When it comes to exercise I’m the first person to admit that I’m not the biggest fan. I definitely understand that the positive effects make the effort worthwhile, and I do love that feeling of achievement – but I still find it hard to be motivated to take action. But recently I’ve just started my Sunday mornings bright and early with one of my closest friends Linda. She’s completely killing me but I can feel my fitness slowly improving – and sometimes I’m rewarded with a tasty meal afterwards.
In life I generally tend to struggle deciding where to go eat, so we decided to swing by Sayers Sister since it’s been awhile since our last visit. Unfortunately, as is always the case, the line was out of control so we decided to head round the corner to the newly opened cafe Layup. I haven’t heard much about it, but I have seen some pics floating around on Instagram and my curiosity was piqued.
When we arrived the cafe was about two thirds full, with the kitchen pumping out coffees and dishes continually. The space’s decor is simple but aesthetically pleasing with exposed flooring, timber and metal dining and plain concrete looking walls.
There was a bit of confusion when we arrived whether we needed to wait to be seated or if we could pick a table ourselves – the staff are friendly but it’s clear some of them don’t have much experience in working in a cafe like this. Eventually we were approached and invited to choose a table.
After being given cutlery and waters we placed an order for drinks. Linda chose an orange, apple and watermelon combination ($6.50) and I requested strawberry and watermelon ($6.50). Both were fresh and sweet, though I have to admit I couldn’t really taste the strawberry in mine.
For the price I would have liked to see a slightly bigger glass size – I think juice prices are creeping up too much these days. While I understand that the cost of produce is rising, I still think that cafes really need to look at what is an acceptable cost to pass over to customers. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it’s playing on mind a lot lately – especially considering when I first started blogging a few years ago the cost of a juice was the same as a cup of coffee. How times change!
The menu at Layup is extensive and there’s definitely something for everyone. After scanning the items on offer, we finally place our orders. Linda chooses the chilli beef and cheese pie ($8.50) and a side of the cos, walnut and parmesan cream salad ($8.00).
We both love pie, and often find ourselves gravitating back to The Tuck Shop for theirs – so there were some big shoes to fill here. It definitely smelled great, and had a nice rustic look to it. However the pastry was not quite as flaky as we would have liked to see. The filling was tasty, though the chilli flavouring was missing, and the beef was more of a drier mince than a meaty gravy. I’m all about that sauce after all!
The side salad was like an ode to caesar’s salad, with that crisp lettuce crunchy and fresh. I love walnuts in salads and thought they played a great role here. The only real downfall was the sauce – it tasted great, but parmesan is quite salty on it’s own and the salad had been generously seasoned on top of the cream. It became really too salty to handle by the end of it which is a shame because the salad had such promise.
Choosing my dish was pretty easy, with my eyes immediately going to the guacamole with pica de gallo, charred sourdough, smoked corn and jalapeño custard ($16.00). I also opted to add a slow egg for ($4.00) which turned out to be two – hooray!
When the dish came out it looked a little plain, with the guacamole more of a deconstructed version with the tomato, onion and coriander sprinkled on top instead of mixed into the avocado. I would have liked it to be an actual guacamole with some citrus and seasoning, but the freshness was there and enjoyable.
The jalapeño custard wasn’t spicy in the least but I liked the flavour, and enjoyed swishing my slices of toast through it. The smoked corn was the most dominant ingredient on the plate and really lived up to it’s name – it was so yum! But you need to love smoked ingredients to appreciate it.
And so how were the eggs? So good. Definitely my favourite part of the meal! I love slow cooked egg – the way the yolk has that sumptuous, silky quality that oozes oh so slowly. They definitely have my vote over poached ones!
I might have left my camera at home (thank goodness for natural light and my iPhone), but I still had to get in close for that yolk porn money shot. I think it says it all right there.
Our brunch at Layup was a pleasant one and though there were some misses, we both agreed we’d be willing to go back say one month down the track to give them some time to refine and get things running smoothly. I hope when we return things are on the up because this place has great potential – but I will say that some of the staff do need quite a bit more work.
We had the same waitress serve us for most of the time we were there, but she still made a few mistakes when processing our payment (after the initial seating bungle and a couple other misses). Nothing to ruin the experience, but great service goes a long way, so I think with time and practise they’ll get to where they need to hopefully!
PS I ended up back at Layup about a month later and am pleased to say we thought the food was really tasty and a great improvement. Sadly the service was no better (in fact it may have been worse), but my dish of spiced fried chicken, pork crackling, watermelon and herb salad with red bean aioli was so tasty I’ll be sure to go back and give it another go soon!