To regular readers, it would be obvious that things were quiet here at SoS for a few weeks. Since I first started my reviews, I promised myself that if I was no longer enjoying or enthralled by the process, that I would stop. And that is what I was on the verge of doing when I first visited Bloodhound Espresso two weeks ago. It was Saturday and it was busy. Even though we waited for a while, a young Matt Cauhi (part owner) poured his attention over us during this time and after we were seated. It’s very rare that attentiveness from a host or waitstaff catches my attention. Yes they can be friendly and attentive but I was impressed watching Matt interact and recall details of every customer. As it turns out, I was about to eat the best bacon and egg roll I ever have. Hands down. And that is what renewed my vigour to continue with my reviews. I returned with my SLR and girlfriend to sit down with Matt to listen to him warmly share his passion for his product and his patrons.
BE is the first venture for Matt and his business partner Joel White. Matt explained that they wanted to bring something to the area that locals could call their own. They purchased the previous, failing business and opened doors on the 10th of February 2016.
The interior is sleek and modern with elements of “industrial design, raw materials [and] the street art scene” with small homely touches. Where this establishment really shines though, is the care, hospitality and friendliness shown towards customers. Oh yeah… and there’s the food too…
Since February this year, BE have been serving their own roast of coffee ($3.50) sourced not only from a single origin in Nicaragua but from a single plantation. Being able to control the process from plant to cup provides a whole world of control of the flavours. It’s a process that Matt and Joel have tweaked brilliantly. On two occasions now, I have tasted the chocolate-tinted tones and deep warmth of the Bloodhound Blend and there will be more!
Iced coffee ($5), Tea Craft tea ($4), milkshakes ($7) and a breakfast smoothie ($9) are also available along with cold pressed juices ($7.50).
While it’s true that my visits to BE are right on the eve of the launch of a new menu, I have the utmost confidence in saying that any replacement dishes will represent the Head Chef Adam Pritchard (The Riverside Inn, Herefordshire & Holm House, Cardiff) and his skills brilliantly. I have come to discover that with each and every dish, there is some unique element added added. “We are firm believers in sustainability and providing fresh, nutritious meals without sacrificing flavour or quality” said Matt.
Why don’t we start then with the jerk chicken sandwich ($13). The chicken was moist and tender with a strong kick provided by the jerk seasoning. The roll, a soft Turkish bread which in itself was nothing remarkable also contained coconut labneh, salsa verde, avocado, pickled onion, a sprinkling of pomegranate and fresh coriander. It presented well and tasted even better. The combination shows a knowledge of flavours as they are things that you don’t conventionally see together. Everything is prepared onsite which works in BE’s favour because the kitchen has control over everything. Unfortunately, this dish will not be on the new menu though.
The eggs on sourdough ($9) has a large number of sides that you can add. Or you can have a few of each (and choose either bacon or salmon) for $15 to create a ‘big breakfast’. What we found so delicious and unusual about the scrambled eggs, is the slight… is that macadamia? Nope, there’s a touch of coconut milk in there! We added sides of salmon, and a hashbrown. It was all presented well; clean and simple.
The Bloodhound brekky bowl ($12) is a fresh green bowl that breaks away from other ‘healthy’ green bowls in that it actually has some flavour, plenty of it. It’s based on quinoa, broccolini, spinach, walnuts and sweet crunchy green apple. It’s the house made apple vinaigrette that tops it all off, working so well with the green ingredients. And there wasn’t too much of it. We added poached chicken for $5 which itself wasn’t dry like chicken breast can normally become.
We have come to the simply named BAE roll. It has the measly price of $12, yet is large enough to make even those with large appetites stumble. Not to mention that both times I’ve tried it I added avocado ($3) and a hashbrown ($2). This was all stacked neatly, topped with a fried egg that you’ll need to carefully break unless you want it to burst out! So I squashed it down and bit in. The phenomenal rush of flavours: crunchy bacon, fresh avocado, crispy and soft hashbrown melded with Bloodhound’s own kasundi (an Indian pickled sauce) and blended Kewpie mayonnaise. It’s the latter two ingredients that put this roll over and above the rest. The savoury yet slightly sweet flavours and perfectly prepared other main ingredients have made this my pick to beat when it comes to breakfast rolls. And I’ve had plenty. The best part about it all? Along with the Bloody Mary burg ($16), the BAE roll will be on the new menu!
The daily muffins are supplied by Nutorious. Without doubt one of the best muffins you’re every likely to plant inside your gob, they are the product of the marvellous James ‘Nutty’ Sideris. Each morning, a new surprise flavour is available at Bloodhound as well as a few other establishments throughout Sydney. They alone are worth dropping in for. Light where they need to be, ridiculously over the top as well, their harmony of ingredients and decadence turned me into an instant adoring fan.
Whether you’re easily impressed at breakfast time or not, put Bloodhound Espresso on your list especially with their new menu about to hit the tables. You will be impressed by the food, coffee, environment and accommodating warmth shown by Matt, Joel, Adam and the team.
Overall Rating: 23/25
Phone: 9326 9227
Address: 230-232 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
Payment Options: Credit card, EFTPOS, cash