Eastern Sydneysiders don't have to drive across the city for a little western magic. Opened in April 2015 on New South Head Road in Vaucluse, The Trail offers a unique blend of Little Marionette coffee and a creative brunch-happy menu, straight out of Marrickville or Redfern. And boy, does it get busy on the weekend.
"I live on Addison Road in Marrickville and I love the cafe culture that's around there. We're spoiled for choice," says owner Nick Stubbs, who earned his barista stripes from years at Pyrmont's Cafe Morso. "But I've also been coming to Parsley Bay for a while. It's a really nice area, but there aren't a lot of cafes. From talking to locals, I found out that there's actually a bit of demand around here for quality and for something different."
Drawing on advice from previous bosses, including Morso's Andy Webb, Stubbs decided to open his own cafe in The Trail; keeping things simple and as effective as possible. "The layout is minimal and sleek. I wanted people to feel welcome, so I didn't want clutter. I worked with a great carpenter who loves blackbutt, so we found some pieces with a natural finish — and it's come up really, really beautifully."
The same minimalist principle is applied to the Trail menu, except that it's jazzed up with some fine dining finesse. The elegantly simple menu is all available all day. We're talking buckwheat porridge with brandied rhubarb, poached quinoa, pecan and honeycomb ($14); roasted pepper and Manchego omelette with jalapeno salsa rocket and pinenut salad ($16); and hot smoked trout with roast cauliflower, picked grapes, almonds, quinoa and kale salad, and celery and verjuice dressing ($16/20). For classic brunchers, there's also braised brisket on a brioche bun served with rosemary roast potatoes ($18), or the more breakfasty option of The Trail's jamon and egg roll with house pickles and chipotle aioli ($10). Kitchen closes at 3pm weekdays and 2pm weekends
Images: Andy Fraser.