Often when I’m out and about and want to stop somewhere to eat, I’m craving a well made, solid salad. A good solid cafe salad. By this I mean a salad that is satisfying, not overly fanciful though a little more interesting and involved than something you’d throw together for lunch at home, to watch in front of daytime TV. Freshness and seasonality of leaves and vegetables is crucial, as is dressing (preferably house made), and if protein is involved, it should be cooked to perfection. So, I’ve started the segment Good Cafe Salads in an attempt to discover and showcase what I think are some of Sydney’s best salads, if you too experience such cravings and want a go-to resource in times of need. Because there’s nothing worse than knowing exactly what you want and not knowing where to find it.
The first entry is the smoked ocean trout salad from La Grande Bouffe, Rozelle. In keeping with the cafe’s name, which translates literally to mean ‘big food’ in French, the menu is known for heavy classics like croque madame and ham hocks, though this salad shows that the kitchen is also capable of ‘less is more’. Spindly, bitter leaves, flaky cold smoked trout, just enough creamy horseradish dressing and salty pops from trout roe and capers. A good cafe salad indeed.