The Alley Break Cafe, Kingsway, Cronulla Beach - Sydney
When people are willing to queue and wait patiently for a seat, you do have something special. Especially in the early morning. Surfers, babies on prams, cyclists, mates from other suburbs. This is a cafe with competition from others nearby. The sun is shining early and the bay is particularly Aussie blue. After luckily finding a car space nearby to park, the three of us stood on the rather clean pavements with a high degree of anticipation - and we were well rewarded. We did not even have to wait for more than 15 minutes and we did not book ahead. Every table and every seat was taken up, inside or outside. Alley Break is sited in the right place or offers good menu choices or both. The day has begun but it looks like the cafe has commenced even earlier on this April Saturday.
The scrambled eggs are fresh and lively. I loved my acai smoothie, not heavy and not dilute, but just right, with a juicy undertone and good texture. Fellow breakfast goers are friendly, engrossed in conversation and digging into the food with an earnest zest. The energy of the customers seem to ooze into the place, with staff attentive and quick on their feet. The young couple seated next to us were kind enough to let us share their pepper and salt shakers.
The Alley Break exemplifies the Shire of Sutherland, with iconic symbols of lifestyle, demographics and scenery that separates the Shire from other parts of greater Sydney. I felt like being on the Gold Coast at certain moments, but without the unwanted commercialism and touristy traps that exudes through Brisvegas. With a high residential profile, organised retail outlets and a sense of community, Cronulla can provide a model for many developing beach towns in Australia. The stereotype of the healthy Australian - surfer, fitness body and a cheeky smile - can still be seen in Cronulla.
There can be increasing competition in coffee outlets and produce in the Cronulla area, especially clustering around the Mall area. Alley Break's prices are moderate. Things can get real busy, as it did on my recent visit, but even when I did not insist, a female staff member took initiative to provide me a more comfortable chair. The next time I am there, I must try the sourdoughs and also continue to take their juice offerings.
Above photo is a snapshot of my breakky choice that day - lots of spinach, a wholesome cut of avocado, a yummy portion of salmon and two fresh organic eggs. This was a peculiar choice without sourdough, toast or the usual grain breads. Outside, North Cronulla Beach beckons.