Sunnyside, a bright new brunch spot serving stacks of pancakes and steak fries, opens in Henley Beach

When early risers stroll the Henley Beach foreshore for breakfast, they’re spoiled for choice. There are now a dozen places in and around Henley Square for coffee and brunch. On the weekends, it’s almost impossible to get a parking spot, and dogs pretty much outnumber humans on the entire beach.

“Henley is pumping right now,” says Mattis Vanzati, who alongside his boss brother Liam runs the new suburban spot, Sunnyside, at the former Little Shoo site on the Esplanade. “It’s full throttle every weekend and even during Covid-19 and everything that’s going on.”

In the last six months alone we have seen the arrival of Blue Rose and Hnly restaurants and the relaunch of Clutch (formerly Acacia). And Mattis, whose family owns and runs loyal Henley Swedish Tarts, Malobo and Hermanos Cubanos, has watched the transformation.

“The market is getting a lot more casual,” says Mattis. “We looked at the site and felt like we knew this was a site that could work really well because it’s the right location, it has the right layout and it’s a great building.”

Mattis, who also owns Seamore’s around the corner, opened his previous locations with his brother Lukas and parents Louise and Bo Matschke. This is the first time younger brother Liam has served as both chef and co-owner, Mattis notes. He says they had a “few weeks” window to set up the venue and create a menu before the peak of summer. They have other plans for the evening trade and reception space. “We kind of have big ambitions for the site, what it could be and what it will be in six or seven months, but we didn’t really want it to sit empty over the summer.”

The brothers brought a splash of color and warmth to the site – originally a seaside home circa 1900 – with soft greens, rattan furniture, wooden tables, white walls and a mural of the artist Ella Germein.

The compact menu features classics – stacks of pancakes, bacon and eggs, things on toast and bowls of veggies and smoothies alongside breakfast tacos, dumplings and a steak fries from 250 grams served with a sunny egg. An even slimmer lunch menu consists of a few burgers, fish tacos and a spaghetti bolognese – fried with butter – which appeared on the Seamore’s menu.

“The thing about Henley Beach is that it’s a routine community,” says Mattis. “They get up, they walk their dogs every morning, and they want to have their pancakes with their bacon and they want it done right. It’s not really a destination place where you come every other month to visit. – it’s more of a place where you walk the dog every morning and it’s where you come from.”

Drink? There’s coffee by 1645 Coffee Roasters, an evolving wine list featuring locals such as Koerner and Ochota Barrels, and breakfast cocktails including bottomless mimosas ($35 for 90 minutes).

“We want people to have a big stack of pancakes, and maybe a breakfast cocktail and coffee, and be part of our customers’ daily lives.”

sunny side

245 Esplanade, Henley Beach


Wednesday to Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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