The Local Mbassy, Ultimo
Where modern meets historic
Located at 310 Wattle Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Located within the outskirts of Ultimo, the Local Mbassy is a local all-day brunch spot that pays tribute to the Australian prohibition era. Unbeknownst to a lot of Australians, Australia actually went through a period of alcohol prohibition just like its American cousin. Alcohol sales were prohibited in the ACT from 1910 to 1928! But that didn’t stop the Aussies from enjoying a good pint, and local joints were established that were replete with hooligans and revolutionaries thirsty for a drink.
The Local Mbassy pays homage to these establishments, channelling a boiler room aesthetic with raw concrete finishes, exposed pipes and tin antiques. When I arrived at this cafe, it was abuzz with the chatter of patrons and the ambient sounds of the busy Wattle Rd. It exuded a nice energy, and the staff were friendly.
We started with a collection of hot and cold beverages. I grabbed a hot Taro, which I found quite pleasant to taste. It wasn’t clumpy, which was a big tick in my books. It had a nutty aftertaste and it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. My other dining companions grabbed a whole selection of drinks from Ice Chamomile Tea, Piccolos, Lemonade to Red Velvet Lattes. The Local Mbassy uses the very reliable Campos beans and most of the dining companions were quite pleased with the range of drinks — both in variety and taste. Two thumbs up!
To accompany the drinks, we also sampled a collection of their sweets. We picked the most tantalising looking of the lot — the Cronut and the Rainbow Crepe Cake! For the uninitiated, a cronut is a hybrid of a croissant and a doughnut. This cronut was special in that it was topped with a chocolate glaze and caramelised walnuts. The pastry literally glistened and looked pretty delectable! It was very sweet in taste and was best accompanied with a more bitter drink (like coffee and preferably not their specialty drinks). We also tried the limited edition rainbow crepe cake. Made from thirty plus layers of crepe, this colourful creation was inarguably insta-worthy!
As for the savouries, we started with the Crispy Skin Salmon with shaved fennel, orange zest and strawberry. It was a very refreshing dish, given the abundance of fruity flavours dressing the salad leaves. The salmon itself was a tad dry — though I’ll admit a common problem when ensuring the skin is cooked crispy. We also chose their signature Buttermilk Chicken Burger. The fried chicken was super crispy and was surprisingly spicy. The brioche bun was generously coated with a tangy lime pesto mayo and we used the leftover sauce as a dip for the accompanying hand-cut fries. We also sampled the Crabmeat Egg Benedict. Along with two poached eggs, the dish also came with fresh baby spinach and a smoky tomato hollandaise sauce.
The final hurrah came in the form of red velvet pancakes. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the iconic red velvet pancakes that first made The Local Mbassy a household name is the perfect dish to share with your loved one. The pancakes are extremely fluffy and the whipped cream has delicate notes of vanilla bean. The strawberries are striking red and when paired with the richer shades of red from the pancakes — the whole dish resembles a tasty rich red Christmas tree!
The Local Mbassy enlivens the suburb of Ultimo with its unique boiler room décor and eclectic menu. Though the red velvet pancakes are the main reason why customers stream through the door, the other menu options leave these patrons coming back for more. From the rainbow crepe cake to the spicy butter milk chicken burger, this local café modernises classic brunch options all whilst maintaining that historic look and feel through its interior design.
Verdict: Yummy in my Tummy
Gourmet Gumbo dined as a guest of qtix.queuetix