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Foley Lane, Darlinghurst – Rating: 21.5/25

Foley Lane

Foley Lane

Morning cocktails, breakfast tapas, long tables that encourage sharing and conversation?  This is ‘boozy brunch’ at Foley Lane, a you-have-to-know-it’s-there-to-find-it spot that is better known as a bar in the evenings serving up outstanding share plates and cocktails of classic origin as well as a few special creations which can be found on the blackboard.
Brunch starts from 10am on Saturdays and Sundays and runs through to 3pm.  We were the first into the establishment but a steady stream of customers built up as we laughed, drank and ate our way through most of what the menu had to offer.  Service was constant, reliable and friendly, not much more we could have asked for!
Latte

Latte

Mocha

Mocha

Flat white

Flat white

While I recommend the cocktails, they serve a mean cup of coffee ($3.50) as well.  Either type of beverage will probably encourage more breakfast conversation so it doesn’t matter which you choose!  Little Marionette beans were on show providing their usual great flavour.
Bloody Mary No. 1 "el classico"

Bloody Mary No. 1 “el classico”

Definitely one of the best Bloody Marys I have had for a long time!  You have the choice of Bloody Mary No. 1 “El Classico” or Bloody Mary No. 2 “de Espana!” ($10).  The Espana uses “chipoltes to give it the spice and a rich earthy flavour.  We also use fino sherry which drys out the the drink and balances with the sweetness of the tomatoes.  A mix of freshly juiced truss tomatoes and roasted tomatoes [are used] for the tomato juice component.”
So as you can tell they take pride in their recipes and ingredients.  I tried the El Classico… what a hit of Tobasco and vodka this had and boy was it outstanding!  The other three cocktails available with brunch are morning martini, seasonal fruit margarita or seasonal fruit mimosa ($10 each).  The adventurous can double up for $5…
Apple juice

Apple juice

Juice of the day, in this case a freshly squeezed, ice cold glass of apple juice (complimentary because they didn’t have the pineapple one of my guests requested).
Bowl of seasonal fruit

Bowl of seasonal fruit

Onto the breakfast tapas!  Best shared, these small dishes came with just the right amount of time interspersed to enjoy them and converse.  Between four of us we sampled everything you’re about to see and were definitely comfortably satisfied by the end of it!
Of these, the bowl of seasonal fruit ($11) was the only dish to have any kind of negative comment from one of my guests.  She found the pear to not be ripe enough although it appeared to be a nashi pear and it had the consistency I expected.  Throw some ripe blueberries into the mix and a creamy yoghurt with that distinct passionfruit tang to counteract the sweeteness of the fresh fruit and I thought it was a great way to start.
Grilled peach tostada

Grilled peach tostada

Then things really started to get interesting with the grilled peach tostada ($7).  Served on a slice of Bourke Street Bakery’s sourdough, the peaches were soft and sweet.  They rested on a layer of chevre (goats cheese) which balanced the dish perfectly.  It was all topped with a reduced balsamic and was the dish of the morning for one of my guests.  It certainly is a must-have!
Roasted field mushroom

Roasted field mushroom

A distinct savoury turn as we tried the roasted field mushroom ($8) with an eschalot dressing and lots of ricotta.  The mushrooms themselves were outstanding, brought to life by the slightly acidic dressing.  The crunch of the onion and smoothness of the ricotta provide a unique texture and suffice to say this dish didn’t last long!
Smashed avo on toast

Smashed avo on toast

Simple but quality ingredients.  It looked like a whole avocado went into the smashed avo on toast ($7)!  Mixed with a touch of lemon for some zing and topped with a light sprinkling of oil all on some light, crunchy bread courtesy of Bourke Street Bakery.
Jamon bocadillo

Jamon bocadillo

I was even more impressed by the jamon bocadillo ($9.50) which put some quality jamon to work alongside a small amount of seeded mustard to result in a moreish roll that I unfortunately had to share!
Pork & potato hash

Pork & potato hash

The dish that blew us all away was one of the two larger plates on offer.  The pork & potato hash ($15) looked impressive as it towered above everything else on the table.  You’d think that is all potato beneath the perfectly poached egg but no… tender pieces of crumbling pork belly awaited us.  It became a lottery to see who would be lucky enough to fork some pork!  And yes, the crackling on top was the most sought-after item at the table.
We apparently did the owners of Foley Lane proud as we embraced the tapas philosphy; order plenty, share it all, enjoy some drinks and just be merry.  We sampled almost everything except for the fried green tomatoes, sweet corn and feta ($13)agave muesli ($11)quinoa hash brown ($4) and vegetarian bocadillo (potato tortilla with salsa romesco, $7).
The brunch menu is changed every couple of months so if you want to try any of these dishes, you’ll need to be quick.  The ever-evolving menu is a great way to change up flavours though and you can be sure to find something new and interesting with each visit.
As a special offer to Sydney on Sunday readers, Foley Lane has a fantastic deal:
“Mention Sydney on Sunday when booking a table of 4 or more through brunch@foleylane.com.au and the first round of coffee is on us!”

Taste: StarStarStarStar
PresentationStarStarStarStarStar
Service: StarStarStarStarStar
Atmosphere: StarStarStarStar
Value: StarStarStar

Overall Rating: 21.5/25

Website: http://www.foleylane.com.au/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Foley-Lane/141398059317790
Address: 371-373 Bourke Street, Darlinghurst, 2010

Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash

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