Hot Plates: The Loj, Sydney

Photography: Pat Nourse

This Forest Lodge cafe might be at the forefront of a new breakfast trend: the broccoli sandwich.

Congee was looking promising, but in the Game of Thrones-esque battle for breakfast supremacy, maybe it isn't destined to be the true heir to the mighty avocado toast. But what of the broccoli sandwich? Sure, it sounds unlikely, but if George RR Martin has taught us anything about breakfast foods, it's to not underestimate the outsiders.

The case being made at Sydney breakfast go-to Brickfields is strong - the broccoli is roasted and packed between thick slices of untoasted sourdough with coarsely grated parmo, chilli, mayo and curls of endive. Winner. 

But the entry from Forest Lodge newcomer, The Loj, is also worth paying attention to. It sits in the sandwiches section of the all-day menu, between the Reuben Hood (silverside, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, mustard and red-eye mayo) and the Waldorf chicken (with apple, celery, pickled grapes and caramelised walnut mayo). It's toasted, with avocado and kale in the mix along with the broccoli, cheddar and mustard. The key to its magnificence, though, is the pickled jalapeƱos. Peppers and breakfast go together like Targaryens and destiny.

The coffee is good, and there are plans to switch to single-origin beans they roast themselves. And though aspects of The Loj feel a bit paint-by-numbers (the warm light of the Edison bulbs glinting off the subway tiles), sweet touches such as maple bacon in the apple muffins, interesting house-made fizzy-drinks, black pudding offered as a side, and the general friendliness of the place make it worth a detour.

We'll be monitoring the broccoli sandwich situation closely in the meantime.  To paraphrase Cersei Lannister, when you play the game of breakfast foods, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.    

The Loj, 35E Ross St, Forest Lodge, NSW, 0432 982 893; open 7am-3.30pm Mon, Wed-Fri, 7.30am-3.30pm Sat and Sun

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