Sydney loves a low-impact café. If they're roasting their own coffee, keeping bees on the roof and making chutney from foraged produce then people want to know about it. And Chippendale’s newcomer Something for Jess definitely fits the bill.
All the furniture is second hand, liberated from local council clean-ups or scrounged from op shops, and as much of the produce as possible is locally sourced. They use bread from Luxe in Newtown, butter from Tempe, and their olives are from Muswellbrook. Owner Philip Ocampo’s mother-in-law’s kitchen garden provides the fresh herbs. His mate’s farm in Camden takes care of the bulkier fruit and veg.
The food at this new Abercrombie Street café is assembled rather than cooked. Exotic combinations of fruit, veg, cheeses, meats and sauces are destined for sandwiches, toasts and salads that change at the whim of the kitchen and the bounty of the fields. Toast toppings could be basil and avocado with shaved fennel, figs, pecorino, black radishes and roast capsicum one week, and then spiced chorizo with roast pear, white bean purée and watermelon the next.
On our visit we try the sandwich with slow-roasted lamb shoulder. Less your traditional sarnie than a flavour raft, you get one solid piece of sourdough that is the vehicle for hummus, mixed leaves, avo, cherry tomatoes, juicy diced lamb pieces, salsa verde and puréed capsicum.
If a coffee or juice of the day isn’t going to cut it then order an affogato. The ice cream is from Serendipity and the combination of butterscotch and coffee is not unlike a cold Vietnamese coffee.
Another Chippendale café means that Abercrombie Street is a sure-fire bet at breakfast time, especially if you want something a little left field on your toast.