Gnome Espresso and Winebar

A good friend of mine happened to be in Sydney for the weekend that was quite awhile ago. And what do good friends do but drag each other onto the wrong bus and all the way up to Surry Hills for a lacklustre brunch. Details are as follows

Gnome Espresso has been on my hit list for as long as Mad Spuds has been, since it’s crazy cheese sandwich started making waves on the Internets. It sits almost parallel to Mad Spuds on Crown St which means the only way I know how to get there is by starting at Central and going on the uphill for a good ten minutes or so. It’s a lot smaller than the pictures on other food blogs have led me to believe but being on Crown, the atmosphere is always perfect for that lazy weekend feeling. Sadly that’s really all there is to it.

Perhaps that would have been the smart thing to order the aforementioned four cheese sandwich but neither of us were feeling like clogging up our arteries that particular morning and everything went wrong from there.

My special friend had the mini benny roll which was poached egg, hollandaise sauce and ham on a brioche. Sure the menu says mini and all but we didn’t expect to be that mini. There’s not much you can compare it to in the photo I took above but it basically fits very nicely in the palm of my girly hands. Too nicely. But again I give them the benefit of the doubt by saying to now incredulous-look friend that perhaps it’ll be the best benny roll he’s ever had. He responds by pulling a piece of plastic out from his mouth after the second bite.

My order of the vegetable fritter with ocean trout, watercress and poached egg was a more regular people sized portion. The fritter was a little bit dry and flour-y but otherwise there was nothing really to complain or praise. I don’t remember much of it and I think I lost my appetite after the benny roll fiasco.

Special friend decided to only inform them after our meal was over. The management was great in trying to minimise the problem. They must have apologised three times to special friend, offered to make him a new one (to which he refused), gave him a refund and at the very end presented him with a dessert cookie/brownie of some sort which he said was quite nice. Overall though I don’t think we’ll be coming back. Crown St can be struggle street for any restaurant that underwhelms because there’s just too many alternative eating places nearby for anyone to want to go back and potentially be served with a side of plastic again.

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