Tuesday, 27 September 2011


78 Booth St
NSW 2038

0433 258 252

Category: Cheapo!! ($0 - $50)

Back to the roots we go I say… No fancy ingredients, nothing sinister, no gastronomy, no website, not even facebook…  Plain and simple, the way it should be. Not even a phone number but a mobile for the chef Aaron is really the only way you can contact them. 

Upon first inspection, this place is made purely for the locals. It is not really accessible apart from car, and is quite far away from ‘happening’ part of town or public transport for that matter. Surrounded purely by residential blocks one would think they purposefully wanted to avoid people. None the less, nestled in the heart of Annandale is Clover. 

I am not actually sure how I would describe this place, it is simple yet cosy, crowded yet spacious… the long benches mean communal style dining however there are break-away tables both square and round, and the mis-matching pieces of furniture give it a homely feel whilst the consistent humming and aromas created by the coffee machine helps remind one that you are still in a café. Despite the waiters / waitresses dressed more like they are heading down to the shops (when one approached me I seriously thought it was another customer asking a question), hats indoors, hair all over the place, skinny blue jeans, non slip protective shoes and a minimal menu on a laminated A4 sheet… the coffee is excellent, and better still the food is excellent; with breakfast in particular, to die for. For Clover it is all about sustainability. They deal direct with the farmers so it comes straight from the source and a small menu also means they can reduce waste easier.

The most refreshing part about it is that the menu itself is quite… well different. Aside from the big breakfast (and even this has its own twist), everything else on the menu is not what you would find on a ‘standard issue’ café menu. The shining beacon, the star, the talisman however is the baked eggs; coming in 2 forms, chorizo from The Rodriguez Bros. or there is a vegetarian option which changes with the seasons. Basically, it is potato, beans, chorizo, eggs, herbs, paprika, and a rich tomato sauce infused with a hint of chilli and placed into a Spanish style pot served with crusty bread is quite simply… heavenly… The flavours hit your mouth, dance and my senses came alive… Whether you need a hangover cure from the night before, are looking for a filling and hearty breakky or you just want something a little different… this is it! (in the words of Michael Jackson himself)

Other dishes include a Clover style French toast, with real maple syrup and poached eggs with Prosciutto and Mum's Tomato Relish and Aged Parmesan, or with Basil and Macadamia Pesto and Pecorino help add variety and spark to what would be a ‘normal’ menu.

For those who are more basic, there is toast, muesli etc, but seriously, you must try those eggs… and whilst the service is not to die for I like the place overall. Locals come streaming in and out, dogs and all, and several drive by just to order take away coffee, and we sat and ate it seemed everyone knew everyone with all stopping to say hi and exchange pleasantries on route to commencing their Sunday morning. This place has definitely established itself as an institution, with the locals and visiting outsiders alike. They also do a very simple but enticing lunch menu, which is extremely reasonably priced so head on down if you find yourself over sleeping in the morning!

Overall it’s a winner. Good coffee, nice atmosphere, great food, innovative and different, and with a touch of home I have nothing left to say but that I am looking forward to my next trip to the local café…

Bottom line:
You will get plenty change from a $50, but 2 baked eggs, toast and a couple of coffees set us back a mere $35. 

Food                                       7.5/10
Service                                   1.5/3  
Décor                                     1.5/3 (It’s nice for what it is… but really…)  
Cleanliness                           2/2
BONUS                                   1.5/2 (Go those baked eggs)

Total                                       14/20

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