Greenknowe Cafe is located on Greenknowe Avenue in Potts Point. On the menu are a mix of classic dishes as well as a range of innovative brunch and lunch dishes that are inspired by chef Joe's Filipino heritage. The dog-friendly cafe is a favourite of locals and has a large outdoor, undercover terrace area too.
Greenknowe Cafe is Jovan and Sandra Arias's first cafe although chef Jovan has worked for many years with the Rockpool group (now known as Hunter St-Pacific Concepts) for several years at Ananas and Fratelli Fresh. Before Greenknowe Cafe he was with French cafe Bitton. The couple opened Greenknowe cafe opened 6 months ago and live locally with their cavoodle Milo. Some of the names of the dishes are named after streets or famous houses in the Elizabeth Bay area like Elizabeth Bay House, Boomerang, Ashton and Tresco.
It's a sunny Autumn Sunday when Sophia and I walk up to Greenknowe Cafe. There's a large undercover outdoor section and it is located at the ground floor of an apartment block a block down from busy Macleay Street. We take a seat at a table outside and I order a cappuccino made using Danes coffee beans and it's smooth and rich. We decide to order two of the smoothie specials, a pistachio smoothie made with their own house made pistachio paste, coconut milk and whipped cream which is rich and mildly flavoured. We also try the banana berry smoothie with oat milk which is actually my favourite of the two because it's has a strong fruit forward flavour.
The boomerang beef tapa is one of their most popular dishes and based on the tapsilog dish, a popular Filipino breakfast dish with marinated beef. Sandra explains that Tapsilog is a portmanteau of the cooked beef (tapa), garlic-fried rice (sinangag), and fried egg (itlog). Their version pairs garlic butter brown rice, tomato salsa, pickles and a fried egg with the marinated beef and a vinegar dipping sauce. The beef is wonderfully tender (it can sometimes be a bit chewy with tapsilog) and I particularly like the rice that sits under the beef so that it is saucy with the marinade. Dipping the beef into the vinegar makes it less rich and adds a tangy balance to each bite.
The Kings Croissant is their version of a lobster roll. It's a croissant filled with brown butter cooked prawn and salmon with smashed avocado, nori mayonnaise and caviar on top. It's rich and Sophia especially loves this.
While I did enjoy the kings croissant, I was more preoccupied with the chicken sandwich. I have an absolute love for a good classic chicken sandwich and this one is like a clever cross between a toastie and a chicken sandwich. The sandwich is filled with poached chicken, apples, celery, onions, almonds, house mayo and dill with a generous amount of smashed avocado on toasted buttered white bread. It's chef-kiss good and I savour every bite of this sandwich.
Have I mentioned how much I love crepes, especially banana crêpes? Joe has no doubt flipped many crepes while working at Bitton and these crêpes are an absolute beauty. They are actually inspired by the Filipino dessert turon or fried bananas. There are three crepes with bruleed sliced bananas, mascarpone and butterscotch sauce and I added some vanilla ice cream to go with them too. They're crêpe perfection, especially those gorgeous caramelised crispy edges and are the perfect lessert (lunch dessert!).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you often order lessert? Do you have an item that you always have to order when you see it on a menu?
NQN and Sophia were guests of Greenknowe Cafe but all opinions remain her own.
8 Greenknowe Ave, Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011
Phone (02) 8959 9773
Hours: 7am to 3pm seven days a week