to find that it was more vinegary than I expected and each bite was a zingy little surprise compared to your run of the mill avocado on toast.
If you’re feeling naughty then their banoffee French toast, which is as decadent as it sounds, is their signature crème brulee French toast, topped with caramelised banana, banana jam, ginger nut cream, toffee popcorn and salted caramel dulce de leche. Yep, you might want to wear stretchy pants or take off your belt before tackling this one.
For lunch, the daily special was a Provencal fish soup and since I have been in a perpetual state of freezing this month, it seemed like the obvious choice. The tomato-based soup was steaming when it arrived, so it earned some instant points from me, but once I ate the melt in your mouth scampi, which must be poached in the soup (and possibly fairy dust, it’s that good), I declared it a winner. Arguably the second best part (second to the scampi, obvs) is the sliced sourdough with saffron rouille which you absolutely better not leave behind.
The kid’s menu is not to be scoffed at either and I am definitely not too proud to admit that I was a little bit jealous of the children enjoying their buttermilk pancakes and toast soldiers with soft-boiled free-range eggs. Then I remembered my sourdough with saffron rouille and didn’t feel so bad.
A refuge from everyday life, Wolfe & Co. is the ideal place to visit on those weekends when you would rather escape Sydney, but don’t have the budget.
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Image credit: Federica Portentoso