3/7 Gauthorpe St
Rhodes, NSW 2138
I’m finding plenty to love about my new place in Homebush. We initially decided to move here because it puts me within a 10 minute drive of my hospital, and seeing as I’m expected to be there at 6:45am, scrubbed up and ready for surgery, any time saved in the morning is a godsend. But that’s not the only thing to love about the area. I’m now a 10 minute walk away from my favourite Korean restaurant, as well as a bunch of good looking eateries around Homebush station – including a chicken shop that does $2.5 milkshakes! And let’s not even get started on all the food delivery options, because I’m inclined to start crying from sheer joy every time I do.
Another thing I’m very happy about is the brunch options in the area. Although it’s not exactly Surry Hills, there are more than enough options in the Concord and Rhodes areas to keep me busy for a long while. After humming and ahhing over all the options, I decided to check out Left of Field, a local favourite sitting right on the waterfront, just a stone’s throw from Rhodes Shopping Centre.
Just like everything else on the Rhodes waterfront, Left of Field feels fresh and new with its high ceilings, abundant light, and greenery adorning every available surface. It’s also incredibly popular, with a queue 10-strong on a Sunday morning. We ended up seated outside 20 minutes later, but as it was a mild, overcast day, that was no hardship.
The brunch menu here is short but sweet, filled with freshened-up classics that carry a distinctly international twist. Think milk tea bircher with brown sugar pearls, chilli scrambled eggs with chutney and feta, or potato fritters topped with chorizo and romesco. Unfortunately because we were seated outside, our table was a little neglected, and I was rather hungry by the time we got around to having our orders taken.
It took a little while, but once I got my Skinny Flat White ($3.8), everything was right with the world again. This is an unusually good cup, with a mellow, fruity brew capped with a layer of thick, creamy froth.
Many items on the menu were tempting, but perhaps none more so than the Charsiu Benedict ($22). In the era of Instagram-friendly meals, the presentation for this may have been understated, but the flavours were definitely not. The tender, slow-cooked pork was rich and fragrant without being too sweet, whilst the hollandaise was as smooth as the runny egg yolks, and had just the right amount of fruity tang from the clever addition of grapefruit. Just as impressive was the sourdough, which was satisfyingly crisp without being mouth-shreddingly tough. I haven’t met a benedict I’ve liked this much for a long time.
The special of chocolate hazelnut hotcakes – complete with ice cream – seemed a bit much even for a weekend morning, so I decided to try the relatively lighter Pavlova Hotcakes ($23) instead. Even without tonnes of chocolate, this tall stack of goodness will turn heads as it travels across the dining room. The texture of these hotcakes was closer to pound cake than pancake, the heavy (but not dense) crumb just right for soaking up the pour of cool vanilla custard. The addition of fresh summer fruits, airy meringue, and caramelised banana completed the vision, making for an indulgent dessert-brunch that was nevertheless not too cloying.
Having been around for just over 4 years, Left of Field has more than proven its worth. I was a big fan of how interesting yet approachable the menu was, and the staff were lovely once you got a hold of them. The prices are a little bit on the steeper end, and the portions a little smaller than I had hoped. However, I certainly had enough to eat, which leads me to think that maybe it’s not the portion sizes that were the problem, but my insatiable Sunday morning appetite.
Rating: 14/20 – field of gold.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.