Lumiere Cafe, Surry Hills, Sydney

As we sit in Izakaya Fujiyama in Surry Hills, picking away at a massive tuna jaw with chopsticks and forks, I ask Sydneysider Helen if she's got any suggestions for a good breakfast place the next day.

"What about Lumiere?" she suggests. "They do French toast with bacon, maple syrup and caramelised banana."

It's as if she has spoken the words of a magical incantation... I am instantly enchanted by the spell, powerless to resist.

I can't stop thinking about this, my dream breakfast dish.

French toast of brioche with caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup (AU$18)

Our plan for the next morning is to get up reasonably early, grab breakfast, then catch a train to Cabramatta for more eating and drinking.

To ensure we don't fill up too much at breakfast, we order two dishes to share, saving precious tummy space for what's to come at Cabramatta.

At first sight, the omelette with smoked ham, mushrooms, chives and provolone cheese (AU$17) doesn't have the eye-popping drool-worthy food porn appeal of the French toast, bacon and banana. In fact, it looks downright dull and frumpy next to it.

Omelette with smoked ham, mushrooms, chives and provolone cheese (AU$17)

We don't realise how generously the omelette has been filled until we cut into it. The mushroom juice makes it somewhat soggy, but it's tasty. It's quite rich due to the cheese and we're glad we're sharing it.

Omelette innards - with smoked ham, mushrooms, chives and provolone cheese (AU$17)

The French toast of brioche with caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup (AU$18) is magnificent. Layers of crispy bacon and slices of soft sweet caramelised banana are piled on top of thick-cut eggy toast sitting in a glistening pool of maple syrup.

I know exactly the stages of eating this dish: it begins with desire, then indulgent, intense pleasure, followed by remorse. But the pleasure is totally worth the remorse.

French toast of brioche with caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup (AU$18)

The others order coffee but I order a Morning Glory (AU$6.80), freshly blended orange, apple and pineapple with mint. I enjoy the fruit juice but the straw gets clogged up from all the shredded mint. It's a minor annoyance in an otherwise wonderful breakfast.

Morning glory (orange, apple, pineapple and mint (AU$6.80)

Lumiere Cafe is airy and bright, with modern, stylish decor and plenty of seating inside and out in the sunshine - lots of great spots for people-watching. The breakfast menu is extensive and (here are more magic words) available all day.

Go on... desire, pleasure and remorse await.

Lumiere, Surry Hills

Lumiere Cafe Monday to Friday 7.30am to 4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am to 5pm

Lumiere Cafe & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

My breakfast dream of brioche French toast, bacon, banana and maple syrup began a few years ago with a spectacular dish at the Gun Shop Cafe in West End, Brisbane. The dish is still on the menu, now also with candied pecans.

My Sydney trip (2011)

I went to Sydney with my sister Juji and her fiancé Jay in November 2011.
See the list of posts so far, in reading order. There’s still more to come.

Kong Hei Fatt Choy! My family got together yesterday to celebrate Chinese New Year with a delicious lunch. Photos/post are forthcoming.