One of Camperdown's new cafes is serving up Egyptian fusion food in a simple setting. Simple, that is, apart from the badass graffiti on the back wall: an artwork depicting black and white tattooed arms with BOSS LADY painted across the knuckles.
Owners Helen Munday and Sue Bebawy, a trained chef and coffee specialist respectively, are boss ladies indeed, and have carried their love of awesome ladies through to the menu. A whole section is dedicated to 'The Ladies', so named after the strong women who have contributed to the business. "These ladies have a massive influence and gave us the balls to open this place," Munday says.
Munday and Bebawy's namesake dishes are expectedly popular with patrons. The Helen ($14.50) is a delightful cross between a bacon roll and a Cubano, while The Suzanne ($15.5) is a slow-cooked beef rib bun with caramelised onions, creamy slaw and a sugar free coffee BBQ sauce — the Boss Lady special.
Many of the dishes are fashioned after Bebawy's childhood meals. The daughter of Greek and Egyptian immigrants, her family's home-style comfort food is perfect in a cafe setting. The Ful Medames ($14) is indulgently flavourful; Egyptian-style baked beans are served with homemade labneh, tahini sauce and a pickled salad that adds a fresh, colourful aspect to many of the dishes. The basturma folded eggs — an air dried beef omelette ($13) — is equal parts unusual and delicious.
That's not to say you can't get Aussie classics on the menu as well, including two cleverly-named granolas ($9) and the Boss Junior hangover cure — aka a hectic bacon egg roll ($10.50). On the drinks side, if you're jonesin' for something besides one of Bebawy's well-made coffees, they're also offering 24-hour cold brew ($6), cumin and mint-infused sparkling water ($4) and two types of green juice ($8).
These boss ladies take a more casual approach toward their menu and cafe as a whole. As Munday says: "If you want to order a salad at 8am, you can have a salad — you go for it". There are "no hard and fast rules here", adds Bebawy. It's a fluid menu, and they're happy to swap ingredients for personal tastes or ethos, and even whip up off-menu cravings.
Overall, it's a solid cafe with tasty food and a boss atmosphere. If you live in the area, this should be your new go-to — but wherever you live, it's more than worth a trip to the 'burbs.
Images: Marissa Ciampi