Breakfast: til Midday
TCB finds itself on the wrong side of the border, having not bathed for three days and having subsisted on a staple diet of sausages and James Squire Sundown Lager for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As you may or may not have guessed, TCB has been camping. Finished with indulging in the serene northern New South Wales coast line, albeit windswept and rain sodden, TCB decide to celebrate its return to civilisation with a pre boarder cross breakfast jaunt in the fantastic rural gem Bangalow.
Recently described as “Byron Bay without the idiots”, the main street of Bangalow closer resembles James Street than a country town strip, with trendy cafes, boutiques and art galleries lining the 400 metre stretch. Strolling lazily along, TCB is instantly drawn to Utopia, a very modern cafe/bistro with a chic, grey/white/metallic/ fit out.
The sign outside boasts Campos coffee, a firm TCB favourite, so the crew are not disappointed when well barristered flats and macs are produced which do justice to the Fortitude Valley mother ship.
The menu has many strong options, but TCB opt for what they decree to be the three most interesting: the open Spanish omelette; the baked beans with poached eggs and chorizo; and the breakfast sandwich, which of course must be ordered with the addition of a Bangalow chorizo sausage.
The meals are aesthetically joyous, and once shovelled into a gullet that has had nothing but camp food for the last 72 hours, bring joy the taste buds as well. The hearty baked beans served in their baking pot mix brilliantly with the spilled yolk of two perfectly poached eggs, while the smoke of the char grilled chorizo breathe life into the whole dish.
The croque-madame (a name arising due to the meal’s resemblance of a woman’s hat) is accompanied with a juicy chorizo sausage, which we can only imagine was obtained from the immediate surroundings, as Bangalow is famed for its sausages. The sandwich was toasted perfectly with enough butter to allow for a crunchy golden outside, with the interior delivering on its promise of farm fresh shaved leg ham and tasty mainland cheese. The poached eggs were a little soft, but this turned out to be a positive, as the sandwich excelled with runny egg yolks to compliment every bite into the sandwich. In all, this Monsieur found his madame in the form of a delicious breakfast toastie.
The omelette, adorned with caramelised onions, rocket and tomato based relish casts waves of nostalgia over a TCBer of Hellenic descent, as he recounts the similarities between the potato base of the omelette at Utopia, and that of the Greek omelette prepared by his grandmother: the light and fluffy base graced by slices of potato and fused with olives, capsicum, chillies and spring onion. A vegetarian delight! For the carnivorous, however, a few slices of chorizo or ham would not have gone astray. Mouthwatering and Motivating.
While the service is not of a speed expected by those from the ‘big smoke’, it is very friendly and attentive.
Whether you are instantly compelled to take a trip to the rustic chic Bangalow, or whether you serendipitously find yourself gracing its presence, Utopia is a glorious breakfast option, by name and nature.
Coffee: 8.5 Menu: 8 Food: 8.5 Service: 7.5 Ambience: 8
Review by AMac, GZA & Reuben