24 Hour Breakfast

14 Nov

On Friday night, I went to Opera Bar for a low-key and very overdue catch up with the girls; G & T in hand. Around 12.30am we (or should I say, I) felt like a snack. Of course, the usual suspects came to mind; Harry’s Cafe De Wheels, McDonalds, KFC, a dodgy kebab, Pancakes On The Rocks or Golden Century. Undecided on the appeal of our limited choices, we were going to just head home until I thought of Maisy’s Cafe in Neutral Bay. I worked in a salon on Military Road about 6 years ago so I’ve been to Maisy’s but I’d never dined there at night.

It was great to get a parking spot right out the front on Military Road and the cafe was buzzing even at 1am. I asked our waiter when their busiest time is and he told me, with an English accent “we had a rush of people at 11 o’clock so now it’s slowing down”. We had the best seats in the house; from upstairs you can see the service counter and watch the wobbly Friday night drinkers wander through the door in search of a snack to soak up their excessive consumption of alcohol. The window leading to the kitchen is where the action really happens.

Maisy’s is a terrace building with a high ceiling and three levels. We watched the meals make their way from the top level to the hands of the wait staff at the service counter on the ground floor. I hear you gasping! No, the meals weren’t thrown from the kitchen in signature Gordon Ramsay style that most of us would define as a terrible two’s tanty. Nor could it be compared to Iron Chef meets Cirque Du Soleil complete with colourful, figure hugging tights that make you feel well acquainted to the person inquestion before even being introduced.

A bell alerts the ground staff to the incoming culinary landing and the plates are sent from the kitchen in a few swift moves. Resting on a sturdy metal basket, the meal is lowered by a hand operated cable like a shirtless Italian concreter sending debris from the top floor of a construction site to his coworker on the cobblestone footpath in Rome.

We were caught up observing the 24 hour cafe run like a well oiled machine when our food arrived and it seemed like little time passed since we’d ordered. The Mega Breakfast consisted of Turkish toast, baked beans, mushrooms, tomato, sausages, bacon, hash brown and eggs; we chose scrambled. We also had a Margherita pizza with a thick base that I normally wouldn’t eat but given the time of morning it was I couldn’t be too fussy. I was there to spend time with the girls so I had to temporarily throw my gourmet cravings out the window.

The menu offered lots of variety from cakes, to salads, pasta and pancakes; and it is reasonably priced. The Margherita pizza is $10, the Mega Breakfast $18.90 and self service tap water is available at the counter. So next time you feel the midnight munchies lurking, why not take a trip to Neutral Bay?

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