Bronte is a beach suburb on the Eastside of Sydney. What this means is that you’ll find a lot of cashed up white people with bad tans and melanoma, insane house prices, a beautiful beach and great cafes. Bronte’s beach doesn’t have the finest, whitest sand and it’s a pretty small patch really. Here, the water’s edge rides up a relatively steep incline and the surf and tide can get a little stronger than your average Sydney beach. This is one reason why a good few surfers come down here. It isn’t maybe the best place for surfing though since it is pretty small and the waves aren’t the most well known. If you’d like, you can always jump into the public baths, which are connected to the ocean by way of a staircase. The scenery is pretty gorgeous. Houses sit atop cliffs that surround the beach on both sides and the water is so damn beautiful. If you think Sydney beach, Bronte has to be one of those iconic ones.

I can easily imagine wasting away, roasting into an even shade of vermillion with a stubby in my hand. But then you can also visit the nearby cemetery, which is full of interesting looking graves and shit and isn’t the least bit creepy. Also nearby are a few good foodie havens. In my opinion, this is a great suburb to introduce to a visitor. It’s way better than going to Bondi for sure. One of the best walks in Sydney is the Coogee to Bondi one and Bronte is smack in the middle of the two. If I was doing this bloody walk, I’d stop in Bronte for breakfast or lunch for sure.

Three Blue Ducks has made a lot of press by now and has been hit up by every surfer/hipster/foodie in Sydney. I’ve been here a couple times now myself and I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t like it the first time. I think I had a baked egg dish that was underseasoned but I’ll put it down to the fact that they were bloody busy at 11:30 in between services. Technically, they do brekkie until 11 but after waiting for half an hour, they let us order it anyway. It took a good while to arrive even after the table after us got their food. I was somehow determined to change my impressions though.

The kitchen is run by three guys who met by way of Tetsuya’s, although the name of the cafe only references one of them. But this is why they have a bit of rep; because they have 3 qualified chefs who once worked in an iconic Sydney restaurant. As a dude who has works in kitchens and knows a fair few people who do the same, I know that just because you worked at here or there doesn’t mean you can cook worth a damn. Not to disparage the trio of Darren Robertson, Shannon Debreceny and Mark LaBrooy because they can clearly cook. This is evidenced by my second trip there. Also, they got a chef’s hat in 2012. They’re a bloody cafe!

This time, we went on a Tuesday afternoon. The place wasn’t packed to shit with prams in your face and babies screaming. They’d expanded into next door and gone are the tables in the laneway. Still remaining though is the cafe garden where they grow their own shit and instead of the pop up dinners they had when they started, they now run a full on lunch as well as a more refined mod oz dinner menu. One thing I’m glad to see again is the Single Origin Roasters coffee. If you can get in quality stuff from SOR and you appreciate it, you’ll probably try to do well by it. The food, I have to say, impressed me. I ordered a Quinoa and Fig Bircher ($14). My girl got the Avocado Toast ($16) with sides of bacon and poached eggs. The avo toast was well seasoned and just bang up delicious. It’s simple but when you have good ingredients, that’s all you need. One well charred slice of Iggy’s sourdough is topped with sliced avo and roast tomatoes with a herb salad. This by itself is great but I think throwing in the eggs ($3 for 2) and bacon ($3) just makes it better. My “bircher” wasn’t what I was expecting. It came like a composed salad of individual components and looked amazing. Instead of a bowl of mush, you get a visual and textural feast. In the middle was the quinoa, possibly steeped in poaching liqour. Next to it yoghurt, fresh berries, toasted coconut, the peaches and toasted peanuts adding a nutty toasty depth. On top of it all, one caramelized fig cut in two. The presentation was unconventional and you could see and taste and feel every ingredient. It was a revelation for me, I think. It also tasted super. I think I’m just gonna stick with that really. Except I saw this dude order the rather boring sounding Bacon and Egg Roll ($14). Of course, he cleverly added a side of black sausage ($6) to give it some next level shimmy. It looked awesome. Then again, if you have Iggy’s incredible bread, you automatically win. Back for more even though I don’t live in the neighbourhood. Actually I think my girl wants to move here and pointed out a few fancy houses to make her point.

Three Blue Ducks
141-143 MacPherson Street Bronte Closed Mondays, Dinner Bookings Only Wed – Sat

But yeah, Iggy’s bread. The dude we’re talking about is Igor Ivanovic. He came to Sydney via Boston though he was born in Yugoslavia. There are two small bakeries, both in Bronte. The one that’s easier to access is the one next to Three Blue Ducks, on MacPherson Street. There’s also a little bit more to see there, with the cemetery nearby and the main drag there too. Bronte Road Bistro is down a bit. I’ll just say this straight up. Iggy’s bread is the best I’ve had in Sydney. Bar none. I really like Sonoma’s Miche but Iggy’s is #1. Why? Let’s talk about their signature Country Sourdough. First up, it’s baked in the size of a massive wheel. It’s huge and you can get a whole, half or quarter. A quarter is round about the size of a regular loaf elsewhere, give or take a bit. It costs a little over $3. It doesn’t require the least bit of oil, butter or salt. It is scrumptious as is and I can sit in front of my computer and smash one quarter if I had one, even at a semi stale stage. The crust is crispy, dark and thin. It’s incredible. You have to see the cross section to appreciate the beauty of the thing. The texture of the insides are soft, moist, springy and flavourful. I’ve had a good amount of great bread down under but nothing comes close to Iggy’s flavour. This is bread that just tastes amazing. It’s arguably good enough that I’d recommend anyone visiting Sydney to go down to Bronte just for the bread here. Iggy’s also do bread sticks and a variety of other stuff. There’s an American bakery of the same name that I think is actually the one that Iggy himself started and left back in 2008. Sydney is kowtowing to the man for doing so.

But don’t take it from me about the bread. Take it from places like Three Blue Ducks or people like Colin Fassnidge. In the past, Iggy’s had a smaller production and struggled to keep up with demand so they had to be a little picky with who they supplied to but nowadays it’s a little more readily available. The shops still do sell out very quickly of all the good stuff though and long queues are common. This is what it means to have good shit. If you can’t dice with the possibility of not getting your daily bread, you can cry and miss out. I, for one, would just accept my fate and try again. It’s that bloody good and it’s only bread.

Iggy’s Bread Of The World
49 Belgrave Street Bronte Tues-Sun 7am – sold out
or
145d MacPherson Street Bronte Tues-Fri 7.30am – sold out Sat – Sun 8am – sold out

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