Tempted by the positive reviews on Google Maps, we rolled into Newtown for a very sunny 8AM breakfast at Rolling Penny. Our waiter cheerfully let us know that there was a whole new menu starting today, which disappointed me very deeply as I had already had my mind set on what I wanted. Luckily what I wanted was still on the menu, albeit renamed and with a small price increase.
The Twice Cooked Roast Chicken ($18) with burnt butter sauce, mixed greens, roast garlic, beer pickles, garlic sprouts on brickfields ciabatta roll is the latest reincarnation of Rolling Penny’s famous chicken baguette. The sandwich had a mild and balanced flavour, with the creamy white sauce accentuating the umami of the moist chicken. The bread was soft on the inside yet crispy on the outside. My partner didn’t like that the pickles interrupted the otherwise warm and smooth taste of the chicken roll, but I enjoyed that they were there to punctuate the blissful smoothness with a bit of sharp tang. Overall the chicken roll is comparable to the chicken baguette at Cafe Mckenzie, and if you like one then I recommend you try the other. I can recommend this expensive sandwich.
Excuse the awful photo, but the Portabello Mushroom ($17) with mushroom jerky, braised leeks, smoked mozzarella, radicchio & truffle aioli on a brickfields ciabatta roll looked as good as it tasted. We made the decision to add pancetta ($5), which turned out to be absolutely the right choice. The mushroom roll was incredibly juicy and rich, with lots of cheese and umami flavours. This got old quickly, however, and I found that the pancetta really did a great job at adding some variety in terms of texture and flavour. I would even go so far as to recommending the pancetta as an essential add on to this roll, which unfortunately takes the total to $22, a thoroughly expensive sandwich. I did not like the mushroom roll as much as the chicken roll.
The lighting and our positioning was unable to suitably capture the visual appeal of Rolling Penny’s Divorced Eggs ($18.50) – 2 poached eggs, salsa verde, romesco sauce, toasted pistachios, Meredith farm feta served on brickfields rye and caraway. The Divorced Eggs was visually arresting, a celebration of bright and contrasting colours with its salsa verde and romesco sauce. We did not, however, enjoy this dish as much as we did the two rolls. The two sauces were good, but too tasty, and the overall ratio of sauce to bread and other less tasty components hung on the too tasty side of the scales. Each mouthful, especially towards the end of the meal, was so drowned in flavour and saltiness that it was difficult to enjoy. The eggs were well poached, and I did peek a giant pot of eggs with an Anova sous vide cooker on the counter. The toasted pistachios were my favourite ingredient of the dish, and added some variety to the otherwise mushy texture of the sauce and eggs. I wouldn’t get this again.
Last of all, the coffee was very good. My partner liked that they gave me a red cup and an orange saucer, and her an orange cup with a red saucer. I didn’t notice.
Overall verdict: I enjoyed the chicken and mushroom rolls thoroughly, although both were quite expensive. I would recommend coming here but it has to lose a point for 1. price and 2. the divorced eggs.
583A King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8056 8897