Brunch and afternoon tea on the North Shore: Salvage Specialty Coffee, Artarmon and Kurtosh, Crows Nest

Salvage Specialty Coffee

A friend of ours who loves his coffee recently mentioned a fantastic cafe in Artarmon called Salvage Specialty Coffee which he’s been meaning to try. He enticed us to join him by letting us know that Salvage does a decent brunch too, so we duly headed over on a Saturday morning. The cafe is in the middle of the mini Japan-town side of Artarmon station and even though I go to that area quite often for dinner, I have never noticed Salvage before as it’s only open during the day.

The place is bustling by the time we arrive for brunch and all the tables are outdoors making it a weather dependent kind of cafe. It’s pretty clear from my first glance where the cafe got its name from as the decor and furniture have a distinctly recycled wooden feel.  We get straight down to business by ordering a couple of coffees and dishes off their Weekend Food Additions blackboard menu. My mocha comes out and we can see from the sign on their counter inside that they use Mecca Espresso beans, which lends an earthy aroma to the coffee.

Mocha, $3.50

My Croque Madame comes neatly sliced into two, with a creamy bechamel sauce and poached egg sitting on top of a toasted sandwich featuring Black Forrest Gypsy ham, gruyere cheese and dijon. It tastes as good as it looks, with the runny yolk and bechamel giving wonderful flavour to the dish and keeping the toast from being too dry.

Croque Madame, $14

Although my dish was lovely, the boy ordered the winner of the meal with the gorgeously presented Sourdough of White Anchovy and Cannellini Hommus with Jamon, Soft Egg and Chorizo Crumb. I was a bit sceptical about some of the ingredients in this dish from the description but it was absolutely delicious with the flavoursome crumbs giving little salty surprises with each mouthful. The anchovy also mixed surprisingly well with the jamon and chorizo to produce a well thought out dish that we enjoyed every bite of.

Sourdough of White Anchovy, $15

Salvage Specialty Coffee lives up to its name in many ways and is an all rounder cafe which is perfect for a lazy weekend brunch with decent coffee if you’re in the area. I’ll definitely be back to try more of their gourmet brunch offerings as they’re even more impressive than the coffees!

Salvage Coffee
5 Wilkes Ave, Artarmon NSW 2064

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Salvage Coffee on Urbanspoon


I actually had no idea that this delightful bakery had set up shop in Crows Nest and was pretty excited to try the whimsical looking Hungarian chimney cakes for afternoon tea after our Salvage brunch. These are apparently sold as street snacks in Hungary and after hearing all the possible flavour combos (Nutella anyone?) from the waitress we finally settled on a Pistachio one to share between us four. Even after we order, we get distracted watching the pastry chef roll a thin ribbon of dough into a long coiled cylinder at the front counter but we’re not alone as some passers-by on the sidewalk also stop to watch through the glass window.

On our way to our table, we spot the other freshly baked pastries and cakes that Kurtosh offers all neatly displayed in glass cabinets. I take a closer look at all the delectable looking creations and notice that they are sold by their weight, rather than a flat price per slice, which is a novel idea that makes perfect commercial sense and allows you to sample a bit of everything if you want too!

The cafe part of the bakery is quite spacious and there’s plenty of tables. The decor is very on trend, with vintage equipment as centrepieces and deliberately exposed brick walls to give it a bit of an industrial feel.

After a short wait, our Pistachio chimney cake comes out and looks like a cylinder of glistening golden brown pastry with chopped pistachios sprinkled on top. It tastes drier than I expected and I might opt for the Nutella one next time, but it’s still a fun street snack to try.

110-112 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest NSW 2065 ‎
Ph: (02) 9439 4563

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Kürtősh on Urbanspoon


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