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Cafe culture by night

Cafe-Byron-Creme-Brulee

Matthew Michaelis

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up the Aquarius cafe, bar and restaurant in Lawson Street in Byron Bay.

I’ve been speaking a lot lately about the myriad choices in informal dining that surround us in the northern rivers.

Quite a few of these eateries present with casual and relaxed atmospheres and unaffected service but have menu items that could be found at home in more fine dining affairs.

Since 2013 the current owners of Cafe Byron have brought in a good solid breakfast and daytime trade – successfully too.

Again location, location, location plays a part in this success. In case you don’t know this Byron fixture, Cafe Byron sits positioned next to the green grasses of Railway Park; it’s also opposite Fundamental Foods and the main zebra crossing. This is a pretty good spot for foot traffic and the tourist alike.

Cafe-Byron-SalmonSo, breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are assured and reliable (gauging by a steady stream of guests). Recently though, with the help of a new local head chef, Reuben Muller, they’ve opened the place to the night.

I had a quick look at the choices and was pleasantly surprised at the selections available.

It’s all about ‘horses for courses’ and although you’ll get a good meal plated well here, if you’re the type that prefers a cosy nook, four walls and formal or buttoned-up service, then this may not suit.

If, on the other hand, you’re after a reasonably priced menu with the skill base of a seasoned chef out back, then roll in, comfortably dressed, no nonsense, no fuss – it’ll be a go to try.

From the menu you’ll find fresh oysters, three ways, light meal choices of things such as black mussels in tomato saffron broth, coriander; cured salmon and dip selections; vegetarian dishes and a good selection of generous salads the likes of a Mediterranean-style salad, towering and flecked with roasted peppers, capers, olives, marinated feta, pine nuts and a white balsamic dressing.

Salmon fillet comes sitting on high with blanched asparagus spears, chat pots and a carrot puree and not a bad pricing for Byron at $27.50. Eye fillet (250gm) comes with all the trimmings: confit of garlic and potato puree, roquette, topped with a shaved grana padano salad, white truffle and red wine jus ($29.50).

Cafe-Byron-Reuben-Muller2

Reuben Muller head chef at Cafe Byron.

A risotto for vegetarians, salads, light meal choices and a kids’ menu.

The third course isn’t forgotten on this menu and dessert offers well-executed and proper selections such as panna cotta, chocolate fondant, and a lime and coconut crème brulee.

Live music from 5.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday gives this dining room a venue-like draw from the street with a regular lineup of known local talents.

So, if you find yourself footloose and you prefer fancy-free and relaxed dining, then Cafe Byron is up till late feeding the footpath and the hungry local.

Cafe Byron. BYO. Breakfast : Lunch: 7am to 4pm: 7 days; Dinner: 6pm to 10pm/late, Wednesday to Sunday. Live music from 5.30 to 8.30 – Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sunday.

58 Jonson Street, Byron Bay (next to Railway Park). Phone: 6685 7076 / Email: [email protected].

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