What do you get when you combine cafe credentials with Sicilian flavour? Enter Small Axe Kitchen in Brunswick, putting the ‘delizioso’ in Sicilian brunch. Chef Adam Pruckner – formerly of Code Black, partners with wife and long-time friend, to introduce Sicilian flair into the grungy streets of Brunswick. The signature ‘Breakfast pasta’, has jaws dropping. The seemingly simple concept, has thrusted Small Axe Kitchen into the spotlight. ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Pasta’, are probably two words I’ld classified as two of my favourite in the English vernacular. Combining the two is holy matrimony. Carbs and yolk porn? Yes, please.
Pops of spring flowers, brighten the wooden window panes. Opt for the courtyard to bask in the spring sunshine or choose the indoors, laced with suspended greenery. We first read about Small Axe Kitchen, in ‘Just Open’ by Good Food. Our potato filled legs couldn’t run fast enough. The signature ‘ Breakfast pasta’ takes inspiration from the creamy, bacon-esque flavours of Carbonara. A more sophisticated version exists at Small Axe Kitchen. The lesser known maccaruni pasta, is al dente. The twisted hollowed out shape, is shaped by a piece of wire. Instead of bacon, there’s Guanciale, an Italian cured meat. The melting of fat, creates a great depth of flavour, combining harmoniously with the light creamy sauce. A final snowstorm of salted ricotta and the pop of golden yolk from a slow cooked egg, finishes the masterpiece. The concept is a simplistic one, harnessing bold flavours, that makes this dish irresistible.
Don’t let the breakfast pasta detract you, from the rest of the menu. Octopus is a Sicilian favourite. Small Axe Kitchen’s version is charred, producing a gorgeous smoky flavour. The tentacles are tender, without being overcooked. Our ocean friend swims in a tangy green sauce, speckled with heirloom beets, olives, celery and raisins. For a sweet end, consider triangles of grilled brioche. A generous dollop of Espresso mousse and scatterings of Torrone, edible flowers and pistachio covers the brioche. The blood orange jelly provides a tartness, amongst the sweetened bitterness of the espresso. Lovers of the bean, will enjoy this dessert.
Small Axe Kitchen respects traditional Sicilian flavours, with touches of modernisation. The dishes look deceptively simple, but Chef Adam Pruckner, displays an understanding of flavour profile, that doesn’t require unnecessary bells and whistles. If anything, visit for the ‘Breakfast pasta’, but don’t forget the rest of the menu!
Breakfast Pasta w/ Maccaruni, Guanciale, Peas, Mint, Salted Ricotta, Slow cooked Egg