Victim Numer Two -Tapeo (Redfern)

So….. either I am not as hard to please as I thought, or I am lucky enough to have had two ‘more than satisfactory’ breakfast experiences in a row. I wouldn’t say they were edibly mind blowing, but to but it into perspective I’m not reviewing michelin star restaurants that require a redraw on the mortgage in order to pay the bill. I’m not out for the next Blumanthal. I’m just looking for good food and coffee in the plethora of everyday cafe/restaurant fare that is on offer in this fine city of ours. There is a lot of ordinary cafe food out there and sadly there is an even greater number that are less than ordinary.

Without further ado……

Victim #2   -  Tapeo International (82 Redfern St, Redfern) 

(Yes I prominse to make the next visit to a cafe outside of Redfern)

Diners  -  2   (Yours truely and The Lovely Fiance)

A beautiful Sydney morning ushered us through the doors of Tapeo. I don’t quite know what to make of the decor. Black and charcoal walls, wood tables, steel lamps, bright cushions and an explosion of colour from a floor to ceiling artwork all just seem a tad chaotic in such a small space.  I wouldn’t shed a tear if the totally out-of-place ikea space lamp hanging from the ceiling spotaneously disappeared either. Nonetheless, it is a warm environment and seems to be a hit with the new breed of uber cool arty farty’s stomping the streets of Redfern. Besides, what do I know about design?…I’m just an Opera singer ;-p

We were greeted and seated by a lovely young waiter/barista. Our coffee order’s were taken and time to peruse the somewhat unusual menu was afforded. Interestingly we were actually asked whether we would like tap water. This is the first time I’ve experienced the ‘option’ for water and I rather like it. I’ve never seemed to fathom how, in an age where we are increasingly aware of the need to conserve water, cafe staff continually plonk glasses of tap water on tables whether you want it or not. I never drink mine! Tap water from egg smelling glasses just isn’t my thing really.

Coffees delivered in good time and breakfast orders taken. Before I go on…the coffee is fabulous…nay I will go one further, the coffee is definately on the list of preferred personal caffeine suppliers. Milk glossy on top (and this was soy!), milk perfect temperature (not too hot), milk perfect quantity (smaller cups) and the coffee was smooth and strong without a hint of bitterness. Tick, tick, tick! The LF’s Long black was, in his own words “ok”.

Back to the food….The breakfast menu at Tapeo includes some slightly unusual choices such as the flamenco eggs (baked in a spanish spiced tomato, capsicum and cumin sauce with green peas and corn), the Tapeo breakfast (eggs with cucumber and tomato salsa  and zaatar infused feta) and I forget the name of the third which consists of eggs served with chorizo and wild mushrooms in a dijon honey sauce. There are some of the usual suspects included in the menu for the less adventurous and a cabinet full sweet treats which I believe are made onsite.

The LF ordered eggs on toast with a side of haloumi and avocado ($14) and yours truely went with the flamenco eggs ($14). Our food was impressively quick to the table. It certainly looked appetising and the portions were very generous. LF had half an avocado and more haloumi than his lovely heart could desire sitting next to his perfectly drained poached eggs. As for my flamenco’s, they had me at the first mouthful of rich, luscious tomato and capsicum sauce. Baked eggs are often in danger of being overcooked, these one’s were perfectly done with runny yokes. No complaints from the LF, and all looked to be in order. In my case you can have too much of a good thing. The sauce as I said was beautiful and rich with a punchy flavour and the heat of a bit of chilli. It’s just that after a few mouthfuls I realised I was essentially eating sauce for breakfast. Much less of an issue if you are one of those people who doesn’t feel the desire to finish everything on your plate. Good as it was, the sauce dominated everything else and the perfectly cooked eggs were lost. I think the dish could have done with a smaller serving of sauce or else something added in to cut through all the tomato.

All in all a very satisfactory meal was enjoyed by these two lovebirds. Would I go back? ….. Yes I would!


Flamenco Eggs

Tapeo on Urbanspoon

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8 Responses to Victim Numer Two -Tapeo (Redfern)

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  3. Cleo says:

    Tapeo serves the best coffee/espresso in Redfern. Hands down. (And yes, there’s some stiff competition in RF). Really great people who run the place and work there – a couple of visits and you’re treated with the warmth accorded a regular. Creative and delicious food. What’s not love?

    • Heartsong says:

      Good to see someone showing Tapeo some love. They are far from the bottom when it comes to cafes. The coffee is good, but I would have to say The Shortlist on Abercrombie st serves the best coffee in my opinion. Technically you could say that is not a Redfern cafe I suppose. I agree the food is creative and delicious, but I was very much a regular and for the most part I cannot say I have been treated with the warmth accorded a regular. So, regular no longer sadly.

  4. staff says:

    Have you wondered why there is a continual turnover in staff at Tapeo Cafe in Redfern?
    Well it seems that the owners are continually hiring on the basis of training without pay (illegal by the way!) and then moving them on by replacement. (You can see an ongoing free ad on Gumtree looking for staff!!) Great basis of keeping your staff wages to zero!!
    Prospective wait staff – be aware ’cause you could fall victim to this scam.

    • Heartsong says:

      Indeed I have wondered! Thanks for the heads up. It’s such a shame as inconsistent service (caused ofcourse by inconsistent staff) are the only thing that really keep me away from Tapeo.

  5. James says:

    Tapeo is our local, and we like it, one thing you missed out in your article was that some of the staff whilst cool are pretty dumb. There was a waitress who had an argument with us (not something you do with paying customers in my book!) saying an omelette and scrambled eggs were the same thing. I figure if you are going to serve food you should know a little about it.

    • Heartsong says:

      Hi James,

      Tapeo is my local too and since this post was written I have returned on several occasions. Not as many times as I could have, mind you, mainly due to the inconsitency in service. This post was written almost a year ago now, not long after Tapeo first opened, at the time the service was great. Since then I have found the eternally changing staff widely vary between downright rude, to disinterested and (if you happen to strike it lucky) very good. Unfortunately the last experience I had at Tapeo……being blatantly ignored at the counter while the barista had a lovely long chat with a friend…….was the final straw for me and I have not been back.

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