Bottomless Espresso Martinis, killer toasties & ‘that’ breakfast Congee – Quick Brown Fox

What’s all the fuss about a signature dish? It’s often a curse for chefs who ‘can’t make that pie again’ as they go oh-so-quietly crazy! For us diners we love a hero dish. We eat it. Over love it and generally have FOMO around ordering anything over than the thing which made our world spin.

COVID has inadvertantly given restaurants a little bit of breathing room to reinvent and bring out some new rivals. Pyrmont cafe Quick Brown Fox (QBF) is just one of those places. its run by sister and brother duo Ben and Emily Calabro who have collaborated with acclaimed chef Tomislav Martinovic (Tomislav, Heston’s The Fat Duck) to create a menu which delights any flavour thrill seeker.

Inisde QBF

On a sunny Sunday the pavement is buzzing, a small group of guys are drinking espresso martinis at 9.30am (hardcore!), girls are sipping on mimosas thanks to ‘bottomless sessions‘ which give you 90 minutes of unlimited happiness for $35 or less.

At the risk of being boring, we order a Paradox blend by Single O latte! Its smooth and rich and sets up the palate for what’s to come. The first is the battle of the toasties. Mushroom v Cauliflower.

Long-time crowd pleaser is the mushroom toastie ($19). This is vegetarian food porn. Rarely do we just want to stare at a thing of beauty, perhaps play with its triple cheese fluffy hair, caress the warm truffle paste and swiss brown mushrooms with lashings of creme fraiche. This sarnie is a fungi beast. It’s a two handed job, though others are trying to tackle the stack with a knife and fork (seriously?). Its really, really good. Its newbie rival is a ‘spiced & roasted cauliflower cheese’ toastie and is a dopple ganger with its oozy mozzarella and parmesan personality. We can see others ordering but it might have some way to go to beat the original.

Rice Congee

Next up is the legendary Koshihikari Rice Congee. The chicken stock is cooked in 50 litre batches, aromatics are added and even elements like bacon start with a whole cured pork belly which is glazed with maple syrup and baked. The greens are beautifully scorched with chilli fried egg, enoki mushrooms and chilli relish ($24). This is a dish which isn’t quite congee, not quite risotto and is all the better for it. We add confit salmon adding another umami element along with a side of deep fried chicken because OTT is the only way to go.

Buffalo Ricotta Gnudi (and a sneaky peak at the chicken bone broth)

It is a toss up between the chicken bone broth or dumplings, but who can go past buffalo ricotta gnudi which is hand rolled into four spheres, served with a rich tomato confit sauce and herb butter. Smoked cherry tomatoes add a savoury element as does the finely chopped macadamia nuts. Another vego winner.

This isn’t your ordinary local. It’s not an ordinary breakfast. It breaks the breakfast roll doll drums. QBF might have elements of slow food in its cooking, but it is a place you need to get your skates on for.

Quick Brown Fox – menu here
22 Union Street, Pyrmont
Hours – Mon to Fri: 6am – 4pm, Sat & Sun: 7am – 4pm

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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