Stix is a new cafe on Chapel Street in Marrickville. Here you'll find creative brunch and lunching options all made with produce from the Stix Farm in the Hawkesbury.
"I warned Sheryl about how we usually order so that we don't alarm her," Laura said to me.
I was meeting Laura's lovely mother Sheryl for the first time over lunch and shopping and we needed somewhere in the inner west. Stix in Marrickville is a new cafe based off the Stix farm. Finding a park on a weekday is a bit of a challenge as it is located in a busy light industrial area.
The cafe is spacious and roomy with high ceilings, a cabinet of glistening pastries, pickles, sauces and ready made dishes and an open kitchen behind glass. Stix makes all their bread and pastries and uses produce from chef and owner David Allison's Hawkesbury farm. His nickname is Stix and the cafe is an arm of Stix Catering who at one time produced the first and business class meals for Qantas.
"I'll leave you girls to do the ordering," says Sheryl and Laura and I spring into a familiar routine. There's an all day breakfast menu with some very tasty, unique options (prawn okonomiyaki anyone?) as well as lunch. Then there's cakes and pastries too. Between the three of us we order five dishes (one is fries though). Service is lovely and welcoming from our waiter.
Every time I order a juice I forget to ask for no ice (I don't like ice in my drinks because I'm a slow drinker and it waters them down too much). There's quite a lot of ice in these drinks although the first few sips of my detoxing purple juice with beetroot, blueberry, ginger, carrot and grapefruit are delicious. Laura's Healthy Green drink has kale, celery, apple and cucumber but the apple and cucumber balances out the kale and celery.
Sheryl is delighted by the swaying bonito flakes and we are all actually rather delighted with the okonomiyaki. It's a prawn and hibachi grilled blackfish okonomiyaki pancake with a softish centre. The bonito flakes add just enough fishiness without overpowering it while the blackfish is luscious with a melt in the mouth texture.
The congee is delightful although it brings back memories of chicken and corn soup more than congee itself. The gelatinous egg adds a lovely, thick creaminess to each mouthful too and the chilli gives it a nice pep.
Next are the items from the lunch menu that starts at 12pm. The eggplant katsu sando is enormous with a tightly packed slaw, miso mustard and tonkatsu sauce. The accompaniments are all solid especially the slaw and miso mustard but the eggplant is very thick, perhaps too thick and as a result it's a bit watery in texture. Laura and I actually remove the eggplant and enjoy our hacked sandwiches.
Our other favourite dish is the Southern fried chicken schiacciata sandwich with gruyere, avocado, chilli and slaw. The chicken is beautifully juicy and crunchy and using schiacciata bread for a sandwich is a great choice.
You can't have a sandwich without fries so we also ordered the Kennebec potato hand cut fries with a curry mayo sauce. The mayo sauce could be a bit more spicy but it's a real treat getting hand cut fries.
Sheryl loves French toast so we order the crème caramel French toast with cream caramel pudding squiggles on top that has been lightly torched. The creme caramel pudding is rich, soft and very creamy and the buttery bread is deliciously soft underneath. There is also a citrus salad on the side to lighten it up.
Head pastry chef Daria Nechiporenko is from Russia so we had to try the Russian Honey cake which seems to make more of an appearances across cafes in Sydney. The Russian honey cake is a lovely layer cake with the aroma and flavour of honey to sweeten it.
The orange, pecan chocolate cake is dense with a coating of milk chocolate and pecans and chunks of gianduja chocolate.
"So how was it mum?" says Laura.
Sheryl says, "That was fun and I got to try lots of things!". She is now fully indoctrinated into our crazy ways of eating. No doubt she'll come along to many more food adventures!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like trying lots of things or do you like to stick to the one dish to yourself? What is your usual ratio of dish to person? Ours seems to be 2 dishes per 1 person!
This meal was independently paid for.
Unit 6/14-18 Chapel St, Marrickville NSW 2204
Monday to Friday 7am–2:30pm
Saturday & Sunday 7:30am–3:30pm
Phone: (02) 9550 2772