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Satellite will keep you in orbit

Satellite
80 Wilson Street
Newtown
02 9557 8698

Reviewer: Beck

Sunday mornings should be spent in quiet spaces where the only thing that gives you a jolt out of your hangover is a good, strong coffee. Not so in Satellite, where James Brown not only gets on up from the hi-fi, but also from every glass and concrete surface of the room. As do the ever-escalating voices of the clientele as they try to be heard by the person sitting 30cm away from them.

Even though the folks at Satellite have done good work at arranging a very ‘Newtown’ space – a homely open plan kitchen and seating area – it needs a soft surface. Maybe a rug. Or a carpet. Or an upholstered chair. Every noise feels like it’s chattering and rattling triple-fold through my delicate psyche. It’s probably not the perfect time to start thinking about the contents of this review.

However a well-timed delivery of coffee and lemon mint frappe puts me in a better mood. It comes out lickety-split, which is lucky really because the food doesn’t. Satellite is chock-full to the hilt of Newtown’s finest, but when the food comes out 30 minutes later it is lukewarm. How does that work?

And while I’m on my soap-box, when I politely request some salt I am waved away by the waiter who points to a pinch bowl full of Saxa table salt. What the…? Is it 1950??

Despite their temperature and the prospect of a cooking-salt-induced infarction, the dishes are actually rather good. I’ve chosen the French omelette with smoked salmon, ricotta, caper pesto and caramelised onion. The rye bread is as thick and chewy as it should be, but I’m interested to note that the relationship between capers and caramelised onion is much like that of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger – odd.

My breakfast pals have chosen the house baked-beans and the fried potatoes. House baked-beans are deliciously rich and complex with big Italian flavours. Fried potatoes (a fancy sort of hash) are by far the winner – sliced baked potato, kalamata, fresh parsley, lemon slices and cannelini beans fried together, glossed with extra virgin and served on that wonderful rye. An inspired dish.

In all, Satellite’s food is great, but it’s a place I’d suggest is suitable for taking socially sheltered relatives or friends that you don’t really have the desire or energy to converse with. Otherwise make sure you take earplugs and a good book – you’re likely to get through a few chapters.

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