What with the recent demise of long-standing, used-to-be-local-fave Forbes and Burton, to name just one of Darlinghurst's most recent cafe closures, there's one unassuming breakfast and lunch place that deserves a little more attention — down on Crown to be exact — called White Carrots.
Inspired by general manager Jennifer Foreman's younger brother, who at the age of six referred to parsnips as white carrots, this almost-industrial and somewhat stark eatery sat on the right of the downward sloping street doesn't look particularly special, outside or in. But all is not lost. Spot the seriously charming menu front drawn by Ella, aged five, and the sophisticated logo of said pigment-confused veg, and you'll soon understand there's real merit bubbling away under the surface. Case in point: the food.
White Carrots is all about keeping it simple and using the best seasonal produce, so you can imagine we weren't particularly surprised to find smashed avo on the menu ($13.50). But when combined with baby capers, feta, roasted tomatoes and finely chopped green chilli, not to mention layered thick on slightly sweetened, organic sourdough, it swiftly became clear these guys know how to inject a little innovation into a done-to-death breakfast staple. The result? Delicious.
We also tried the Egyptian folded eggs ($14) with Persian feta; mint, artichoke and macadamia pesto; and dukka, which — if you like the rich, Arabic flavours of this toasted seed, nut and spice blend — will be right up your street. The corn fritters ($14) with smoked salmon, spiced avo salsa and a somewhat stingy blip of creme fraiche completed our brekkie trifecta, but they were fresh and crispy and worth it. Our extra poached egg could have probably used a couple more seconds, but let's face it, egg preference can differ from person to person.
Coffee came in the form of Arabica bean Gypsy, which is hard to brew badly, but definitely order a strong if you need a caffeine kick. Combined with attentive and friendly service, when it comes to getting your feed on, there's not much to fault. Oh, and according to our sources, if you're in the area around lunch time on a Thursday and Friday, you should check out the special eight-hour beef brisket sandwich, marinated for 24 hours, slow cooked for eight and then marinated again for a further 24. We can see that, assembled with Dijon mustard, housemade pickles and provolone cheese, this beast could easily become our weekly treat meal.
In a city like this, I'll admit I occasionally follow my visually biased eyes rather than those all too important other senses. So this place was, without a doubt, a nice surprise. We do reckon, however, that first impressions count, so if White Carrots can up its aesthetic game, there's some serious potential for a new local fave in town.