Circa, Parramatta

Circa has been on my radar for a long time, but it has been packed to the rafters every single time I passed it in the past year or so and I get hangry waiting for brunch so I’ve always gone elsewhere. But finally, a few weekends ago curiosity got the better of me and I put my name down for a table and waited it out with the rest of the hungry brunch crowd on their eclectic mix of mismatched chairs outside. About 30 minutes later, we were ushered into the long, narrow former garage, past the bustling baristas and the kitchen, into an unexpectedly classy room with banquette seating, a set of Britannica encyclopedias on the shelf and painted portraits on the wall that would not look out of place in a museum.

We couldn’t pick between the Baked Eggs and the Ottoman Eggs, so we ordered one of each to share. The Ottoman Eggs put an exotic, Middle Eastern twist on your standard poached eggs, with a bed of rich, creamy garlic labneh and crumbed eggplant adding substance to the free range eggs which were poached to perfection. This dish was absolutely brimming with flavour, with plenty of textural variety – although it did tend to get a bit salty towards the end, thanks to the burnt chilli and sage butter.

Ottoman Eggs, $17

The Baked Eggs was much more balanced, with tasty chunks of sujuk sausage, Danish feta and a flavoursome diced tomato and chilli sauce to pull the eggs all together. One of the best baked eggs I’ve had in Sydney, where every element was done just right.

Baked Eggs, $19

Then there was the coffee. The Cappuccino was very smooth and the froth had particularly fine bubbles which made you admire the barista’s prowess. The Affogato was fun, after you mixed in the salted caramel ice cream with toasted hazelnuts with the bitter espresso shot.

Cappuccino, $4.50 (large), Affogato, $6

The crowds at Circa don’t lie – it’s worth the wait for one of the best baked eggs in town, although you may have to sit at tables on the footpath or on the balcony of the terrace next door because they are literally overflowing from their tiny premises to keep up with the demand.

21 Wentworth Street
Parramatta NSW 2150

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