Brickfields, the Chippendale café slinging Sydney's favourite Persian love cakes and some of the best bread in town, will soon turn its hand to another incarnation of flour and water: pasta.
Come spring, the sunny corner café plans to expand to a wine and pasta bar with a licence for the good and gluten-loving times until 10pm.
"We already get a lot of grains in for the bakery - some really nice semolina, for example - so we thought we should make some pasta," says Brickfields owner and baker Simon Cancio. "The cul-de-sac is such a good spot for people to be sitting about as the sun goes down, enjoying the area and eating some tasty food with nice drinks, too."
The evening menu will be short and sharp like the current lunch offering, with just three or four simple pastas (breadcrumbs, anchovies and capers, say, or classics such as cacio e pepe) and a schnitzel made with leftover breadcrumbs from the bakery. The front pastry counter will swap bread and cakes for European-style bar food such as pickles, grilled fish and vegetable mezze, all to be enjoyed with the café's bread.
Brickfields has welcomed a new pasta machine and extruder to the fold, and Cancio has called on friend of the bakery and former Sagra head chef Glenn Choy to help develop the menu. "We want to get away from the cured-meat board thing and offer people a really simple, fulfilling bowl of pasta to have with a wine or whisky," says Cancio.
As for the "source of the sauce", he says, they will install taps for locally made beers (from The Grifter and Batch Brewing Company) and the wine will be a similarly small but interesting line-up. "We're calling on a few winemaker friends to help. We want each wine to be quite different and unique in its own way, so you can explore a little."
The plan to open nights has been three and a half years in the making, and Cancio's focus right now is on formalising the licensing agreement. "The police have said there are 42 licensed venues within a 500-metre radius and we don't need another one - but that's just a speed bump."
Keep Sydney Open indeed.
Brickfields, 206 Cleveland St, Chippendale, NSW, (02) 9698 7880, brickfields.com.au