Find fresh, local produce turned into vibrant dishes with a Japanese twist at this Paddington institution.
Since the late 1990s, Jackies Cafe has been serving Paddington's locals from its sun-drenched courtyard amid the area's designer shopping hub. Led by head chef Josh Booker, the cafe dishes up simple breakfasts and lunches made with locally sourced ingredients — regular trips to the market or the farms themselves are on Booker's schedule to make sure he is cooking with the freshest produce.
The breakfast menu is mostly Australian brunch classics, with some Japanese twists — try vanilla ricotta pancakes ($19.50), lobster scrambled eggs with lime and coriander dressing ($22) or the raw seasonal green bowl with poached egg, avocado, enoki mushrooms and miso dressing ($21.60). At lunch, longstanding chefs Tatsuo Ito and Masayuki Takegawa man the sushi bar, providing fresh Japanese delicacies. A number of other dishes are available, including a tuna poke bowl ($26), Balmain bug linguine ($28) and a classic beef burger ($23.50).
Drinks include caffeine from the Australian-made Mothersky Coffee, Simon Says juices and smoothies, and a small 'summers in the courtyard'-friendly selection of alcoholic tipples (think Aperol spritz, mojitos, King Valley prosecco and French rosé).
And, just this month, the Paddington institution has launched dinner three nights a week, welcoming patrons hungry from a day of shopping for a late-afternoon bite and a glass of wine, or a full al fresco dining experience. Alongside its usual breakfast hours, Jackies will open from 5.30–11pm, Thursday to Saturday with a full dinner menu of sushi, sashimi, sharing plates and main meals. Tuck into steamed shiitake mushroom and eggplant gyoza ($16.50), salmon caviar boats ($22.60), pork and prawn ramen ($32) and braised beef rib with wasabi mash ($48).
Save room for dessert, because the dark chocolate mousse with miso caramel and espresso foam ($12) and the matcha ice cream with seasonal berries and black sesame praline ($12) look like just the right amount of decadence to cap off a meal of this calibre.
Images: Kitti Gould.