Etro Bar and Bistro

In the never-ending search for new places to have breakfast in the city, I paid a visit to Etro on King Street recently with a couple of girlfriends.  This eatery has been around in the same spot for a while now, its unassuming facade fronts onto the quieter end of King street, which seems to get trendier every time I walk down it. It comprises of both cafe downstairs, and a cute little bar upstairs where you can enjoy a couple of beverages on a Friday or Saturday night. 

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I had been here once a few years ago, and couldn’t recall it being particularly good or bad – just your run-of-the-mill inner city cafe that was getting by well enough on the basis of its location.  Standards and expectations for cafe fare in the city have rocketed in recent times though, and I was intrigued to see how this little cafe had moved with the times.

We rocked up early on a weekday, and while there were a few business breakfasts happening, there was plenty of space to seat our table of 6. The inside was light and airy thanks to the floor to ceiling glass windows and wide french doors, and the staff were on the ball, asking us if we wanted anything to drink shortly after letting us settle in. I ordered my standard flat white and was very pleased with what came out – beautiful latte art which wasn’t let down by the smooth, creamy coffee that lay underneath the foam. A big tick in the coffee box for Etro!

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They have a varied breakfast menu on offer at Etro – with so many choices I had my usual dilemma of wanting to eat more than one thing on the menu.  I have a feeling I might be back sometime soon to try a few more of the dishes on offer!  Some of the strong contenders were the King St tortilla with fried eggs, bacon, cheese, hash browns and hollandaise sauce (I was almost drooling reading this one!), and the absolutely decadent sounding banana split brioche french toast. I might have ordered that if not for the fear of having a sugar hangover for the rest of the day!

I opted for the dish with the most protein to set myself up well for a day at work, the Spanish omlette with chorizo, twice cooked potato, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, paprika, feta, mozzarella and toast ($19.50).  Twice cooked potato sounded alluring to me, as twice cooked chips are always three times as good as other chips, and I am always a sucker for a bit of chorizo!

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My eyes lit up as the food came out and I saw that my omelette looked to be chock-a-block full of yummy fillings. I found the chorizo in it to be very thinly sliced, a contrast to the chunky chorizo that I have found to be the norm lately, but it was fried well and still had a nice bite to it.  The potato was delectably crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside – twice cooked lived up to the standard I had set for it! It made for a nice textural difference in the dish. The egg part of the omelette itself was satisfactory – although not the greatest I have ever had, it was not bad by any standards.  Even though I didn’t touch any of the bread, this was still a filling, hearty meal that kept me full through till lunchtime and beyond.

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Busy chatting away, I didn’t go through my usual (probably annoying!) practice of grilling my friends on what they though of their meals.  I did grab a quick snap of Jen’s meal though, the  Cafe Benny ($15) – poached eggs, wilted spinach, roast tomato, saffron hollandaise and toast (there was the option to add ham for $2.50, and smoked salmon for $4).  It was a good looking dish – the tomato looked perfectly roasted, charred on the outside and soft and oozey on the inside, while the yolks spilt out over the dish upon cutting into the eggs.

Overall, I think the fare served up at Etro was well above what its Urbanspoon rating might suggest you would see there.  Food was plated up beautifully, and the quality didn’t disappoint either.  The staff were friendly and attentive, checking we were enjoying our meal without being too intrusive.  I couldn’t find faults with our experience and would definitely venture back (especially for the tortilla!).

Etro Cafe & Bistro on Urbanspoon

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