It's hard to miss Joseph Hyde — seats and tables sprawl out onto Llankelly Place, where there's a general hubbub from the laneway's many cafe-goers. If you choose to sit outside, there's a basket of large grey blankets by the door just in case it's chilly. Bar seating and little pots of succulents round it all out, making the newcomer stylistically on-trend.
The space is owned and operated by Louise Hunt (previous owner of Surry Hills' Orto Trading Co and Redfern's Baffi & Mo), who just returned from sabbatical and snatched the location up once the Wilmer pop-up ceased to be. Joseph Hyde is the fourth business for Hunt and the locally sourced, weekly menu is an evolution from her previous operations with some twists on old favourites. She has created a menu that can accomodate any dietary requirement and, to this end, will happily accommodate special orders or swapping of ingredients, having already worked multiple protein options into a few dishes.
The menu reads playfully with dishes like Hokey Poké ($19.50), a health-conscious gin-cured trout and mixed grain bowl. It comes out almost like a painter's palette with a collection of colours for you to mix and match as you please. The beet-red trout is light and sits atop dark mixed grains, serving as a centrepiece for pale pink pickles, ribbons of raw carrot and the varying shades of green from wakame, edamame and kale. Sweet soy and a generous sprinkling of furikake add a touch of umami.
There's also the plate of carrot cake waffles with sugared carrots ($18.50). The dense waffle is topped with mascarpone, crushed walnuts, syrup, a dusting of sugar and a handful of flower petals, making it look like a fairy's big breakfast. You've got to get a bit of a sawing motion going to cut off a neat piece of waffle but it'll be a bite with subtle carrot and intense cinnamon flavours. Ask for extra sugared carrots, which go so well with the mascarpone.
And don't forget this place does booze for brunch, with the drinks list comprised of classic cocktails like mimosas ($12) and Aperol spritzes ($14), along with a selection of Australian and international bubbles, wine, beer and cider.
Joseph Hyde feels like a place for locals to have a lazy meal, though there are few lone diners. If you find yourself in the area on the weekend, pop in for a laidback brunch — and if you're in the mood, make it a boozy one.