CAFE ON JOHNSTON has been one of the most surprising visits of 2017 for me. From the exterior it looks like an older terrace styled home or neighbourhood centre in Annandale but on the inside and from the level of food awesomeness it is much much more. Huge thanks to Zomato Australia for the invitation to attend this wonderful Middle Eastern influenced cafe. And a bigger thanks to Suzanne (the lady with the beaming smile below) and her wonderful staff for making us feel more like we were having brunch in their home than in a cafe.
CAFE ON JOHNSTON VENUE:
Set inside and outside of a charming old heritage building CAFE ON JOHNSTON is incredibly relaxed and homey. Cushioned chairs, wooden floorboards and a wonderful kid’s corner make this and ideal venue for everyone. It’s without pretension and has some fantastic art on the walls but it’s the kind of place you can take kids and they can run wild in the kid’s area. You don’t have to be stressed about them or other patrons. The venue was filled with a lady’s group having brunch when we attended, there was also families with and without kids, a couple of tables of retirees and then there was us taking shots. It was a definite all-rounder of a venue and everyone looked comfortable.
The menu at CAFE ON JOHNSTON is a love child of cafe fair and Middle Eastern flair. They have a standard breakfast menu that runs all day that has your French toast, bacon and egg dishes, pancakes, Egg’s Benny and so on but then there is the more nuanced dishes that incorporate Suzanne’s heritage. Moroccan Omelette, falafel dishes, labneh dishes and many more Middle Eastern inspired treats.
The menu is huge and I highly suggest you check out the daily/ house specials before you place your order. It introduced me to the below Halloumi Stack. Besides the specials there is an all day breakfast menu, brushcettas, oodles of sides, omelettes, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and a kid’s menu. Then there is their drinks menu – non alcoholic but the coffees will keep the addicted happy, the tea selections are very decent and the juices, smoothies and frappes will keep you healthy and hydrated.
WHAT WE ATE:
My guest and I had a beautiful feast for two. We both started with a Pineapple, Orange and (lots of) Ginger Juice.
For food we ordered;
- Halloumi Stack: free range egg with a side of avocado, spinach, roast tomato, halloumi and a side of balsamic vinegar
- Mixed Skewer Plate: lamb filter, free range chicken breast, lamb kata skewers served with gluten free tabbouli, hummus, smokey babaganoush and Lebanese bread
- Fattoush Salad: cucumber, lettuce, Spanish onion, parsley, tomato, radish, oregano, pomegranate dressing and crispy Lebanese bread
WHAT I THOUGHT:
It was all perfect. Starting with the zesty juice packed with ginger I was in heaven. The food transcends the venue. That halloumi could only have been better with a bacon side. The skewers were marvellous and none of them were dry and the sauces were a super addition. Plus that pomegranate and tabbouli had me clapping in my mouth.
And fattoush salad was something I only discovered at CAFE ON JOHNSTON. My dining guest loved it and asked if we could order it as soon as she saw it on the menu. She gave it big thumbs up and from memory she had never seen the crispy Lebanese bread spiralled like below. It got extra love for the presentation and I am now a HUGE fan of fattoush salad and will order it whenever I see it. It was so incredibly vibrant and no word of a lie – the pictures of the fattoush salads in this article have had the colour saturation turned down.
CAFE ON JOHNSTON is much more than you would imagine on paper or from the outside. Its Middle Eastern influences in the cafe food are a marvel and something I look forward to return to. Especially for more of that Fattoush Salad – simply divine.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Cafe on Johnston Deets:
PH: (02) 9660 5103
63 Johnston St, Annandale NSW 2038
BOOKINGS: I don’t believe so
HOURS: 530am – 4pm 7 Days
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Definitely
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such ***