I headed into 79&Fine one overcast morning to meet a friend for breakfast. Located in a little nook at Hobart Place, the first thing I saw was the bright yellow door which instantly cheered me up. The name of eatery is based on the average temperature at the Hamptons where 79 degrees is just fine, with a matching Hamptons-style look inside. The eatery does look cheerful with bright yellow tiles and splashes of yellow in the furniture. I was drawn to the pastries and tarts at the front counter, so droolworthy, but didn’t buy any.
The all day menu provides light meal options such as poached eggs, mushroom bruschetta, a lobster and bacon roll, and various salads. There are also freshly squeezed juices available. I started off with a soy mocha (Two Before Ten coffee beans are used) which was creamy and chocolatey with a hit of coffee in it. I don’t actually know how much it was as there was no drinks menu and I couldn’t see a menu at the counter.
My friend tried the macchiato but again we didn’t know how much it cost.
I really wanted something to warm me up that morning so I chose the 17hr slow cooked pork hock with white bean cassoulet with sourdough. The cassoulet was unbelievably delicious. My tastebuds are tingling just at the thought! It had a lovely home-style cooking taste with a generous portion of tender pulled pork hock. The tomato-based sauce was thick and rich in flavour from the pork and the beans which tasted like it had been stewed together in a pot for a reasonable amount of time. Though the dish looks quite small, it was actually a big portion size. I loved that the sourdough had been buttered for me. The greedy part of me wishes there were two slices of sourdough rather than one but I guess it’s a healthier carb intake.
My friend ordered the blueberry pancakes with fresh strawberries and vanilla cream ($17) with ice cream for an extra $2. I got serious food envy when his dish came out. Three pancakes and two scoops of ice cream! I didn’t see vanilla cream anywhere but perhaps the second scoop of ice cream was its substitute. I got a little taste of this and I’m happy to say the pancakes were soft and full of blueberry goodness. I must order this next time!
I went back for lunch later in the week with another friend to try more of the menu. I started off with the orange and pineapple juice ($7) which came served in a tall glass and was pulp free.
Along with most people at the tables around me, I ordered the lobster and bacon roll ($22) which came served in a charcoal bun with ‘special 79 sauce’. It was a small burger so I was surprised to find that it was very filling. I loved the big chunks of juicy lobster and appreciated the generous serving. There was also plenty of bacon to give a touch of saltiness to the roll and offset the natural sweetness of the lobster. The wedges of lime assisted in providing some freshness and acidity. Surprisingly lobster and bacon make a pretty good combination. I enjoyed this dish though it was an expensive lunch.
My friend ordered the gluten free quinoa and roasted cauliflower salad ($15) with broccoli, pepitas and spanish onion. This was a large salad which had plenty of spinach leaves in it too.
The lunchtime service was packed so it’s good to see that 79&Fine is already so popular. As it was a busy lunchtime, it took a while for anyone to notice us and I needed to wave down a waiter just for the menu. The breakfast service was more attentive as there weren’t that many people dining in. Staff were polite and we were always given a smile. The tables at the back are quite close together so we found it very loud inside. We could overhear conversations at the tables next to us especially during lunch. There are outdoor tables available but I’m not sure if outdoor heaters have arrived yet.
79&Fine is located at 1 Hobart Place and is open Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 5pm. I believe it will open on weekends shortly.
Value for money 7/10
FPJ score 22.5/30
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