Nestled deep in the Garden of Surry Hills lies one of the otherwise bustling neighbourhood’s best kept secrets, Gnome Espresso & Wine Bar. On the corner of Crown and Davies Streets, tucked under a leafy canopy and true to the name it bears, Gnome is a pint-sized character-laden Espresso & Wine Bar that punches well above its weight.
It’s pretty difficult for anyone to say they’ve ever met a pretentious Gnome. Most that any of us could claim to have known are generally pretty laid back, if not a little cheeky and this one’s no different! The distressed tin ceiling, vintage world maps and long padded banquettes exude an underdone-kind-of-cool that you realise you’ve actually been missing and invite you to settle in, chillax and stay awhile.
Windows opening wide onto the street mean you can either nestle inside for something a little intimate yet still be part of the action, if you’re more of an extrovert, or if that date’s actually not going so well! Tables outside are highly-prized Crown Street real estate for a lazy weekend Bloody Mary Brunch (Sunday’s with Fresh Coffin Bay Oysters!!), a weekday coffee or a slow dappled sunset over a few glasses from the hand-selected wine list.
With Bites, Plates and Boards ranging from $16 to $20 Gnome’s own effortless brand of Australian Soul Food lends itself to shared feasts. Fresh Crab & Avocado Crostini or Seasonal Fish Sliders with tangy homemade tartare sauce match perfectly with a crisp Lobster Reef Pinot Gris. Hungry boys will love the Cumberland Sausage “Sambo” with onion jam, tomato sauce, potato salad and a refreshing Balmain Pale Ale. The delicious Deli Boards are the kind of neighbourhood cult you’re happy to have!!
On the quiet, coffee is very much on the agenda (without the w*nk factor), the custom-roasted house blend Casablanca and monthly guest blends, are perennial coffee-crowd pleasers and are also available as beans or ground to go.
While you’re in for your caffeine hit sit down and grab some brekkie; perfectly poached eggs, seasonal asparagus and shaved parmesan on grilled polenta, or maybe one of Gnome’s famous eggs benny(benedict) rolls, or pesto scrambled eggs on sourdough with ham. Note to “Sam I am”, green eggs and ham ARE delicious!! Just beware the Gnome hides inside and if you’re lucky, you may just catch a glimpse when you pay a visit. It was said Gnomes can be cheeky and if you catch him on the right day, he just might be flipping you “the bird”! Please don’t be offended though, it’s just his way!!