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FOOD & DRINK

Brighton the Corner

Not just a Pavement homage but a punning one at that, Brighton the Corner is a luminous cafe addition to Petersham.
By Caitlin Welsh
April 17, 2014
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Brighton the Corner

Not just a Pavement homage but a punning one at that, Brighton the Corner is a luminous cafe addition to Petersham.
By Caitlin Welsh
April 17, 2014
  shares

Residents of the 2049 have been enjoying Petersham's low-key vibe, ace bottle shop and not one but two delicious chicken-eating options (namely, Frangos vs White Cocky schnitz) in relative peace for years. But with the recent arrival of the Oxford Tavern and now Brighton the Corner, the 'Sham is starting to swell with curious visitors between Friday night and Sunday brunch.

Brighton the Corner — found on the corner of Brighton Street and Palace Street, making the name not just a Pavement homage but a punning one at that — is a luminous little addition to the neighbourhood. With the musty, cluttered old cafe fitout transformed into a fresh space that's somehow both cosy and airy, the deceptively simple reno is a revelation. The old shelving was cut down, re-stained and re-set against warm white walls, and the smart black and white striped awning allows the room to flood with light even on a grey morning. It’s clean but not cutesy. Bright touches of saffron yellow bring it to life, in the giraffe coathooks by the door and the cheerful lamplight trompe l'oeil in the back corner.

Grab a seat at the communal table, small tables inside or out, or the warm wood bars set against the Brighton Street windows — though if you pull up a stool in front of the open kitchen, you might enjoy a chat with the chefs and snag the occasional tasty morsel. The cafe's first Saturday morning this past weekend saw them sell out of their signature housemade crumpets with honey butter and caramelised pear ($12) — scone-like orbs, chewy yet impossibly light, served with toffee-brown wedges of fruit and an initially intimidating knob of melting butter that’s actually the exact right amount for mopping up at the end. The sausage and beans ($17) features white and black variations of both, in a rib-sticking mound of local morcilla and butifarra and beans piled on fried egg, while both the brisket and potato hash with mojo verde ($17) and the roasted mushrooms with mograbieh and kale ($15) nail the near-impossible balancing act of fresh, virtuous, hearty and comforting.

While Scott Lincoln Duncan (formerly of Fleetwood Macchiato) heads the kitchen, owner/barista Nigel Park (also the co-owner of Corduroy) works the coffee machine (antler-adorned), churning out a light and lovely Little Marionette blend. If you're not up to coffee, the house-made sodas (watermelon, lemon thyme or apple ginger) are hangover friendly. There are also sandwiches, a lovely cauliflower salad and a burger if you’re feeling categorically lunchy, but the all-day breakfast is where Brighton really shines.

It’s early days yet — the kitchen and floor staff are still finding their rhythm — but by the time their after-dark iteration as a small bar opens up in a few weeks, it should have locals and visitors alike flocking to it like moths to a bright little flame.

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