Dirty. Ants. Burnt food. Extortionate prices. AVOID!
Address: 68 Gould Street, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW 2026
Tel: (02) 9365 6863
Times: Mon-Fri – CLOSED / Sat-Sun – 9am to 4pm
Known for: Breakfasts
Oh my… this was quite the dining experience.
We walked past Brave Cafe last week but it was closed as they only open weekends. We noted that they had pancakes on the menu so we decided to turn up the next Sunday for Natalie to review them for her Sunday Pancakes feature.
When we arrived we were greeted and allowed to sit anywhere. The cafe is small, with only around 8 tables inside and the same again outside on the pavement, and we chose to sit inside by the wall. The seats were wooden benches with some old tatty cushions to make it a bit softer.
The cafe itself is very grungy. It reminds me of the sort of hovel I lived in as a student where the beer was watered down and the toilets didn’t flush. I think they were trying to go for the “surfer bum” look, but it just came across as “tramp’s bum” instead.
As soon as we sat down we noticed 10 or so huge ants crawling over our table. I squished/flicked them all off. One of the members of staff saw me attacking the ants, but did nothing or even mention it to me. I kept an eye out for them for the rest of the meal, but didn’t see any more, but as far as first impressions go it wasn’t a great start. Things only got worse…
We both ordered the breakfast pancakes with Yoghurt for $14.50 each, with a flat white coffee for me and an English breakfast tea for Nat;
Pancake Stack-with Poached Strawberry, Berries & Maple Syrup. Ice-Cream or Yoghurt +$2, Poached Fruit +$4 – $14.50
The first thing to arrive was the table water with two plastic beakers that had dried food stuck to the bottom of them. Next the tea arrived in a pot that I don’t think had been washed in a long time as it too had food remains all over it! Thankfully, my flat white was in a cup that seemed pretty clean.
When the food came, we both just exchanged glances with each other. The pancakes were on the small side, but not too tiny. They were however burnt to a crisp on the underside. They were so hard that they required a hard crunch to bite into. As it takes a very special skill to manage to burn a breakfast pancake, we wondered whether it was in fact the burnt remains of other food from a dirty grill that had encrusted on to them. Either way, pretty horrible.
The maple syrup that it was supposed to come with them was non-existent. I actually took a photo of what was the only notable evidence of any syrup on the plate as I just found it funny. We mentioned this to a member of staff and asked if we could have some more. They brought us an extra pot of it that we shared between us.
The fruit was actually quite nice. It was refreshing without being too tart, however I think I got a quarter of a tiny strawberry and a few wild berries. Barely a fork full.
When we had finished, we both decided to complain / pass on our feedback. When paying and asked if I had enjoyed my food, I mentioned that the pancakes weren’t great but got no reaction from them. I presume it was a robotic question to which they don’t expect anything other than “yes, thanks” and so didn’t even listen to me.
Nat however did get a response from the member of staff that she complained to while I was paying. He was apparently very apologetic.
After spending more money relative to other cafes in the area, for poor food and a fairly shoddy experience, I decided to drop them a comment on their Facebook page.
The next morning I awoke to an extremely rude and offensive email from the owner of Brave Cafe, Mr Benjamin Hewitt. If you’d like to read how Ben handles negative feedback, you can read his torrent of abuse towards me here. Based on his words to me, he’s a pretty nasty vile man.
Update: A journalist at News.com.au took an interest in this, and while they stopped short of naming Brave Cafe or Ben, they have covered the story with equal amazement at his rudeness!
Burnt. Tiny portions.
Not bad. A little weak.
Staff – nice enough.
Owner – deluded.