When I see that my Twitter and Instagram are constantly filled with food porn photos from a new Beaufort St cafe, I know I need to get there and check it out. Mary Street Bakery is another new addition to the Beaufort Street strip that is proving to be very popular indeed. Replacing the old Soto Cafe, this place is a bakery by name, bakery by nature; yep..it has an actual bakery at the back of the shop so it’s not “just” a cute meaningless name. There are no big flashy sign boards proclaiming their name, there is just a modest pink neon sign in one of the windows. The simplicity continues inside. Plain tables and old wooden chairs that reminded me of a pioneer school fill the space. It’s uncluttered and full of natural light.
I was pleased to see that these guys are using Pound coffee. They are a new local roaster who are producing some pretty amazing coffee and used by a skilled barista like at Mary Street Bakery – it makes an amazing cup of coffee.
There is nothing “standard” about the menu here. Dishes like toad in the hole ($13), a fried chicken roll ($17) or even eggs and soldiers with tomato chipotle chutney ($11) are what make this menu fun and interesting. Prices start at $3.50 for some of their delicious baked treats and top out at $20 for the pork belly, beans, fried egg and kimchi.
I had to try this pork belly dish and I was shocked when it came out. The meal was massive. Two slabs of pork belly sitting on a full plate of smokey beans mixed with kimchi and a fried egg – wow. The fat was a bit rubbery on the belly but I couldn’t fault how tender the meat was. I found that as I got further into the dish the combination of the beans with chopped bacon and the pork belly started to get quite salty. The kimchi fought to balance it out with its spicy sourness. I’m not sure who won. I still thought it was very good value for money; think about how much a pork belly dish usually costs on a dinner menu – it’s a lot more than $20.
Sarah ordered the baked eggs ($18) – two eggs in a smokey tomato sauce with mergeuz sausage, yogurt and sumac. We had always thought the eggs should still be soft in a baked egg dish but these were hard. There is something great about having the warm yellow yolk oozing into the tomato sauce ready to be mopped up with bread . Along with the sprinkling of sumac, the chunks of mergeuz added a hint of spice to this shakshuka dish with dollops of yogurt and a fun careless toss of coriander leaves freshening it all up.
I had no complaints about the service at Mary Street Bakery. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. We felt welcome by the staff even though they were clearly under the pump with a Saturday morning breakfast service. I think that’s something they should be proud of as it is so easy to let the stress of busyness take over the mood of a place.
Mary Street is one to try for yourself. I am looking forward to going back to sample more from the delicious looking menu and maybe take home some baked treats for later…. if I’m not too full that is.507 Beaufort St, Highgate
Breakfast served daily, 7am – 3pm