The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Clover, Annandale

January 11th, 2010  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  10 Comments

Sometimes you can’t reduce why you like something down to one particular reason. Often, you end up overcrowding your explanation with lots of adjectives – the same way you do when justifying a crush to friends (where you talk someone up as “funny, smart, cute, talented, thoughtful” etc etc, piling on the praise until your friends understandably roll their eyes or laugh).

And so, that’s kind of the case with our latest cafe preoccupation – Clover in Annandale. Our list of pro-Clover points is a little long, so here’s a trimmer version of why we like this place so much …

First, there’s the decor, which is an eccentric and cute jumble of fixtures and furniture. There are kid-friendly teapots filled with crayons and enough mobiles to distract a child from any grand plans of havoc-wreaking. Planter boxes line the entrance; inside, benches and tables sport the pastel palette of ’60s girl-pop vinyl covers. The wall cabinet – with multiple die for handles – is full of oddities while cleverly hiding the electricity box behind.

Of course, a cafe can’t do much spell-casting if the menu isn’t very entrancing, and the food at Clover rightly mixes the comforting and familiar with fresh twists.Baked Beans and Chilli Labne ($10) adds a yogurty tang and spice hit to the breakfast staple while Goat’s Cheese and Pesto Omelette with Baked Mushrooms ($10) is a smart rewrite of the classic egg-pan dish. There’s also Haloumi, Roast Eggplant and Watermelon Salad ($10), and Open Melt with Prosciutto, Mozarella, Organic Eggs and Tomato Relish ($8), the latter quickly becoming a multiple-order favourite with Will, who declares it a “fancy” version of bacon and eggs. The vego choices are substantial, too. It’s enough to make Clover our new breakfast/brunch-going favourite.

The Arabian-Style Bircher Muesli probably will tip you off to the fact that this new cafe is a venture involving two familiar faces from Clipper in Glebe. And like that ever-popular joint, the menu is surprisingly budget-reasonable. Most dishes are $10 or under, fresh juices are $4.50 and while the conventional post-bill experience involves the shock of forking out too much – at Clover, you often feel like you’ve underpaid, ‘cos it is rather decently-priced.

My only (tiny) gripe about Clover is its reliance on disposable cups – all beverage-sipping unavoidably involves plastic being sent to landfill, although at least the juices come in biodegradable containers, I suppose.

That said, can I swing back and give more credit to the clever furniture? The cool wall cabinet was custom-built locally by Three of A Kind (motto: “butt ugly blokes building handsome furniture for beautiful people”, phone number: 0409 555 173). Run by Karl and Geoff, who handmake everything, this small company’s inventive use of recycled timber can also be seen in the angular-shaped “table/seats” that are dotted near the cafe’s entrance. Clover co-owner Adriano demonstrated for us how this cheeky all-purpose piece of furniture works – you can sit on it, use it as a table, link it up with a twin unit and create an extended bench, and so on. Maybe use it for slightly violent means, too, but I don’t think that was in the original grand plan.

For a place that’s only been open for a few weeks, Clover has been packed on each visit we’ve made. All the reasons above second this cafe’s appeal – the attraction of this joint comes in multiples.

Clover, 78 Booth Street, Annandale (no phone number at last check, but opening hours are Tues-Sun, 6am-4pm).

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  1. oh wow. great find. looks great and so cheap. will have to try 🙂

  2. Suprising and disappointing about the disposable cups. when I was working locally and dropping into clipper most days, the clipper boys were always very impressed with my keep cup and even gave a discount for using it!?!

    But it still sounds like a gem. Won’t complain about a new cafe with great decor and good food in the area. Look forwrd to checking it out.

  3. eliza says:

    sounds great! can’t wait to try it. how do the vegan options look? x

  4. Love the look of that open melt! Yum. And so reasonably cheap!

  5. I like that I can eat vicariously through you LTL!

    look and sounds so oishii!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I heard their chef is really sexy too… always a welcome addition to great food in a great atmosphere at a great price!

    Incidentally, I heard the same crew are opening a restaraunt in the near future… stay tuned…

  7. Look so good but so far from my place… Lucky enough my place is near Clipper …

    By the way, I just gave you a blog award on my latest post (hope you haven’t received it before) so check out my blog to pick it up 🙂

  8. cravenmaven says:

    I have just fallen in love with your blog based on this write up alone! Def. going to subscribe…I miss the food in Sydney!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The disposable cups have been replaced this week and the food, coffee and service are all top notch. Interesting watching two other Annandale cafe owners in there today surveying a very well run op.

  10. adriano says:

    hello, we have just changed the menu , slightly-same good quality ingredients and we have developed and old school turkish bread with a baker in marrickville. i am working on a project in london with a company called i am also looking at doing a joint v with claska hotel in tokyo. they have been busting my balls forever to put a cafe in the hotel. ever in tokyo? stay at claska. i am actually winding down my operations in sydney- if anyone is interested in opening a cafe or need some advice, please feel free to email me. i like the idea of collaborations.

    thanks for the feedback on this great blog

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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