We took a wrong turn into Woolloomooloo one sunny day and decided to stick around and take a stroll through this harbourside suburb to see what was on offer. The sparkling water off the iconic Finger Wharf was the first thing that caught our eye, but we actually ended up eating at a cute cafe called John Montagu in the end, which had just what we needed to refuel after our walk with their large selection of gourmet sandwiches (random trivia – the cafe is named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich).
The clean lines of the contemporary decor at John Montagu admittedly look a lot like many other cafes out there in the Sydney scene, but their menu features some next level items which set it apart from the pack, like the Truffle Coddled Egg which can be added as a side to anything.
Truffle Coddled Egg, $3
We got the Truffle Coddled Egg on the side with the Beef Cheeks Sandwich and had no regrets at all – this is a must order for egg lovers, with the distinctive fragrance of truffle infusing into the soft gooey goodness of the 63 degree slow cooked egg served in what looked like a little yum cha tea cup. The Truffle Coddled Egg almost overshadowed the main component of the dish, which was the soft 12 hour cooked beef cheeks, layered in between sourdough slices with some cheddar, horseradish, rocket and Spanish onions for an extra flavour hit.
Beef Cheeks Sandwich, $17
We also tried out the Salmon dish which featured house-cured salmon, avocado, salmon roe, nori and an incredibly flavoursome vichyssoise, which is a type of thick cold soup made of pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock. The delicate slivers of salmon were fresh and delicious, going nicely with the rye toast slathered with cream cheese on the side.
To cool down in the heat, we ordered some chilled drinks – a refreshing Elderflower and Mint Soda for me, which had some light bubbles to balance the sweetness, and a cold press Ethiopian coffee for the boy, which he enjoyed with a spritz of lime juice on the side.
Elderflower and Mint Soda, $6
Cold Press Coffee, $4
John Montagu is a nice little spot to drop into in you’re ever in the area – it’s even worth a stroll in from the city if you’re looking for brunch dishes that are a twist on the usual suspects at brunchtime.
144 Cathedral Street
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011