What to order at Auto.lab, Sydney

Auto.lab's kurobuta ham with fried eggs

Auto.lab's kurobuta ham with fried eggs

Automata opens a brunch-only outpost upstairs at The Old Clare hotel this weekend. Here’s your preview of the menu.

Sydney likes brunch, which means it's almost certainly going to love Auto.lab. The beautiful space upstairs in the Old Clare that was briefly home to Silvereye is now host to a brunch-only pop-up from the Automata team offering spins on breakfast classics, inventive cocktails and then some. Here's what caught our eye on the menu, ready for when it opens on Friday 4 November.

The menu is split into all-day breakfast-y eats and more lunch-friendly dishes for after 11am, and while Automata's DNA is visible everywhere you look (hello, kingfish with crème fraîche and yuzu - we've met before), the chance to order à la carte is very welcome. It's definitely more restaurant prices, too, rather than café: be prepared to pay $20 for a salt-beef bagel and $21 for the omelette.

Salt beef bagel with pickles and mustard.

The kitchen isn't too cool to offer eggs Benedict, but it's also not playing it so safe that it's afraid to throw a little blood pudding in the mix. For those not too keen on pig's blood before lunch, there's also granola mixed with candied citrus, lemon thyme, black sesame and yoghurt, and a supremely light-sounding salad of grapes with yuzu, berries and shiso. Delicacy aside, the hungover and hungry will find salvation in the bacon sandwich with Branston pickle, that $20 salt-beef bagel with mustard and pickles and the kurobuta ham glazed with bourbon and orange, served with fried eggs.

Grapes with yuzu, berries and shiso (top left) and granola with candied citrus, lemon thyme, black sesame and yoghurt.

Chef Clayton Wells likes to throw a bit of Japanese into the mix at Automata, and so it is in the details at Auto.lab. Bonito flakes are sprinkled over scrambled eggs on miche, miso flavours the roasted Jerusalem artichokes, whole steamed flounder is served with seaweed butter, and raw kingfish is drizzled with wakame oil.

Scrambled eggs with katsuobushi on miche

There's also plenty of local flavour. Near-neighbours LP's Quality Meats supply the pork sausage to go with the mushrooms on toast, while the team from Darlinghurst bar This Must Be The Place did the cocktails that complement the hip, concise wine list.

It's an original offering, too. Head straight for the Bloody Mary made with roasted tomato juice for added sweetness, tamari, red wine vinegar, spices and miso broth, but not before a Michelada Verde with refreshing cucumber, jalapeno, Megachef fish sauce, lime, pineapple vinegar and Tecate.

Cocktails by This Must Be The Place

This might not be your typical roll-out-of-bed neighbourhood brunch spot, and that mortgage down-payment might have to wait another month or two, but there's lots to like here. And hey, it's way easier to pronounce than Automata.

Auto.lab, level 2, The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW, automata.com.au; 9am-3.30pm Fri-Sun from 4 November until December 24.

The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...