36-37a Copeland Street in Alexandria, Sydney
The Bitton Cafe describes itself as “a local icon and one of Sydney’s best cafes”. True, prior to the opening of The Grounds just around the corner, Bitton was the closest thing to kid friendly cafe paradise I thought I’d ever experience in this town. Bitton does have certain advantages over The Grounds. Namely its children’s play area is indoors and although its usually buzzing it doesn’t have queues stretching around the block. Note that I have read you can wait about 10 minutes for a table on the weekends.
Like many top-notch cafes, Bitton multitasks. The Bitton Gourmet Pty Ltd umbrella covers a product range featuring sauces, jams, chutneys, salad dressings, pestos, spices, infused oil and a cook book. Bitton also runs cooking classes where participants can indulge in a three course meal and a glass (or two) of sparkling wine.
I dropped my princesses at daycare on Thursday morning and headed west with a spring in my step and a song in my heart to soak up the Bitton experience. It was an oasis of tranquility at 9.30am. The deli and inside area was sparsely populated by creative types lingering over breakfast meetings. I chose to sit outside in the pleasant sunny courtyard, just by the kids play space. Whilst I blissfully sipped my large skim cappuccino and scanned the Sydney Morning Herald the Mothers group brigade started filing in. A micro bummed yummy Mummy sashayed in (as best as one can sashay with a toddler and an infant in a 4WD pram) and loudly announced to her similarly be-prammed friends that she had only had 3 hours sleep. She then ordered a babycino for Leopold. Welcome to the Inner West! I noted that she was wearing a grey cardigan with a red and green cherry pattern which just happened to be identical to my own. This made be feel both self consciously dorky and right on trend simultaneously.
The proprietor David Bitton has worked with culinary rock stars in some schmik venues. Immediately prior to starting up his own show he was the head chef at Sheraton on the Park’s Gekko restaurant. As you would expect, the French influenced food at Bitton is good. Pricey but good. The breakfast menu offered a cornucopia of filling selections but I opted for a simple apple and lemon muffin. It was muffiny perfection – crisp and crunchy on the outside and as fluffy as a cloud within. The lemony tang lifted it above the average muffin experience.
I have always found the staff have been very accommodating. They were more than happy to go off-road ie provided a dessert for my kids which wasn’t on the menu.
Mumabulous Verdict: 8/10
The kids play area is the main attraction. It is a sheltered nook scattered with toys and surrounded by chalkboards which is enough to keep my two merrily occupied. On previous visits I’ve been able to chat to a Mumrade for 20 minute stretches without being pestered!!! Awesome.