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Two Peas, two weeks in, is a well-oiled machine. Cafe by day and restaurant by night, this place is excellent value for money.

A Saturday lunch establishment should be like visiting your favourite aunty; getting a little bit spoilt but not fawned over or told off. Two Peas is the new favourite aunty in Forest Lodge. And with a menu celebrating organic, local and seasonal produce, it’s the favourite aunty who might just teach us a little something about ethical food.

The place has been under the pump since opening just two weeks ago, having fortuitously gauged a need for a reasonably priced all-rounder in the area. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they’re working hard. Chefs Nick Johnson and Tom Stoneham met working at Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge and shipped themselves over here to help open Jamie’s Italian on Pitt Street in the CBD.  They’ve taken the best of Jamie with them to Two Peas – simplicity, respect for produce and Tom’s pommy accent – and established themselves as a sterling addition to the hidden culinary gems to be found in the Glebe foothills.

The menu offers well-priced items ranging from British classics such as the Welsh rarebit ($9), melted mature cheddar on toast, to more inventive breakfasts such as bourbon cured Salmon with maple syrup ($13), which has a number of fans already. I opted for the organic paté ($12) and was anticipating some textbook metallic flavours, but this chicken liver number is mild and creamy,with some extra life thanks to the addition of smokey bacon. The accompanying apricot and orange marmalade is sweet and peppery, the perfect side to celebrate the richness of the paté.

In between paté and Saltimbocca, charasmatic barista and barman Pete, introduced me to his pride and joy. The Seattle-made Synesso coffee machine – an industrial triumph akin to an American muscle car, so I’m told. The flat whites I had were up there with the best.

The highlight of my visit was the Saltimbocca ($22); an oyster blade steak pressed with sage and prosciutto, which they’ve plated with a caprese salad. The buffalo mozzarella’s lactic, neutralising influence on the potent meat with meat situation makes this a cleverly balanced dish.

Two Peas, two weeks in, is a well-oiled machine. Cafe by day and restaurant by night, this place is excellent value for money. Perch at the bar of a morning for one of Pete’s faultless coffees or sink into one of the chesterfields at night with your preferred tipple. Jamie himself would be proud.

Published on August 13 , 2012 by

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