Excelsior Jones was named ‘Best New Cafe’ in the 2013 SMH Good Cafe Guide. This corner-shop cafe is tucked away in a quiet end of Ashfield, about a 30 minute walk from the train station. This was my first time visiting Excelsior Jones as I wanted to check out what the fuss was about.
There was a queue outside the pink building when my friend Shuv and I arrived for lunch last Saturday and naturally we joined the queue…this turned out to be a bad idea, as others had put their names down prior to lining up so we were waiting for ages without a ticket!
We eventually got a table and sat near the open kitchen where we could see the action. After looking at the menu, we ordered the Cheeseburger with grass fed Angus beef, Gruyère cheese, tomato relish, aioli and fried spuds ($16) along with Pork Hash with fried buckwheat, shallots, poached egg and fresh herbs ($16).
The food took a long time to arrive but thankfully it was worth the wait… the first thing that stood out on my plate were the spuds – chunky, crispy and well seasoned fries! The size of the burger was much smaller than I had expected but the buns were soft and covered with a thin layer of Gruyère cheese. Unlike most burgers at cafes, this beef pattie was cooked medium-rare which meant it was nice and juicy.
I also had a few nibbles from Shuv’s bowl of Pork Hash, this was another stand-out dish and seemed to be what everyone else was ordering. This dish was delicious with bits of pork, potatoes and herbs all mixed together and topped with a beautifully poached egg.
For drinks we ordered an Iced Coffee ($5.50) and the waitress recommended the Lime & Coconut Malted Milkshake ($6.50). The milkshake had an artificial lime flavour so we much preferred their 5 Senses house blend iced coffee.
This unpretentious, hip and friendly cafe was worth the hype and I’d love to return to try the rest of their menu.
139A Queen St, Ashfield NSW 2131
(02) 9799 3240