HUXTON’S AT BRONTE – COMFORT FOOD WITHOUT THE CHIPSCafés may be reaching a point of saturation in the Eastern Suburbs; for every one that closes, three more seem to pop up serving $4.50 lattes and their twist on avocado toast. Differentiation is minimal. But Huxton’s, a new joint in Bronte that has taken up residence in the old Bronte Carlo site, has a vision of its own. My companion and I snuck down there on a recent Thursday afternoon to give it a go.
The soul of Huxton’s is really built around the personality and vision of its owner, Justin Bull, a.k.a. ‘Juzzy’, who is esteemed enough in the kitchen to have provided home-cooked meals to renowned eaters James Packer and Russell Crowe in the past. Star spotters may even be lucky enough to catch Mr. Crowe chowing down at Huxton’s on occasion, along with other famous faces. Anecdotally, the café’s name is based upon a nickname that Justin had bestowed upon him in his days as Packer’s travelling chef, though he wouldn’t reveal why.
Huxton’s sits on the busy commercial corner of Macpherson Street and St. Thomas Street, just a stone’s throw from Bronte Beach. The interior is bright and airy – white walls, blonde wood and chrome details abound – and a huge glass counter displaying all the fresh salads, pastries and other tasty treats holds court.
Originally designed as a ‘takeout food hub’ for time poor locals with a refined palate, Huxton’s has emerged as a hot brekky spot, and now offers dinner a couple of nights a week. Fresh market fish and seafood is their specialty, and Juzzy ensures that everything they prepare is restaurant-quality, meaning “no chips, no Coke”.
Sitting outside to take in the ocean views, we were entertained by Juzzy’s tales and the smiling service of Charlotte, who looked after us all afternoon.
We ordered Huxton’s famous fish burger – made with a delicious pan-fried snapper fillet, crisp cos lettuce, pickled cucumber, tomato, tartare sauce and potato salad on the side; a calamari hot dog – an unusual concoction of fried squid, shaved lettuce, sriracha mayo and Huxton’s signature spices on a soft milk bun; a wonderful tartine of ora salmon, avocado, poached eggs and lemon on a slice of charred sourdough toast; and a antipasti salad full of succulent eggplant, zucchini, buffalo mozzarella and Roma tomatoes. Everything was wonderful, but for me the fish burger was the standout dish.
To top off the lunch we indulged in one of Huxton’s hot, fresh baked mixed berry muffins and sipped a few more minutes away with a couple of robust coffees.
Since opening in November, Huxton’s has been working its magic Bronte locals and visitors alike, and it’s fast developing into the strip’s latest shining star (it’s just a few doors down from the mighty Three Blue Ducks and the popular Iggy’s Bakery). Thankfully for all of us, you don’t need to boast the paycheck of Packer or Crowe to enjoy it.
Huxton’s at Bronte
Address: 145e Macpherson Street, Bronte
Phone: (02) 9389 0335
Open: Fri-Sat 7am-8.30pm; Sun-Thurs 7am-4pm (lunch after 12pm)
Cards Accepted: Yes