With gale force winds hitting Sydney and Plane tree dust hazard-alerts issued by the Bureau of Allergies, I ditched my usual Saturday morning food trip to the Kings Cross Markets yesterday for the safety of indoors at the cosy and colourful Tigerbakers Cafe.
It was a well-timed visit too, because the cafe at 292 Victoria Street only reopened a couple of weeks ago following a mini-renovation and makeover.
I'm not a regular at Tigerbakers so it is hard to notice the changes, but it seems cleaner and more comfortable. The outdoor tables have been upgraded, the inside bar has been redesigned, embroidered cushions appear new and the walls are now lined with little boxes containing curios. There's also a chainsaw sitting on a top shelf, just in case some rogue Daleks should make an appearance.
I suppose it could also come in handy for night-time Plane tree removal.
On this Saturday morning Tigerbakers was packed with a diverse range of people, from modellish-looking young trendies, to older men in love, mothers with their daughters and lone women with laptops.
Tigerbakers recently introduced free wi-fi. It also now has a liquor licence and offers bar food and drinks in the evenings, when previously it was closed.
Tigerbakers is not just about the food and drinks though, art takes a starring role: a brilliant tiger leaps across an emerald blue backdrop on the cafe's roller-shutter and the same beast can be found on an inside wall:
There's also a mural decorating the ceiling and canvases and framed paintings lining the walls from the front door, all the way to the bathrooms out back. Tigerbakers's website features profiles of the artists, which include Justin Feuerring, whose chalk, pavement illustrations of men's faces were once a regular part of the Darlinghurst street-scene.
Despite all these great visual distractions, the chef hasn't forgotten to take care with the food, which is lovingly prepared. My friend, Hildred Moore, had hotcakes with berries and maple syrup, which she described between mouthfuls as ''really good''.
On top of everything, Tigerbakers's waiters were very friendly and super-efficient. I was so happy and comfortable on my cushioned bench that this could easily become my new brunch haunt.
292 Victoria Street
0415 200 474