there is no doubt that aussies love new york city, with thousands of us flocking there to holiday, study and work in recent years… but it’s been my observation that there has been a distinct lack of two vital things for us expats: 1. smashed avo and 2. a decent flat white.
however, thanks to an influx of aussies chefs, particularly from melbourne, over the past few years there is now an abundance of these two vital things making their way onto the menus of many a café in the concrete jungle – especially in the vibrant and bustling west and east villages, greenwich, brooklyn and williamsburg. check out this list by the ny times for some other recommendations.
named after one of melbourne’s most vibrant and iconic graffiti-laden laneways, with its tucked away galleries, bars and culinary secrets like movida, tonka and lucy lui (just to name a few), aussies chris mcpherson + chris rendell have brought a piece of melbourne to new york’s east village café flinders lane. they have even had a recent write-up in the ny times with rave reviews!
and when you’re temporarily living halfway around the world from the city you call “home”, being greeted by a familiar accent and an ever welcome ‘g’day mate’ just might make you tear a little. if not, the expertly prepared flat white and the sight of ‘smashed avo’ on the menu certainly will!
smashed avocado toast with poached eggs, rocket, oven roasted tomato + dukkah
i had a chef in nashville recently thank me as he’d only just found out that smashed avo originated from australia… from bills in sydney apparently. and he was so excited to tell me that it’s now become his favourite breakfast dish. and while i’m not at all surprised, i have to admit that i find it quite amusing to now be living in a country where a long-time aussie-breakfast staple is only just being discovered and embraced! this plate of aussie goodness helped to put my homesickness at bay, for at least another month or so, especially thanks to the juicy roasted tomato and spice of the dukkah. the bacon served up was canadian bacon, much closer to what we’re used to at home than american ‘streaky’ bacon, and the poachies were perfectly cooked.
granola pot with seasonal berries, clover honey + greek yoghurt
this house-made granola was nutty, textured + crumbly and paired perfectly with the aromatic honey + creamy yoghurt. and hooray for pretty presentation (it’s the small things that get me excited these days… i literally will shriek for joy if a plate comes out without any brown on it!)
coffee was vittoria organic coffee, and whilst my flat white had a strong full-bodied flavour, my inner melbourne-coffee-snob would love to see flinders lane use a boutique melbourne roaster like padre or st ali to further strengthen the aussie ties.
as well as serving breakfast from 11am, the café is open late every night, with a main menu that offers contemporary and australian-asian-influenced dishes including chicken san choi bau, coconut curry laksa + crispy tofu. there is even a very-melbourne indeed ‘feed me menu’ for $60pp… always one of our favourite ways of dining in australia! i’ve got another trip to new york coming soon, and already know a return visit to flinders lane is on the list!
verdict: keeping this melbourne girl’s homesickness at bay in new york city