77 Macleay Street
Potts Point NSW 2011
+(02) 9358 6777
RATING: Let’s Be Friends
After catching the ferry back from a late morning start to the Taronga Zoo, we realized that we had forgotten to eat breakfast and now lunch time was drawing to a close. We were beyond famished and decided to make our way back towards the apartment where we were staying in hopes of finding a quick bite to eat. As we were walking up Macleay Street we stumbled across an adorable little outdoor cafe called Zinc. As we walked towards the door, we were greeted by a man named Edward who informed us that they were closed for lunch but would re-open in a few hours for dinner. When asked if there were any other good restaurants in the area, Edward shook his head and said that Zinc was all there was. Then with a wink and a smile he suggested a few restaurants around the corner. Amused by his quick-wit and self-assured confidence, we decided to put Zinc to the test the following morning. We arrived around 9:15am and asked the host to be seated in Edward’s section. We found ourselves placed at a charming table outside and as we saw Edward making his way towards our table, we immediately shielded our faces with the menu and demanded a better server. It took him a split second to put it all together, then Edward laughed and welcomed us back. “Good morning boys. Enjoying Sydney?” I replied, “Truth be told, after a long night out pub crawling on Oxford Street combined with jet lag, everything hurts.” He chuckled and then rushed off to get Miguel some coffee and a glass of freshly squeezed OJ for myself. By the time he returned we were ready to order. Right out of the gate, I opted for comfort food to help nurse my delicate head back to health and ordered the Vanilla Cinnamon Porridge to start.
After practically licking the bowl clean, it took an act of god for me not to rush back to the kitchen, hold out my bowl and sheepishly say, “Please sir, may I have some more?”
Instead I surrendered my spoon and empty bowl and dreamed about how I could replicate that dish at home someday. Every creamy spoonful tasted as though a vanilla bean had been scraped specifically into each bite. I reflected for a moment on a story I had heard growing up. It was about a young girl that, for all accounts and purposes, got away with breaking and entering, vandalism, and stealing a baby bears bowl of porridge. It wasn’t until that moment, sitting in a foreign country, that I realized “if that crooked little b*@% stole a bowl of porridge from me, she’d end up blowing through a tube to communicate for the rest of her life.”
Now some might believe that a bowl of porridge would be plenty for one’s breakfast, but not me. I wanted a few bites of something savory so I got myself some free range scrambled eggs with sausage, tomato and mushrooms. It was a delicious dish, but perhaps because we had been spoiled days earlier by Bill Grangers ever-so-creamy scrambled eggs, it slightly paled in comparison. The eggs were perfectly fine, but there was something a bit more rich and fluffy to the dish at Bill’s and now my head wouldn’t let it go. Halfway through my brekky, (that’s what the locals refer to as breakfast and my sad attempt of trying to fit in) I noticed a man having breakfast next to us reading the local paper. For a moment, I thought how crazy that I know someone halfway around the world…Oh My God, its Mitzi Del Bra from Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I nearly choked on my whole wheat toast. Of course any heterosexual would
have said holy sh*t it’s Agent Smith from The Matrix, but Hugo Weaving will always be Mitzi to me. Now I am not a starstruck kind of guy having lived in Los Angeles and waited on everyone from Robert Redford to Nancy Regan in my youth, but it was somewhat surreal to be in a foreign country dining next to an Aussie celebrity. I am pretty sure no one really took much notice. When I asked Edward to confirm my sighting it took
him a second to put it together, but I was right. Edward had been waiting on him and didn’t even notice. So crazy. Anyway, I decided then and there- if Zinc Cafe was good enough for that queen of the desert, then it was definitely good enough me.
FOOD: Vanilla Cinnamon Porridge