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St Jude

A café at the Redfern end of Bourke Street that's it's the answer to our prayers.
By Jack Arthur Smith
November 03, 2012
By Jack Arthur Smith
November 03, 2012

There's a newish café on the Redfern end of Bourke Street and it's the answer to our prayers. St Jude, taking its tag from the patron saint of lost causes, is already a firm favourite among locals and far from its namesake. According to owners and long-time friends, Kate Thomson and Grant Piper, this trendy, welcoming breakfast and lunch joint is quite the opposite. In fact, it's somewhat of a saviour.

Not only because the Surry-Redfern border residents now have a genuinely great place to go for a bite and a barista brew come weekend mornings, but, if these two hospitality heroes (who first worked together at the old DOV, yes, on the corner of Forbes and Burton) hadn't nabbed this place, a real lost cause would have taken up shop offering nothing but greasy pizza slices and pissheads. Thank you, St Jude, thank you.

Designed by Surry Hills architect, Arthur Koutoulas, it's no surprise every inch of space has been carefully considered. From the monstrously heavy iron-framed railway sleeper share-table to the collection of creepy dolls playfully positioned alongside religious iconography and old photography across the back wall, this place is unique. Even the chairs embrace 'the different' with swivelling backrests inside and cork wood stools out while the salt and pepper is served in mini green faux-marble ramekins. Too cute.

The menu is equally appealing. You have your brekkie classics as well as plate pleasers like the avocado smash with salsa, fresh spinach and feta ($14.30) or the daily breakfast Sanga ($13). Lunch offers the likes of potato gnocchi with lemon and herb pesto and slow roasted cherry tomatoes ($17.50) or crispy chorizo, roasted Mediterranean vegetables and giant couscous salad ($17.50). But the absolute deal breaker, the fritters, are a perfectly crafted concoction of sweet corn and pumpkin, shallow fried and served with soft poached eggs, hollandaise, avocado cream and baby spinach ($14.50).

A success since get go, maybe St Jude's been sent from foodie heaven. It's unpretentious, it's comfortable, it's tasty and it's one of the best café's to open its doors for a long time. Praise be.

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