Being in a different city on a public holiday is a very tricky affair, even if that city is Sydney. You cannot really rely on the usual travel and foodie apps, so you have to wing it. And the odds might not be in your favour when you’re winging it.
With not much planned before our evening flight back to Brisbane, the SO and I were going to wander around the city for a bit of last minute shopping and needed some breakfast to set the foundation of the day. We ended up at Jones the Grocer in Westfield Sydney for a caffeine hit (meh) and were one of the first through the day at opening.
We’ve visited the Jones the Grocer outlet at its original Dempsey Hill location in Singapore and quite enjoyed the experience, but the difference between the Singapore and Sydney outlet couldn’t have been more different.
Singapore’s Jones the Grocer was a pain to get to by public transport and was incredibly busy, but had so much light, the space felt incredibly airy and spacious. By contrast, Jones the Grocer in Westfield Sydney is right smack in the heart of the city, but was very dark and felt closed in – a vibe I tend to associate more with dinner than breakfast.
The Eggs Royale might sound like something out of a James Bond film, but it was fairly ordinary. The salmon was English breakfast tea smoked and served alongside two poached eggs, rocket on a slice of sourdough toast, and blanketed with such a mild hollandaise sauce I actually asked the SO what it was. The kitchen seemed to have a thing about using alfalfa sprouts for garnishing, which really didn’t add to the dish.
I quite enjoyed my mushroom omelette, which was fluffy and not oily with free-range eggs, well-cooked field mushrooms stuffed in the centre with sheep’s feta, spinach and laced with black truffle oil. Truffle oil can be a tricky element, but Jones the Grocer had a good balance that it was obviously there without overpowering the eggs.
Service felt a little sterile. At only half capacity, all the staff were running around as if the place was packed, yet they were not necessarily directing customers to tables, taking orders or serving up orders. They just ran around looking very busy. We noted a few new customer arrivals who had to wait several minutes to be tabled, provided water and have their orders taken. And when we were ready to leave, we stood at the counter for a good 5 minutes for someone – anyone – to even say ‘be with you in a minute’.