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Café Bella Dee, Sans Souci

by Nouha Elmasri (follow)
Journalism graduate, die-hard foodie and aspiring writer.
Cafes (144)      Breakfasts (44)      Sans Souci (6)      Mediterranean (4)     
Nestled on a quiet suburban corner in Sydney's southern suburb of Sans Souci is Café Bella Dee; a tiny café with a big personality.

Café Bella Dee on a sunny Saturday morning.

The brainchild of local sibling duo Stella and Dimitri Lascaris, Bella Dee, open for a little over two years, has fast become a favourite with locals; with its relaxed atmosphere, fresh, vibrant menu and gorgeous selection of homemade baked goods.

The menu at Bella Dee ties in perfectly with the theme.

Everything at Bella Dee has a distinctly French vibe - very fitting for a café in a suburb called Sans Souci - with a striped, monochromatic décor, woven outdoor furniture, printed menus and intricate chandeliers and ornate oversized mirrors all carrying through the modern French theme.

A monochromatic palette with ornate accents makes up the modern French décor.

The only thing not French it seems is the food, which leans heavily towards the Lascaris’ Mediterranean heritage, with the likes of souvlaki and grilled lamb and haloumi burgers making an appearance on the menu.

Light and fluffy, but super sweet - the berry delight pancakes.

On this glorious Saturday morning, breakfast is the order of the day. All the usual suspects from muesli and poached eggs to French toast and omelettes can be found on the menu. First up, something sweet - the berry delight pancakes. For $15.50, you’ll find yourself with a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, piled three high, topped with berry compote and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream all doused in lashings of maple syrup. If you’re a fan of sugar, you’ll enjoy this.

If sickly sweet first thing in the morning isn’t really your cup of tea, Bella Dee also serves up a selection of eggs, in pretty much every style, from omelettes, to scrambled, poached and fried.

Florentine panini
The Florentine panini smothered in creamy hollandaise sauce.

The Florentine panini with smoked salmon ($17.90) and the open-face omelette ($16.90) are two of the more popular breakfast dishes on offer. The panini comprises a toasted panini topped with sautéed spinach, smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and two poached eggs, and while the salmon is fresh and the hollandaise, rich and creamy, on this day the eggs lacked that luscious oozy quality, and all in all, the portion seems meagre for the price.

Florentine panini
The ever popular open faced omlette with spinach, feta, chorizo and caramelised onion.

Likewise, the open-faced omelette stuffed with spinach, feta, roasted tomato, chorizo and caramelised onion and served with a side of Sonoma sourdough, while delicious, just seems to lack that generosity that we have come to expect from café style food in Sydney.

Florentine panini
Served still warm in a cute little terracotta pot, it's easy to see why the scone in a pot is a best seller at Bella Dee.

Perhaps the best thing about Bella Dee are the homemade sweets and desserts on offer which include muffins, macarons, pies, biscuits and what is probably the café’s most popular menu item – the very cute, and very delicious scone in a pot ($8.50), served with vanilla cream and strawberry jam.

While meal portions at Bella Dee lean towards small, the flavour and quality of all the meals remains high. This, coupled with tasty desserts, fantastic coffee, friendly service and a laidback atmosphere make Café Bella Dee definitely worth a try.

Rating: 7.5/10

Where: 36 Tuffy Avenue, Sans Souci, 2219.
Why: Casual, relaxed atmosphere and delicious food.
Cost: $4 - $19.50.
When: Monday - Friday 7am - 3.30pm. Saturday and Sunday 8am - 4pm.

Good for kids: Yes, although there is very limited space inside the café and on the footpath.
Take away: Coffee and baked muffins, breads and tarts are available to takeaway.


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