September 1, 2012 by eatfreak
After making our quarterly IKEA trip (yes, I understand that is far too often to be visiting IKEA, but that place is fascinating when you come from an IKEA-less country!), we were dying for sustenance after navigating that maze. IKEA cuisine was definitely NOT on the shortlist – have you actually ever tasted their $1 hot dogs?? Don’t. However, on a side note, I do think an IKEA wine bar isn’t a bad idea… you REALLY need a drink after spending hours in that place!
Out of nowhere, EF#2 mentions Cornersmith in Marrickville. Ringing no bells with me. How have I not heard of this place and he has?! A quick urbanspoon search reveals that this place is a hot topic in the food blogospheres. So that settles it, in the name of market research, I must go.
As the name suggests, a restored-chic building on the corner of a neighbourhood intersection, and this place was pumping with people and alternative upbeat music at 2pm on a Sunday. A surprisingly efficient old-school chalkboard wait-list system is utilised and fortunately our wait was quick, less than 10 minutes. However big groups beware as the tables and seating are most suited for pairs, and the four-some in front of us had to wait quite a while.
Staff were … well, average. Our waitperson in particular had little to say to either of neither us, nor a smile on her face. Water was not readily provided and I was almost too scared to ask! Unfortunately, I just didn’t really feel very welcome. They don’t do table menus, and I felt their menu was a little limited to the categories of salad or sandwich offerings. On a positive, their whole premise is based on organic food, which I did appreciate. Oh and I really liked the interior décor, it was sort of reminiscent of an old butchery. So not just bad stuff to say!
From my car park blog browsing, I had read that the ploughman’s plate was a compulsory order. Described as pasture raised chilli salami, ashgrove cheddar, radish salad, and smoky onion relish and available in a single or double serve. It also came garnished with juniper berries (well we think that’s what they were…), a generous dollop of parsley, and slices of pear. A simple yet satisfying dish, the real winning components were the cheddar and the relish. This dish could be spiced up a bit with the addition of a boiled egg or even a mini pork pie for a bit more x factor.
EF#2 went with the poached egg roll – which was served with pasture raised ham, garlic aioli, smokey onion relish and balsamic greens. Unfortunately they were out of rolls so it was served on the same rye bread as the ploughman’s plate. Although the egg was poached perfectly and scored top marks, the overall taste was just too similar to the ploughman’s plate. I think this would not have been the case had it been served in the advertised roll. Solid, but just wasn’t as satisfying as my Room 10 sandwiches the day before.
Our standard coffee orders… long black and a skinny flat white. Mecca coffee that was smooth and leaning towards a darker roast, heavy on the chocolate notes, and an above average drop. Plus it was aesthetically pleasing with its well-formed rosettes. As the actual wait for food was relatively long (25 minutes), I decided to go with the pear and rhubarb milkshake to keep me sustained (it was 2.30 by this stage and IKEA had well and truly drained me). The milkshake was fruity and yoghurt-esqe. Not un-enjoyable, but I would consider it more of a thin smoothie given its lack of ice-cream (which surely is one of the key ingredients in constituting a milkshake?). The taste of rhubarb syrup came through more than the pear.
Return factor? I feel like I’m bucking the blogging trend here, and have to say, nope, I probably wouldn’t. I don’t exactly live in the neighbourhood, but I understand there are a lot of other culinary treats that can be sampled in the streets of Marrickville, especially Vietnamese fare. I’m really surprised at how much service does mean to me now that I’ve started blogging! You can forgive a lot when someone has a smile on their face, a positive attitude and remembers the little things such as water and a hello. It’s two weeks since I dined here, and I have to rely on my scribbled notes as the food just didn’t leave a lot of impression, but the poor service did.