Update, 31/12/2014: Rather sadly, both Apt and the Newtown branch of Berkelouw books have closed.
February 2, 2013
We started our first full day in Sydney with brekkie at Apt, the weekend vegan cafe hidden inside Berkelouw Books. We had high hopes - the Apt kitchen is run by Leigh Drew, vegan cookbook author extraordinaire, and responsible for this great brekkie at Naked Espresso on a previous Sydney trip.
Aside from a little flag fluttering by the door at the bookshop, there's not a lot advertising Apt's presence. Still, once you wander through a few shelves of books, you find yourself at a fairly spacious cafe, with one long communal table and a bench running along the side - you could probably seat 20-25 at a stretch. The menu covers all the vegan breakfast staples: sausages, beans, scrambled tofu, tofu omelettes, French toast, pancakes, even a B.L.A.T - plenty of it can be done gluten-free as well. I wavered over the $20 morning after deal (sausages, rosti, tomato, mushrooms, beans, spinach, pumpkin, toast + coffee), but settled on a more modest option of scrambled tofu, with rosti, mushrooms, beans and sausages ($14.90).
It's still a spectacularly large meal, with masses of tofu, three slices of toast, and all the rest. I can't imagine the size of the $20 brekkie. It's good too, the scrambled tofu in particular with its spicy and salty seasoning really proving how delicious tofu can be as a breakfast centrepiece. The sauce for the beans was pretty sweet and combined nicely with the saltier tofu, though it might be a bit much on it's own; the rosti, sausages and mushrooms all hit the spot. It's hard to imagine there are many better $15 vegan breakfasts kicking around.
Cindy, as is her wont, ordered from the sweet section of the menu, with the French toast (covered in berry compote and fresh berries, served with maple and agave syrup, $10.50).
This tasted as good as it looks, with the crispy-soft toast drowning in all manner of berry and syrup flavours. She was intrigued by a certain savouriness to the toast and wondered whether she'd hit on one of those nooch-based batters but actually Leigh attributed it to besan, which Cindy likes and uses herself.
Apt does an excellent range of vegan food at pretty impressive prices. The coffee is good, the service efficient and the vibe laidback and pleasant. It's nice to have breakfast in a bookshop too - Cindy and I lazed around afterwards flicking through the shelves while working up enough energy to face the rest of the day. Apt is a weekend-only deal at this stage, although there are rumours that the space is being taken over by a vegan dumpling place Monday to Friday - keep an eye out!
Apt has been enthusiastically received by Cupcake Kitteh, Mama Shaz, div forever and what do you eat then!?.
6 O'Connell St, Newtown (in Berkelouw Books)
Accessibility: There's a flat entryway and, once you navigate through the bookshop, a fairly spacious layout. Ordering and payment happens at the counter (see second pic above). The toilets are accessible and unisex.