Tuesday, 9 December 2008

maybach

82 McLachlan Av
Rushcutters Bay 2010 NSW
Phone: (02) 8354 5299

When you think ‘car dealership’ café; the words ‘great coffee, ‘tasty menu’ and ‘good produce’ probably don’t come to mind. Yet, tucked away on McLachlan Avenue in Rushcutters Bay, Mercedes have managed to bring ‘car cafés’ to entirely new level, but maybe you’d expect that when the café is named after Mercedes’ most expensive car to date.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to own a Mercedes or even be minted to eat here; whilst the café is part of the dealership, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was simply just next door.

Take a table on the footpath to check out the street traffic but the inside tables afford a better view of the pretty machines next door. Once you gain the attention of one of the busy staff, the service is prompt, friendly and helpful when you’re finding it difficult to decide what to order.

The crowd is a mixed-bag combination of trendy advertising agency types, tradies, ladies (who lunch) and peeps in the market for a new car.

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The menu is classic café, but with a polished twist; there’s an emphasis on good quality produce and expert execution. Try the Corn Fritters with Coriander and Asian salad. Far from your usual hockey puck-shaped discs, these are football shaped mouthfuls of crunchy, light and well-seasoned deliciousness. There’s a mixture of coriander and other fresh herbs, which cuts the oiliness of the fritters and the fragrant salad is fresh, crunchy and dressed with a light dressing that compliments the fritters.

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The Maybach steak sandwich is similarly special, combining great quality steak with house-made relish and salad. Hardly an innovation in the steak sandwich stakes; it’s just good: The meat is tender and juicy, the salad is crisp and fresh and the relish ties it all together nicely with subtly spiced aplomb.

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Extra points are awarded for the fact that Onion Rings make an appearance on the menu. It’s a dying breed of fried food, and one that deserves to be removed from the extinction list. Maybach onion rings are tempura battered and flash fried in oil so that they’re cooked to a crisp, pale golden. They come with the steak sandwich, but order an extra serve to keep your fellow diners happy. Yum.

Car cafes are hardly the place for a top quality caffeinated drop, but the locals say it’s one of the best coffees in these parts. Whether it’s long black, or a piccolo; the aroma is strong, the taste is mild and the kick is good.

At an average of around $20 for lunch including a coffee, you may not be able to afford a Maybach car, but this kind of Maybach will suit the average punter’s wallet just fine.

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