Just to prove that the inner west is currently overachieving on the “great new eatery” front, West Juliett has been an excellent addition to Marrickville since it opened in March. It was on my “to check out” list after Kate Walsh from Real Food Projects mentioned it as a place worth taking notice of; and it makes sense that she’d single it out, given that this eatery focuses on extracting lots of wholesome, satisfying flavour from good produce. West Juliett does it in a way that makes you like it a lot – it’s definitely one of my favourite new cafes.
It’s worth sitting down here to try the excellent Mushrooms ($11.90), served on toast with super-caramelised onions, caraway, kasseri cheese and a snappy shroud of herbs. Load up on sides, that – despite their goody-two-shoes reputations – are really good. Sauteed kale and silverbeet and braised lentils may sound super-boring, but they’re prepared in a tastebud-tricking way to make you like them. It’s a nice way to be fooled. Or you could ditch the pretence to be “healthy” and pile up, as Will did, on Pork and Fennel Sausages ($3.90) with Olive Oil Fried Eggs ($13.90), accompanied by morcilla and Parmesan on toast – yet there’s a sneaky load of rocket and ultra-savoury lentils to make you feel good about what you’re having anyway. Halo effect aside, it still is an extremely satisfying feed.
Or you could order hand-cut Chips ($4.90) that come topped with fried rosemary, basil and other ultra-crisp herbs. And even though your boyfriend says he will only have one, they’re dangerously hard to resist and soon he’s wiped out your whole supply (with a little complicity from yourself, of course). And this chip devastation occurs, even though he already has a lime and chilli mayo chicken sandwich on Sonoma miche ($9.90) to be keeping him out of trouble. (Surprise, surprise, it’s really good, too.)
We also love the drinks, which include house-made sodas that come in carafes bubbling with Strawberry, Hops and Pepper ($4.90; tastes like drinking poached strawberries, with a slightly wacked-out note; this one’s my favourite) or Rhubarb Lime Ginger (Will’s pick). There are also bracing juice combinations (think Pineapple, Apple, Lime, Basil) and I definitely want to sneak in a Classic Shake ($5.90) on my next visit (I’ve already got a Plum Vanilla Lassi mentally pre-ordered.)
It’s not a surprise that this place is excellent, as it’s by a savvy team that has run Cafe Zoe and other well-liked establishments. There’s also a focus on quality suppliers (jersey milk comes direct from Warnambool; grass-fed angus beef is sourced from Taralga Springs and “we use free range eggs, tomatoes and honey delivered directly from Mary in Wyong”, says the menu). Pastries and yogurt are made in-house. Coffee is roasted locally by White Horse. It aces all the cafe-enjoying prerequisites. The only downside to West Juliett is that it currently isn’t open on Sundays, so you may have to forsake your Saturday sleep-in if the weekend is the only time you can get here. Or, doze off anyway, and just skip ahead to lunch. You can feel totally justified in ordering the chips that way.
West Juliett, 30 Llewellyn Street, Marrickville, NSW. Follow West Juliett on Facebook.