I think a sign of a "real" cafe is one that bake their own sweet treats (and serve excellent coffee of course!). Envy Deli Cafe in Summer Hill is one such cafe. They bake loads of the most marvellous sweet treats that will have you going back time and time again. They also serve an excellent brew of Toby's Estate coffee and they are just a wee bit kid friendly, so yep, in my opinion they are the definition of a real cafe.
Envy is always open on public holidays and they open nice and early. And it was on one such day that we stopped in for some breakfast. We were warmly greeted by the staff who were already busy serving the takeaway coffee crowd. As the weather was a bit bleak we decided to sit inside. On a sunny day however I think it would be best for families to sit in the spacious outdoor area. This can be accessed from the side of the cafe and you can easily drive your pram straight in after you have found a park on the street. The outdoor area is very leafy, and a huge jacaranda tree covers most of it - hence the branding for the cafe.
Inside the cafe there are coloured pencils and paper for kidlets to use and I do believe outside there are baskets of toys to keep them occupied. High chairs are available for bambino bums and there are also toilet facilities if you need them (no baby change table). Service is warm and friendly and you can tell the staff are used to kids at Envy, because they have kid dodging down to a fine art! Quite a few pint size diners were wandering around and not once did I see a staff member grimace, roll their eyes or spill anything as the little people got in their way.
If you have entered through the front door your kids will be immediately drawn to the tables of treats. If however you arrived at the crack of dawn like we did, and it is too early for a sugar fix, then you will find a 'Kiddies Breakie' item available on the menu for $8.50. It's a scrambled egg with chipolata sausages and toast. My big boy gobbled this down and my 5 year old went with everyone's favourite - vegemite toast ($5.50). Freshly baked muffins (both sweet & savoury), banana bread and pancakes are other items on the main menu that kids may like to also munch on. Interestingly at lunch time there isn't a kids menu and from the adults menu there probably aren't that many choices available for little kids, so you might have to go with something from the breakfast menu. To quench little thirsts, babycinos, freshly squeezed juices and kids milkshakes are all available. Kids milkshakes come in disposable cups but the juices come in large glasses, which can be a wee bit awkward for little fingers.
For adults, Envy serve an all day breakfast. The menu isn't too badly priced with the most expensive item being $17.00 (quite cheap by Inner West standards!). I road tested their avo and fetta smash and added a side of poached eggs. As far as smashed avos go, Envy's version isn't the best I've had, but the eggs were perfectly poached and the avo was very flavoursome. Their bacon and eggs ($13.50) is a decent size and once again if you a poached eggs person, they do indeed know how to cook them perfectly at Envy.
At lunch time you can indulge in some fancy sounding burgers, toasted sandwiches or soup (and nothings costs over 20 bucks)......but the real reason you all need to go to Envy are for those baked goods. Classic cakes, crumbly cookies, tasty tarts, magic muffins and beautiful brownies - you know all of those calorific home style delights that we all need to indulge in now and then. Wash one of these down with a fantastic Toby's Estate coffee or a pot of tea and you are in for one very enjoyable morning or afternoon tea!
Miraculously we got the boys out of Envy without them having a meltdown because we wouldn't buy them a racing car or tiny tea cup. And I have total respect for the kitchen staff who made all those sweet little treats, because I have also made them when I was trying to win the Mother of the Year award - and let me tell you, they are seriously fiddly and messy little buggas to put together!
109 Smith St Summer Hill NSW
Mon - Sat: 6am - 5pm
Sun: 7am - 5pm