It was a gloriously sunny Sunday morning and I wanted a hipster breakfast without the effort of crossing the bridge.
With Maslow’s sadly now closed, I remembered talk of Anvil Coffee Co’s relatively new set-up in the back streets of Artarmon, but my joy was short-lived when I did my online scouting and discovered that they were closed on Sundays. But then online scouting proved effective when I discovered that they had a second place open on Sundays in Kirribilli; the perfect place for a bit of an post-breakfast stroll with the markets on every Sunday. As a catch up with Brother Bear was overdue, I agreed to meet him at the cafe for a bite to eat.
Anvil is located right on the Kirribilli ferry wharf, and it’s about a ten minute walk from Milson’s Point train station through the beautiful, quiet leafy back streets of Kirribilli with its ridiculously good-looking houses. Head down the steps to the tiny cafe which has been integrated into the wharf itself. There was a line that morning but it took only about a 15 minute wait to snare a table.
The open-air cafe’s windows allow for sunlight to stream through but they’re a little dusty to appreciate the glorious sprawling expanse of water that is Sydney Harbour. We were seated in a tiny corner at the side, but we could just see the opposite side of the harbour to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, where the Nefertiti head for Aida was still standing, proudly erect.
It’s a miniature little cafe, with weathered wood paneling (whether intentional or simply as a result of its location) and wooden tables and chairs set quite low to the ground but not so much that your knees are up to your chest. With the location of the place I imagine the cafe would have to close completely when the weather gets rough.
We started with drinks. A latte ($3.50) for Brother Bear and while I’ve eased back into an occasional weekend coffee habit, I desperately wanted to try the Blueberry Lavender Milkshake ($6.50).
The shake was beautifully smooth and creamy. I had been worried that the lavender may have been overpowering, but the milkshake had the most delicate fragrance with a perfect balance between the sweetness of the blueberries and lavender essence. It wasn’t quite as cold as I would have liked, warming up to room temperature quite quickly but it was a refreshing change from coffee.
I had taken the luxury of ordering something quite extravagant for lunch. I went for the Buttered Arabian Eggs ($16): poached eggs, Greek yoghurt, chilli and black salt, lemon juice burnt butter with mint on sourdough.
What a beautiful little dish! It stuck me almost as a fancy version of eggs with toast soldiers. Wonderfully runny eggs with that extra kick of exotic black salt flakes and chilli, and the lemon juice burnt butter spread over the sourdough toast was all kinds of amazing. Caramelised flavours of sweet, salty and creamy, with a balance of soft and crunchy textures; it was bliss mowing my way through it.
Brother Bear went for the Smithie Roll ($14): olive oil panini, double-smoked ham off the bone, slaw, house onion jam and a poached egg.
I carefully poked a hole in his egg to get my “eggporn money shot” before he jokingly complained that he didn’t like his eggs that way – tough. He offered me a bite of his roll and I near-swooned at how good the double-smoked ham was. Aromatic, juicy and (dare I say?) meaty, the saltiness of it was balanced out with the fistful of crunchy slaw stuffed into the roll.
We hoovered up our breakfasts and proceeded to digest it with a slow walk back up the hill to see what the Sunday markets had in store.
An adorable cafe; definitely one to visit on those perfect Sydney weekend mornings. Their Artarmon menu is more extensive due to there being more room for them to play around with ingredients, so I can’t wait to fit in a visit to them sometime soon.
Anvil Coffee Co
Kirribilli Commuter Wharf
Kirrbilli NSW 2061