262 Abercrombie St
Redfern, NSW 2016
On my way to and from uni, there’s a strip of cafes I always walk past. But aside from a quick lunch of Lebanese pizza, I’ve never really stopped to look at them, as I’m usually cutting it fine for whatever tutorial has dragged me out of the house. Of course, it goes without saying that I’ve been curious about these cafes since day one, especially considering some of them seem perpetually crammed with hungry, caffeine-seeking students and professors.
As luck would have it, the café I’ve been eyeing off the most turned out to be Tripod Café – one of the newest additions to my to-eat list. All the dishes I’ve seen being eaten by al fresco diners have looked absolutely delectable, whether it’s a simple bacon and egg roll, or the humongous Mexican omelette. There seems to be no shortage of people stopping for their morning coffee either.
The interior of Tripod is full on Melbourne-styled hipster, with mismatched furniture, Edison bulbs, and vintage wooden fittings. But what really caught my eye was the beautifully set up courtyard out back. Instead of being a sad afterthought, it was meticulously draped with greenery of every shade, with comfortable cushioned benches lining the walls. It felt miles away from the bustle, and was just so very soothing.
My Skinny Flat White ($3.8) was standard stuff, the milk at a good temperature, the beans robust but without too many defining characteristics. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a solid cup that can stand its ground.
With the rising price of avocados, and most of them rock-hard anyway, I jumped on the chance to get my fix with the Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta ($15). Unfortunately they didn’t have a secret avocado supplier, so instead of hearty chunks of smashed avocado, the toast was topped with an avocado and pesto puree, presumably to compensate for the subpar avocado.
But don’t get the wrong idea – this was actually an excellent dish. Simple but well-executed, the creamy herb-laden avocado, the salty-sweet combination of feta and pomegranate, and the fresh salad of cresses and fennel came together to form a beautifully summery bunch. I loved that although it tasted wholesome and healthy, it still felt like a treat.
The Potato Rosti Stack ($16) on the other hand was a total cheat-day dish. Aside from your choice of bacon, salmon, or mushroom (I went for bacon, after promising myself I’d eat around the fatty bits), the rosti is piled high with avocado, 2 poached eggs, and a river of hollandaise. The rosti was golden and crunchy on the outside, with a fluffy centre that wasn’t in the least bit stodgy. The hollandaise was smooth and extra tangy – a good move, given how rich and heavy everything on the plate was. And although both the bacon and eggs were slightly overdone, I couldn’t bring myself to mind as I tucked into a plate of all my favourite things.
After my somewhat disappointing brunch at The Wedge Espresso a few weeks back, I’m glad Tripod Café didn’t turn out to be a dud. For starters, the portion sizes were so generous (especially for the price) that I struggled to finish, despite being a very hearty eater in the morning. And although Tripod may seem very hipster on the surface, it was actually really down-to-earth. The food was cooked with care, but it certainly wasn’t fussy, and the staff were upbeat and friendly instead of standoffish. With its welcoming atmosphere, simple and hearty meals, it is the quintessential neighbourhood café.