Beejay’s Café and Wine Bar
Beejay’s Café exudes a friendly vibe. As soon as I walked in, smiles were visible all around. The aroma of beans, the personable waitstaff and a well-comprised menu with a sense of humour made for a fantastic start to a Sunday morning. I did find the waitstaff to be a bit too keen when it came to clearing the table and there didn’t seem to be a clear enough division of tables between them. We were asked by three different people if we wanted to order coffee!
The design is very quirky. Bicycles and tricycles abound inside and out. Those relics of the past, cassette tapes, adorn one wall while another plays home to photographic devices of yesteryear. There are no bad seats here… you can choose the counter at the front which is perfect for people-watching, slide onto a couch inside or sit back in the courtyard through to the rear.
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Two freshly squeezed juices ($6.50) are available: orange or apple. Pure orange, plenty of ice… you can’t really go wrong! Delicious and refreshing.
Single Origin’s Moustro blend beans are served here and the result is enjoyable. This week one of my guests sipped on a piccolo ($3.50) which I believe is a first for SoS. Our inaugural piccolo drinker!
Teas ($4) are also available but those after something a bit more interesting should look at the “Shak’n Not Stirr’d” section with mixed drinks such as Tropicana (muddled lemons & limes, passionfruit, vanilla infused rapberries, shaken & topped with soda) or Orange Fizz (muddled orange, mint, brown sugar, lemon & sherbet, shaken & topped with soda) ($6 each).
Those in search of hair of the dog will find sanctuary here too with Aperol spritz ($11), Bloody Mary ($15) or Espresso Martini ($15).
The Smooth Operator
I was too slow this morning to think of a response to the waitress declaring “Smooth Operator” as she presented the drink. She has probably heard it all before anyway, I’m sure.
The Smooth Operator ($8.50) boasts vanilla infused raspberries, ice cream and fresh passionfruit pulp. The unmistakable flavour of raspberries with the tartness of the passionfruit and the smoothness of the ice cream made this a winner. It wasn’t too thick which mean I could enjoy it straight away and didn’t have to wait for the ice cream to melt.
The Banana Man ($8.50) rounds up the usual suspects of banana, cinnamon and honey but throws in ice cream and muesli to create a thick and tasty smoothie. It’s always nice to find a café that tries to do something unique (and succeeds).
While there are plenty of dishes with bacon (and even steak) on the menu, there are a number that are perfect for vegetarians. The breakfast polenta ($13.50) is one of them. The polenta has a smooth texture and is flavoured with parmesan, subtle seasoning and butter. In the centre you will find two poached eggs with runny yolks, mushrooms and spinach. The flavours were a bit mild for my guest this morning but that might be just what you are after…
The salsa eggs
Another vegetarian dish that we sampled was the salsa eggs ($14.50) which features a generous amount of grilled haloumi on Sonoma bread. The two poached eggs on top and the haloumi are flavoured by a fresh tomato, Spanish onion, coriander, chilli and lemon juice salsa. We weren’t sure what kind of salsa to expect and imagined a sauce as opposed to the chunky condiment you see above. The flavours were bold but didn’t drown out the haloumi which is cleverly what the chef would have intended. It’s quite a light meal so you may even have space for a muffin after!
Bacon n egg burger
Personally, I don’t think you can name a dish a ‘burger’ if it doesn’t have a pattie of some sort but that’s a discussion for another time!
The bacon n egg burger ($10.50) was the lone dish at the table which contained meat. There sure was plenty of crispy rindless bacon while the tomato and lettuce were fresh and crunchy. The egg was still oozing and mixed with melting cheddar from above. A dollop of ailoli worked brilliantly and the toasted bun had been brushed with garlic oil which made it even better. A highly recommended dish.
For the very hungry, there is the Chimichuri steak n’ eggs ($16.50) which sounds like a mountainous combination of grilled steak, chimichuri seasoning, a salsa of salsa verde pesto, parsley, coriander, chilli, garlic and lemon servied on a bed of duck fat potatoes, fresh watercress, truss tomatoes and a sunny side up egg. The duck fat potatoes alone were what almost tempted me to order this. On the lighter side is the avocado crostini (avocado, lemon salt, tomasco and fresh basil on thinly sliced linseed crostinis, $9).
Wine, cocktails and boutique beer are served through to the evening so morning, midday or night time, you’ll find a welcoming light on at Beejay’s.
Overall Rating: 19/25
Phone: 9558 8860
Address: 395 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, 2204
Payment Options: CC, EFTPOS, cash