Sunday, September 20, 2009

Come for the eggs, don't stay for the service

New York Tomato
2-6 York St (Corner New & York)
Ph: 9429 0505

It was a beautiful Sunday morning today. 10am and sunny. We were in the inner East of the city but tucked away from noise and traffic at a cafe with a cute name. Perfect brunch conditions, and New York Tomato was packed.

Sitting on the corner of New and York streets, the cafe had a few tables free besides the one I had booked for Synonym and myself when I arrived this morning, and I asked if we could sit outside rather than at the table we had been allocated opposite the kitchen. About ten minutes later, after asking a number of times and being forgotten, we were told that we'd have to stay inside. That's ok. They were busy, and for one of the waitresses it was her first day.

Waiting for S to arrive, I ordered a coffee and grabbed the paper. About ten minutes later, paper read and S sitting across from me, my lukewarm coffee arrived. We ordered our food and another coffee, and about twenty minutes later both arrived.

S's meal: Open BLT with poached egg and avocado ($15.00)

Scrambled eggs on toasted sourdough with panchetta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, basil, pinenuts and Parmesan cheese ($16.50).

I have a weird thing about scrambled eggs. I love them, but I never order them. My dad makes delicious breakfasts on the weekends including beautiful, creamy scrambled eggs that he has become famous for amongst friends and family. Too many times I have seen watery, rubbery scrambles being served in restaurants and it's put me off ordering them, when I know I can get better ones at home. Today I decided to take a chance and the eggs were beautiful. The dish was a wonderful combination of flavours and textures: soft tomato, eggs and panchetta; crispy crunchy pinenuts and asparagus.

The food helped to make up for some of the earlier shortcomings; it was delicious. Eggs are something that are done very well here, and its great that NYT do them in unconventional ways. Rather than the typical eggs benedict, you'll find baked eggs in napoli sauce with goats cheese, basil and pinenuts; or check the specials board for dishes such as poached eggs on turkish bread with smoked salmon, spanish onion, harissa and grainy mustard hollandaise.

At times, service was a little slow and unsure. At least it was never unpleasant, as I've read in other reviews - none of the staff were actually rude. Still, a little more attentiveness would be great; we spent a while waiting to pay at the register, surrounded by staff, before anyone noticed us. Don't get me wrong, NYT. I'll be back to give you a second chance. Despite it's shortcomings, the location, atmosphere, and food at this tiny cafe are enough to convince me to spend a leisurely day in the outdoor courtyard and give the service another go.