Visited on the
29th of May 2013,
31st of May 2013,
3rd of June 2013,
17th of June, 2013
It’s probably a good thing that I don’t work in Surry Hills or Sydney CBD; I think I would give into temptation and visit virtually every café and go out to dinner almost every evening! Although I usually explore places around the CBD, I thought I would be a little more adventurous and try places around my work.
Montagu is a small café just off Willoughby Rd (the main strip of eateries in Crows Nest) and next to “3 cupped” Bean Drinking as awarded by SMH’s Good Cafe Guide. Although I haven’t visited bean drinking before, awards and trophies aren’t a great motivator for me to visit an establishment; I like to go exploring and even something as simple as the presentation of a dish is enough to send me there.
The first time I visited the Montagu, my co-worker and I just ordered coffees; my co-worker is quite a meticulous coffee drinker and was also looking for a new coffee venue near work.
My co-worker opted for a cappuccino without sugar (his usual beverage). After drinking his coffee, I asked for his verdict and he said he enjoyed it. To keep it concise the flavour was good and the milk was heated to an ideal temperature.
As you know (or are about to know), I’m no coffee expert and don’t know the anatomy of coffee or all the elements (bitter notes, acidic notes e.t.c) but I did enjoy my coffee and the milk was a good temperature as well.
The second time I visited, I went to try some food on the menu whilst my co-worker decided to come again for a cappuccino.
The bread itself was nicely toasted with a crisp exterior and gruyere melted inseparably onto the bread. Overall the sandwich was good; chorizo was flavourful and the vegetables added some light & crisp flavours.
Next time I order this I’ll order an extra sunny side up egg to go inside as I like my lunches to be a little heavier most of the time (that’s just a personal preference, nothing any place should need to adapt to).
Round 2 for the cappuccino and my co-worker was equally satisfied this time as he was with his first visit. I think this goes without saying but I liked the presentation of this cap better than the first visit.
During my 3rd visit I went with another co-worker and we went for breakfast.
My co-worker was famished and opted to have the big breakfast this morning. He enjoyed everything on the plate except for the roast tomatoes which had more liquid than other roasted tomatoes he has had in the past.
Before anybody else slanders me for my ordering option (yes, I know people who find tuna boring), I’m publicly announcing that I love tuna in salad, as sashimi, in sushi, in sandwiches, as a steak and in any other way you could possibly imagine. I love my tuna. Okay? Good :) That being said, the sandwich was decent. The flavours were light, mayonnaise was generous and the sandwich was not dry (the main complaint for most tuna sandwiches anywhere). Capers and olives with tuna is a combination which rarely goes wrong for me.
I might suggest trying to order this toasted or warmed some way as I found it unfitting to eat a cool tuna sandwich on a winter morning; its regular serving temperature is probably ideal for a spring/summer morning however.
The 4th time I visited, my co-worker opted for the cappuccino again whilst I decided to go for a hot chocolate. Don’t worry, I won’t put you through the pain of staring at three cappuccinos in one post.
The hot chocolate was fine; nothing to rave about but no disappointments either.
So the verdict of the coffee during our 4th visit? It was good! Why is this significant? My co-worker says for him, consistency is one of the main determinants of whether a place does good coffee. Montagu’s ambiance is quite relaxing and isn’t overly noisy even when it’s busy. Although the chorizo took a little longer than expected to come out (to be fair, it was busy during my 2nd visit), the staff were friendly and accommodating on all four visits.
For me, the menu at Montagu doesn’t show innovation or anything I haven’t seen on a cafe menu before. However, as much as I love innovation in cooking, I wouldn’t want every single cafe to over complicate every simple thing such as a sandwich. If you’re looking for a cafe which will provide you with a good coffee, atmosphere, service and simple cafe menu options, Montagu is a venue you may want to consider.
2/13 Ernest Pl,
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: (02) 9438 4478