Sotto on West sits quite unsurprisingly on West Street in North Sydney. This sun-bathed corner location is supremely peaceful especially on weekends but you’ll definitely want to arrive before 10AM if you don’t want to wait.
The tables on the sidewalk run the length and breadth of the café while inside you’ll find many more including a comfortable pillow-lined bench all overlooked by a funky contemporary mural of the Madhatter’s tea party. The courtyard is also available and would suit large groups or special events.
My, what a diverse group of guests accompanied me this morning! They aided me by sampling almost every variety of coffee ($3.50). While they were presented reasonably, they didn’t look as professional compared to some of my reviews. But our cups went down well as they certainly had more flavour than a majority of other north shore establishments in the area.
Ordered by mistake but I was happy to help finish it was the mango and passionfruit frappe ($7). The frappes and smoothies change regularly so ask what the daily specials are.
I had barely finished when the drink that I was really after, the granola smoothie, arrived! This beverage really impressed. It’s essentially a meal in a glass with granola, cinnamon, honey and banana and it was executed very well.
Avocado on toast ($9 – estimated based on $4.50 for avocado). Simple but done well. The avocado was served in the form of a smashed salsa which certainly helps it to stand out from the crowd (although those in search of just plain avocado should be aware of what they will receive)! My guest found the sourdough toast a bit hard to cut through but loved the avocado.
The passion for buttery eggs ($18.50) can be ordered with ocean trout, bacon or spicy pancetta. One of my guests chose the bacon. The eggs were poached perfectly and the bacon was bountiful. The whole grain mustard and honey hollandaise adds a great twist to the classic breakfast sauce (but I still prefer the original). Everything was topped with a healthy dose of chives which makes almost any breakfast better! Again though, the toast was a bit tough for another one of my guests.
The Ron Burgundy ($16) is a gluten free dish based around a salad of dry fruits and poached burgundy & elderflower pears. Not a bad start to a dish! On top you’ll find cracked quinoa, slivered almonds, rolled oats and mixed grains as well as vanilla bean organic yoghurt, organic Kangaroo Island honey and some fresh passionfruit. My guest thoroughly enjoyed this bowl, even on a winter morning.
Eggs with Brasserie Bread bread ($9.50) can be ordered any way but one of my guests opted to have them scrambled with bacon on the side ($4.50). They arrived as professionally as one could expect from an established café and once again, kudos for the chives!
The special this week was Did the pig come before the egg? ($19.50). The plate was quite a sight to behold and completely different to what I was expecting. The potato and onion hash which served as the base reminded me of an Indian onion bhaji thanks to its spices and hit of chilli (which built as I ate more). The hash was crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside. The sausages were a triump: free range Bangalow pork, bacon fennel, chive and goats curd. That’s a lot of ingredients but they were worth the effort resulting in excellent sausages. The hash was topped with quite a well cooked (yet still slightly runny) fried egg and grated manchego.
A whole world of flavours yet I relished every bite. The small salad on the side did a good job of cooling my palate.
Other dishes on the menu (which featured black text on a red background, not the best design for readability) include This Mexican guy is sooo corny!! (corn and zucchini fritters, corn and mixed tomato salsa, guacomole, queso fresco, free range poached eggs drizzled with a blended salsa of charred tomatoes, chipotles and red capsicum, $18.50) and You’ll fall for this Autumn salad (warm salad of asparagus spears, roasted baby beats, brocolini topped with balsamic tomatoes, goats curd, mint yoghurt, crusted dukkha son in law eggs drizzled with a preserved lemon and harissa dressing and smashed pistachios ($18).
As you can tell they’re not shy on experimentation and an abundance of ingredients at SoW but luckily they know how to combine flavours that work well together. This is definitely a warm and unique spot that I would visit again.
Overall Rating: 17/25
Phone: 8065 9792
Address: 67 West Street, North Sydney, 2060
Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash