With metal and textured decor, this quaint cafe brings refreshing beverages, breakfast, and lunch options to Surry Hills.
By John Bek
Coming to us from the same folk behind Blacksmith up in Mona Vale, this new Surry Hills outpost has been open for about two month and the locals already seem to have settled in.
The cafe takes up corner possie where Firstdraft gallery resided for almost 20 years. The exhibitions and artworks have made way for a deeply textured space that takes on a whole new personality, and it quickly becomes apparent how the name marries perfectly with the decor.
There’s metal everywhere. Be it forged, in sheet form and crafted into pendant lamps, planters and furniture. Right down to the bespoke teaspoons, breakfast skillets and metal trays. All this with exposed brick, wood, formica and terrazzo and you’ve got a unique space that fits the building as snuggly as a blacksmiths glove.
Cabinets are filled with cakes and pastries alongside a rack loaded with loaves of fresh bread baked onsite.
Morning punters can lube up by way of fresh juice blends, smoothies, T2 teas and coffee by Toby’s Estate. We’re pretty chuffed on the beaker styling with the cold drip coffee; great the first time, but sadly, insipidly weak on another visit. Even water glasses have been given the enamelware touch.
Breakfast covers the usuals – toasties, fruit, eggs and French toast, with a few little quirks thrown in as well. The roughforked avocado (13.5) is presented salad-style rather than on the sourdough, as most would do. Watercress and baby rocket leaves with black quinoa, tomatoes and feta, plus a pop of lemon zest and paprika olive oil.
Something that’s a little more messy is the Smithy breakfast burger (14.5). A crisp brioche bun harbours bacon, pesto fried egg, beet relish and some very aromatic pickled slaw. Melted Cheddar joins in on the fun with caramelised onion that replaced the promised chilli jam. A bit of a bite would have been welcomed.
The lunch menu features a bunch of filled baguettes, salads, even rump steak; with many vegetarian and gluten-free options for those with intolerances and non-meat preferences.
The Derrick (13.5) is a good old mouthful of chorizo, pickled capsicum and onion with a squiggle of horseradish honey mustard. It’s declared “ok”.
And something that’s doing its rounds in Sydney at the moment – the soft-shell crab burger (21). Brioche bun, as expected, loaded with pickled Asian slaw, ribbons of fennel and “kimchi” salsa. Can’t forget the golden fried crab that beacons with its pointy claws. Not bad.
Teething problems aside, Blacksmith is sure to become another breakfast-brunch hotspot for the Surry Hillsters.
BYO beard optional.
116 Chalmers Street
Surry Hills 2010
02 9690 0103