THERE’S kitsch and then there’s Sensations en Ardross.
The cafe’s interior was a crazy jamboree of vintage bric-a-brac with everything from old radios, neon flamingos, a 1970s crock-pot to a painting of a skull and some battered suitcases piled high.
It shouldn’t work, but somehow it did, creating a cosy, nostalgic bubble that threatened to pop at any moment.
The cafe was busy on a Thursday lunchtime with a diverse mix of old and young.
I was pleasantly surprised as some cafes can be a bolthole for old grannies (in saying that, with my greying hair I might have been invited on a one-way holiday to Switzerland).
The menu was the perfect size and had a nice range of breakfast/brunch dishes including apple and cinnamon porridge, various eggs your-way, and lunchy fare like open grilled chicken sandwich and garlic prawn salad.
My wife’s sweet-curd crepes ($20) were beautifully presented with a dusting of icing sugar completing the pretty picture.
“The lemon curd has a lovely tart tang and the vanilla yoghurt is nice and smooth,” she enthused.
“The crepes are perfectly cooked and deliciously light, while the fruit is super fresh.”
Her only complaint – for $20 there wasn’t enough crepe on the plate.
My poached eggs on sourdough toast ($13) got off to a bad start when the kitchen forgot to add the side of avocado ($4) I ordered.
However, the waitress was apologetic and quickly rectified things, bringing me out a ramekin with the healthy green stuff.
One of my eggs was very slightly over, but the other was well cooked with the golden yolk oozing over the thick slices of sourdough bread.
The bread itself was lighty toasted, adding a satisfying crunch to the dish.
The other two sides of mushroom and tomato ($4 each) were a success; although I think $4 for each side was a tad steep.
This was an enjoyable, if unsensational, poached eggs on toast.
Throughout the meal the service was superb; especially the young girl at the till who was full of smiles and chat. It was a refreshing change from some of the sullen mutes you get in other places.
Before my meal I had a lovely fresh mixed juice ($8), in the compulsory jam jar, with the beetroot shining through – a large and refreshing shot of vitamins.
We rounded off the meal with a creamy cappuccino ($4) and a sticky chai latte ($5) which was served in a dainty, kitsch teapot with a strainer.
The cafe also had a large display cabinet including takeway soups, wraps and cakes.
Going by the rapport between the staff and patrons, I’m guessing Sensations en Ardross is somewhere where people go for the chat/vibe as much as the food.
It’s a kitsch little oddity, but locals seem to love it.
Sensations en Ardross
15-19 Kearns Crescent
by STEPHEN POLLOCK