The latest two attempts were thwarted by the terrible rainy weather that Sydney had been having this autumn...and it was raining on the day I finally managed a visit. Sometimes you've got to suffer wet feet for your brunch. Lucky for us brunch is on offer all day as the rain meant we arrived a bit later than planned.
I'm drawn to Orto Trading by its lovely courtyard complete with pot plants (that is too wet to enjoy during my visit) and its soft, pretty interior. Beautiful flowers adorn each table and hanging vases sit up against exposed brick walls. I love the mix of hard and soft in the decor. Couple with this the menu is a mix of hearty cafe fare that would be the perfect start to anybody's weekend.
A couple of freshly squeezed juices are the perfect way to kick start the morning for LoveSwah + VegeTARAian. They looked so good that I finally gave in and ordered one for myself too. I went with the pineapple, passionfruit, apple + lime ($6.50) that made me think it was still summer despite the torrential rain outside.
Despite the weather it'll always be iced-coffee time for me ($3.50). I've learned to ask for an Iced Latte these days to make sure I get a shot of espresso over ice with milk sans ice-cream.
Tara + I decide to order a vegetarian dish each and go halvies - which is great as it means we get to try a few dishes on the menu rather than just one. I order the "TOG" ($11.00) - tomato, olive tapenade + goats cheese on thick, hearty pieces of toast. I loved this! Goats cheese + olive tapenade is truly a match made in heaven...creamy, rich, salty. Swah also ordered this, but added a side of Berkshire smoked bacon to hers ($4.50).
Tara's choices was the "ATB" (they love their acronyms at Orto Trading) - avocado, tomato and fresh basil on sourdough ($9.00). A sturdy little pot of mushrooms were added as a side ($4.50) and it was nice to see a great mix of mushrooms rather than just your boring old button mushies.
We skip on over to the lunch menu and order a side of grilled corn with chilli-lime butter + grated cheddar. My only regret with this dish was that I had to share it as it was so moreish. What could be better than fresh, spicy corn topped with masses of grated cheese....nothing, other than three pieces of it all to yourself!
I'm back a few weeks later for a give-a-fork fundraising brunch with some blogging pals. Give-a-fork aims to raise funds in order to feed children in developing countries by asking diners to donate "forkage" to their meal. Seems like as good a reason as any to brunch.
I'm loving Baked Eggs ($18.00) at the moment so it seems like a logical thing for me to order. I opt for the vegetarian version without sobrasada (spicy chorizo). The little pan is filled with roast capsicum, Fior De Latte (mozzarella - thanks google!), topped roasted tomatoes and comes with a generous hunk of sourdough on the side. There is also a generous scattering of pinenuts over the top. Overall this dish was hearty and filling, but the eggs were not runny and I was hoping for more of a tomato base within the pan to help keep things moist especially as the pumpkin and capsicum were quite heavy.
Orto’s House Waffles ($16.00) with fig, rhubarb, walnuts, sheep's milk yoghurt and wildflower honey was one of the definite brunch hits of the day. This plate of food just looked picture perfect and the perfect antidote to the gloomy weather outside. I'm told the corn fritters ($18.00) with market fish, avocado cerviche + vine cherry tomatoes were a little underdone on this occassion which is a shame. I've heard great things about the corn fritters here so I'm guessing this was just an anomaly - it happens. By all reports the special of the day - slow cooked pork hash was AMAZING - it looked so good with the oozy poached egg yolk running seductively over the hash! Food envy!
Orto Trading is at 38 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills. Phone them on 0431 212 453.