Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Coffee: Red Star
“Laneways have always been one of Melbourne’s best marketing centerpieces. Picture a scene of walking down Centre Place, having coffee in one of the small operators as you take in the eclectic group of people that make Melbourne, Melbourne. It grabs the hearts of tourists every time.
There are some laneways so dilapidated their sole purpose is to cut through a city block. One such laneway was Gurners Lane. It was once a lifeless laneway with plenty of opportunity. This all changed with the opening of Sunny Boy Cafe. The three owners are committed to building a community of regulars with a focus on providing wholesome food and coffee. All this in a laneway which – only months ago – had little life.
This inner city cafe has created its own special vibe as it is positioned beneath the road. As you climb down the stairs, table and chairs with a yellow theme are positioned outside. Inside, the space is cosy with the use of brick and dark woods creating lovely harmony. Old wooden creates are fixed to the open kitchen/barista station that is filled with various nick-knacks. The menu is easy reading, as the side wall has been transformed into a blackboard. If this doesn’t get you excited then Nicky (one of the three owners) will make an effort to say hi sporting one of her huge stockpile of vintage aprons (passed on by her grandmother), making you feel welcome.
Coffee is by Red Star, which is a big leap of faith considering many strong competitors use a top tier blend. The up shot is tasting the unique flavours that Red Star offer. As I watched many people walk in to order takeaway coffees – it is obvious the blend has been well received. My long black [$3.50] was certainly softer in flavours. As it settled, there was a pleasant, smooth taste with a slight nuttiness.
Looking at the breakfast options, it’s certainly appealing to the city types. There are plenty of dishes that are not too heavy with a quick turn around to ensure we are punctual to our desks. Once I read Jerusalem shakshuka (baked eggs) I was excited [$11.50]. The authentic method of Shakshuka eggs has only started to appear in brunch menus (Bowery & Wilson have three types on offer!) which is a personal home cooked brunch favourite. It’s similar to baked eggs, however there is greater emphasis on the sauce and allowing the eggs to be poached rather than creating a harden egg surface.
Being a traditional dish, it certainly did not disappoint with the sauce, which had a lovely thick texture to it that left a sweet paprika taste. Whilst the yolk was cooked most of the way, the egg white provided further texture to the sauce and, as expected, was completed well with the Brasserie Bread. The beans
made the dish filling and at the end I was quite content with the execution, taste and how satisfying it was.
Sunny Boy Cafe is another establishment proving you can take a bad location and transform it into something amazing. Melbournians will always seek and follow gems and Sunny Boy Cafe is set to become one. Taking the approach of sourcing locally grown food, coffee and even milk whilst delivering tasty meals makes for a successful formula. Whether it be a spot of breakfast or lunch, any city worker or pass-byers should take the opportunity to experience it for themselves.”
“An old colleague of mine (who occasionally popped up at reputable cafés I was dining in), dropped me a note recently to catch up. Going back and forths with notes to organise times he gave a “by the way” mention to try new cafe Sunny Boy Cafe, which had the ridiculous rating of 100% on urbanspoon with (at the time) ~66 ratings.
Prior to going for a formal review with Mr LB, I went with G for lunch. We were welcomed by one of three owners, Nicky, who gave us the run down on the menu; Brasserie Bread, homemade cakes, and a variety of sangas to get us going. I’d had a Rueben Sandwich that day and it was DIVINE!
When I came back for breakfast with Mr LB, Carly and G, we could smell the bacon as we approached the venue. It was small, warm and cosy inside as we took a seat on the large wooden communal table. The venue had only been open for seven weeks at time of visit, and since then the crowds have grown!
I started my day by ordering a double espresso. My coffee had a burnt aroma but was full bodied and sweet with fruity flavours.
The breakfast menu was simple but there was a sure fire item to fulfill my needs – Smashed Avo & Feta [$6.50].
The avocado and feta was beautiful and fresh with the bread holding the flavours together nicely. I found the addition of the dukkah a beautiful and unique flavour that really livened up a dish that traditionally has a a squirt of lemon added to the avocado.
Both G and Carly had the Egg & Bacon Brioche [$6] and they both seemed quite happy with it. Carly found the addition of sweet caramelised onions a surprising but delightful addition to the meal. G really enjoyed the quality of the brioche used.
Carly also had a warm poached pear and rhubarb muffin. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, I could appreciate the freshness of the poached rhubarb and pear which were very identifiable when biting through it.
To anyone just walking into the venue, it would be hard to tell that Sunny Boy is a relatively new cafe. The service is professional, friendly and informative. I’ve been a total of three times and loved it every time. They’ve started getting busy during lunchtimes though, so we suggest getting in early to secure a spot.”
Final thought: “Affordable, tasty, quick breakfasts with excellent service. Locally sourced ingredients to ensure freshness”