Remember when you were a kid and nothing was more of a treat than spending your pocket money on a handful of lollies and a heaped ice-cream sundae with all the toppings? Daisy's Milkbar does, and they've fashioned a menu gleefully packed with the sugary treats of yore. It's hands down one of Sydney's most fun cafes, a homage to retro treats like milkshakes, candy, burgers and banana splits.
It's not just a flashback to childhood, however; there's another kind of nostalgia going on here as well. With the padded booth seating, ice cream-cone wall-piece and candy-coloured decor, there's a '50s vibe so strong you half expect Archie and Jughead to burst through the pink front door.
True to the retro vibe, you won't find kale or quinoa or anything health-conscious or trendy here; it's a menu that takes delight in fun nostalgia and sweetness rather than catering to calorie counters. A toastie ($8) is typical of the heavy, hearty fare on offer; a generous slab of thick-sliced bread, sharp cheese, ham and tomato. Jaffles are another staple of the menu, both sweet (banana and Nutella) and savoury (including baked beans, $6).
You can follow this with one of the sundaes (chocolate fudge, $14, or mini-sundae, $8), which winningly pile whipped cream and a glace cherry over generous scoops of Neopolitan ice cream, flaked almonds and thick fudge sauce. Another dessert option is the spiders ($5) — both lime and creaming soda varieties get the thumbs up. If this wasn't enough of a sugar overload, there's also a free cordial station with three brightly coloured flavours to choose from.
A more standard all-day breakfast menu offers the likes of zucchini and corn fritters ($16), avocado on toast ($8.50) and the usual sides of bacon, tomato and mushroom. These are fine, but the main fun here is the old-fashioned food, not to mention the vintage touches like classic milkshake glasses and colourful swizzle sticks. A miniature candy bar gives you the opportunity to take home some old-school canteen staples like Milko and Redskin bars and the kind of semi-forgotten confectionary (Push Pops! Double Dares!) that will trigger delighted squeals from '90s kids everywhere.
Fittingly, the milkshakes are a sugar rush, and rotating special flavours complement the classics like malt and vanilla. Look out for the delectable Nutella variety. They're just another reason to step into the time warp of this quaintly decorated space. Bringing a sugary, colourful vibe to a fairly unassuming stretch of Petersham retail, Daisy's is a treat for the young at heart.
Image: Karen Steains.