By definition, well according to urbandictionary.com anyway, it’s a term that refers to one who is a novice, a greenhorn, a student/disciple, a subordinate, or just simply ignorant. No mention of the annoying little hungry insect with powerful hind legs that makes the chirping noise.
Well let me tell you, you’ll find none of any of that at The Hungry Grasshopper in Haberfield. Just a nice little suburban café serving delicious food and beverages to the locals. Oh, and those like me and my little bulls, who have ventured out from our neck of the woods on this cold, wintery Sunday morning to discover this little hidden backstreet gem. It’s only a small place with both indoor seating (about 4-5 tables, and some standing room) and outdoor seating (3-4 tables out the front along Waratah St). But cute and cosy, and full of warmth and that magic ‘aura’ of a happening café....the perfect spot for some morning tea.
As we walked to the entrance from where we had parked Harry Hyundai (there’s plenty of residential street parking close by), I was a little worried that The Hungry Grasshopper may have been a little too small for this family of four, however there was plenty of room inside, and whilst it was busy for a mid morning, there was ample seating close by the front counter inside. When the café is in full flight, there would be limited pram room inside and a pram would probably serve as more of a hindrance than help. For those with wee little ones, we did not sight any highchairs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have them – we just didn’t see them.
We snagged a large table with bench seats that neatly wrapped around 3 sides, while the little bulls keenly eyed the glass cabinet with a range of snacks, treats, wraps, muffins, slices and cakes – all looking very fresh and oh so yum! The large blackboard menu on the wall behind the front counter indicated we needed to ‘order and pay at counter’, so we thought we better move quickly as the number of people wandering in seemed to quickly increase soon after we sat down. We must have had pole position because a number of the people (must have been locals) were eyeing our table, but sadly knew they would have to wait, because we were just way too comfortable to move.
Being Soccer World Cup Month, the little bulls were keen to have a go at the Chocolate Cupcakes with the Soccer Ball on top – and noting there were only two left, I quickly did a Bicycle Kick to the front of the queue and ordered up. 2 Chocolate Cupcakes for the bulls please, and 2 Cappuccinos and a Caramel slice for me and Mr Munch to nibble at in turn (apparently he wasn't feeling very hungry). $19 later (which I thought was pretty good value for what we ordered) I sat down and watched the most important person in the café do their thing – the funky hipster Barista with the cool woollen beanie and the 3 day growth “pull my shot”. And pull he did – the coffee was out of this world – delivered with a polite but unassuming apology for the late arrival – the weight and texture was medium bodied and smooth, the aroma had both freshness and personality, and the crema could be compared to a softly beaten egg white, with a wonderful lingering after taste (they aren't my words...Mr Munch wanted to put his 2 bobs worth in to the review).
Like any good cupcake, the soccer cupcakes were devoured from top to bottom – literally. The soccer ball went first, then the icing, then the cake. Leaving only the wrapper (and a few crumbs on the table) as evidence that something had been consumed. Smiles were abound on the little bulls, as they sat and worked their way through a couple of kids books that were from a basket in the corner - an all important measure of a truly ‘kid friendly café’. The caramel slice was ‘to die for’, and sadly the husband's appetite had returned so it was sadly shared. It was not your typical rich gooey and biscuity slice, and the base was just amazing! Gone in seconds.
We noted that the main Blackboard Menu did have a Kids Menu section with a selection of meals (Baked Beans and Soldiers, Ham and Cheese Toastie, and a Mini Bacon Roll) that would be suitable at any time of day – a smart move – for anywhere between $4-$6 . The rest of the menu had an amazing selection of all day breakfasts including Eggs Benedict (with either Ham – $16, Bacon – $17, or Smoked Salmon – $17), Breaky Wrap (scrambled eggs, provolone cheese and chives) for $11, and a Bacon and Egg Roll for $7, among others. The breakie option of Salmon Eggs (scrambled eggs, dill, lemon and rye) for $17 sounded scrumptious – my mouth was watering as I read the words and imagined the plate arriving at the table. And the lunch options were just as nice including a selection of salads, burgers and wraps (all between $10-$16).
By the time we’d finished our Hungry Grasshopper experience, the café was in full flight and you could both see and hear the buzz...the staff were amazingly attentive through it all, a true service with a smile attitude, which was great to see. Families were everywhere, there were loads of little ones crawling, walking and sitting all over the place. The hum just got a little bit higher, and coincidentally (or not), our experience was coming to an end. The cupcakes devoured, the coffee emptied, and the slice certainly gone – it was time to depart. Before we left, the littlest bull needed a pit stop – the café has a cute little toilet (accessed from inside the café), which did not have a change table, but served our purpose.
So there were certainly no novices in sight, and ignorance, if at all present, was invisible. We had simple, but outstanding, food, beverages and service, and look forward to our return to sample the breakie or lunch menus. It’s something that other cafes often strive for, but never achieve. They should, in the words of that blind Shaolin Master from that 1970’s TV series Kung Fu – “Watch and Learn, Grasshopper.”
63 Waratah Street, Haberfield NSW
02 9799 3432
Open 7 days 7.00am - 3.00pm.