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A Man & His Monkey – Old World Charm In Randwick

By Dining Dave on September 10, 2014 in Food

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

There’s a line in the ‘Cheers’ theme song that says, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got; taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot”. What you need for that is a slow, relaxing place where you can settle down. A new café in Randwick run by two charming blokes with international flair may be just what the doctor ordered.

A Man & His Monkey opened in July near the intersection of Carrington and Clovelly Road. The café’s name is based onan old photo co-owner Eli found of a formal man in a suit with a large monkey, possibly from a 1930s’ circus.
A small shop with just one main room, the décor could be described as antique store meets garage sale – the furniture is all second-hand bits and pieces from theaters, schools and offices. There is a large mural painted on the eastern left wall that combines famous Sydney landmarks with Middle Eastern coffee drinkers. Front and centre are the sandwiches and sweet treats on display in a glass cabinet, and the best seats in the house are those in the front window nooks, which protrude out towards the footpath.

Co-owners Eli and Tom hail from Israel and Germany respectively, and their backgrounds are certainly infused in offerings such as the Israeli breakfast and German triangles (a chewy nut bar).

My companion and I sat down for lunch and were bombarded by a barrage of freshly made sandwiches. There are four sandwiches on the menu and we encountered all of them. First up was the Cuban sandwich of leg ham and roast pork loin with spicy mustard, pickles and mayo on a toasted baguette. It was light and flavoursome, but even half was pretty filling. Next came the satay chicken and avocado baguette with an overflowing portion of creamy chicken that had just the right amount of kickback. The haloumi and poached egg sandwich on sourdough toast soon followed, before quickly melting in our mouths. A fourth sandwich was offered to us – the bocconcini, avocado and heirloom tomato number – but we ended up taking it away in one of their monkey-hanging-on-a-moustache emblazoned boxes to enjoy on another day.

A signature of the café is its coffee, artisan breads (from the Bread and Butter Project) and sweets, some of which are baked in-house. Tom is the baker of the two – he follows his mum’s recipe to the letter when baking the aforementioned German Triangles – and he’s also the barista. My smooth skim cappuccino perfectly complemented the yummy halva and chocolate brownie that my companion and I shared for dessert.

It is still early days at A Man & His Monkey, so the café has a bit of a work-in-progress feel, but that’s part of its old world charm. I know where I’ll be going the next time I need to take a break from all my worries, and I certainly encourage others to join me.

A Man & His Monkey

Address | 149 Clovelly Road, Randwick
Phone | 02 8041 7466
Website |
Open | Mon-Fri 7:00am – 4:00pm
Prices | Brekky $5-$14, Lunch $8-$12
Seats | 30
Cards | All major cards
Licensed | No