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Take The Deviation, Without Hesitation

By Dining Dave on September 12, 2013 in Food

Photo: Dan Hutton

Photo: Dan Hutton

For a long time there was a well-known café in Clovelly called SPECC, but last November a new eatery evolved in its place, and it’s called Deviate. Using ‘deviate’ as a verb, its tagline is “To where locals meet”. So will Deviate permanently lure me off my current dining path, or just be a quick detour?

Located on Clovelly Road, opposite the Clovelly Hotel, Deviate offers a relaxed atmosphere, with ‘bird cage’ style lamps hanging over the counter, plain concrete floors, an exposed brick side wall, brown ceiling fans and fold-back doors that allow you to dine either inside, al fresco or somewhere in between.

My companions and I arrived at Deviate at about 11am on a Sunday after enjoying the always-changing Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Immediately I could see that the locals certainly were meeting here, as aside from the table we had reserved there wasn’t a free place to sit – inside or out. Daniel, the good-natured bloke who owns Deviate, greeted us and showed his hands-on approach; he was right in the middle of the action, constantly rearranging tables to accommodate larger parties as they entered.

We started proceedings with a couple of their fresh juices – including an orange, pineapple, watermelon and ginger mix – and a seasonal fruit salad with natural yoghurt and honey that was enough for four, and which warmed us up for what was to come. Balancing out the brunch, we went with the avo toast, a stack of buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and banana, the ‘veg breaky’ with grilled corn fritter and chat potatoes, and the ‘big breaky’ with two eggs, bacon, a grilled lamb and rosemary sausage and sautéed mushrooms.

When the mains arrived it became clear that the square table was a little tight for four, so be sure to keep your elbows off. The bread is the specialty here and two half slices are the foundation of most dishes. My fig and raisin was a good choice to sweeten a big breaky that was otherwise a carnivore’s delight – even I couldn’t finish all of the bacon and sausage.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our dishes and, from what I tasted, the corn fritter was an unusual treat and the pancakes were the best I’ve had so far in Sydney.

All that food was washed down with a cappuccino made from Deviate’s eclectic house blend of Colombian, Costa Rican, Papua New Guinean and Ethiopian beans, and a hard-on-the-outside-but-chewy-on-the-inside house-baked Anzac biscuit was the perfect treat to finish off proceedings.

There may be other cafés right down on the beach, but from my experience that day I’d say it’s well worth trying something a little off the beaten path, like this place. I don’t live in Clovelly, but Deviate will now be my after walk tradition. You should certainly take the deviation, without hesitation.

Address | 344 Clovelly Road, Clovelly
Phone | (02) 9644 7888
Website |
Email |
Open | Mon-Sun: Breakfast, 7:30am-1pm; Lunch, 12pm-3pm; Wed-Sat: Dinner, 6pm- close
Price | Breakfast: $10-19; Luxe Breads: $6; Fresh Juices: $7
Seats | 40 inside, 10-20 outside
Cards | All major cards
Licensed/BYO | Fully Licensed