A new café has joined the Kensington food scene, and she’s a real genteel lady. Two ladies actually.
Gertrude and Petunias, launched in late 2013 is a departure from the eclectic Asian cuisine and university student food fare one has come to associate with the Kensington area. Tucked halfway up Todman Avenue away from the hustle and bustle of Anzac Parade but just as central; this café offers a classy option for breakfast or lunch.
When asked about the name, the owner answers “I don't know, my wife picked it. I guess because It's old fashioned,” and old fashioned is the word that perfectly describes this new Kensington addition to a T...a grandmothers cup of tea that is.
Settling ourselves down at an intimate table for two, we try to ignore the display of pastries and cakes all made in house that have been set out in a large glass cabinet that lines the entirety of the front counter. No matter which way you spin it, brownie is not breakfast. Instead we apply ourselves to the menu.
Unlike many new cafés today, the selection is relatively small, limited to one page for breakfast and one for lunch with all the classic dishes accounted for. Avant garde foodies might be disappointed that no food trends are being followed, here but as we soon discovered; the items they do have are done exceptionally well. No matter what you order, you won’t be disappointed.
This morning, we couldn’t go past the Granola ($12) - layers of rolled oats, seeds, nuts, berry compote and the most flavoursome vanilla yoghurt ever tasted artfully served in a mason jar along with the strawberry and ricotta French toast ($12); together with three pieces of cloud like brioche soaked in honey, giant and delicious. We paired these with a festive Christmas spices tea and large long black. The constant stream of coffee takeaway orders attesting to the quality of the caffeine.
With ordering done up at the counter and food served to the table; it doesn’t take long to receive our meal, and the staff, including the owner were all exceptionally helpful and friendly; taking the time to take us on a guided tour of their tea selection which is too extensive and exotic to be listed in full on the menu.
In contrast to the menu, the decoration is elaborate with floral wall paper, plush sofas and an abundance of gold gilt framed mirrors lining the walls. Walking in, one leaves the real world behind and enters an oasis reminiscent of a Victorian tea house crossed with a touch of French glamour. It’s not hard to imagine Marie Antoinette entertaining her ladies in waiting in a setting such as this.
The only negative, there is no onsite toilet which makes lingering a little problematic.
A little bit posh, and a little bit classy - Gertrude and Petunia’s is a decedent beginning to your day. Something we highly recommend.
Where: 61 Todman Avenue Kensington NSW.
Why: French Toast with Strawberries and Ricotta
When: Breakfast & Lunch, 7 Days.
Good for kids: A bit small for kids, but friendly staff would accommodate.
Take away: Yes