Balmain is a veritable hub of great cafes and a relaxed village culture, and we’re here today to show a relocated Melbournian what Sydney has to offer. It’s quite bustling on a Saturday afternoon but we manage to nab free parking and head down the main strip on Darling Street to see where to eat. I had a couple of places in mind but unfortunately they were closed, so we wandered into Café Berlin which was quite busy and figured that the crowds were a sign of good food.
The service here was a bit haphazard but friendly, after reminding the waitress a few times to bring us water we finally get a bottle and settle down to order. I decide to get the pasta of the day which is the spicy chorizo and prawn penne. We were quite ravenous and it felt like awhile before the pasta came out but it was worth the wait – a generous serving of delicious al dente penne with a light tomato cream sauce seasoned with a bit of chilli and plenty of de-shelled juicy prawns and flavoursome chorizo. All of my favourite things rolled into one pasta makes me a happy girl, especially since it was extremely well priced.
Spicy chorizo and prawn pasta of the day, $12
My friend also got the Big Breakfast which was another generously proportioned serving and she was quite full after it. Café Berlin definitely has the local café kind of vibe, with well thumbed magazines nestled into a holder on the column in the middle of the café and has simple décor (mirrors and blackboards). It’s a comfortable place to grab a coffee and some food, especially if you’re lucky enough to come on a day where the daily specials are as great as the one I happened upon.
No trip to Balmain is complete without a trip to Adriano Zumbo’s original bakery and we strolled over after our lunch to grab some desserts. I didn’t take any photos since we’ve covered Zumbo’s at the Star before – I tried out a couple of zumberon flavours which I hadn’t tasted before – happy to report that the watermelon and orange zumberon was juicy fresh and tasted very much like those fruits with a light crunchy shell and creamy ganache, but unfortunately their gin and tonic zumberon just tasted like toothpaste…
249 Darling Street
Balmain NSW 2041
Phone: 02 9810 2336