This is such a blah photo, but it's such a great panini.
I don't usually like getting sandwiches or any relation of the sandwich for lunch when I'm out because they feel like something I can easily make at home. However, this panini - with King Island brie, mushrooms and prosciutto - is one of the few exceptions (the other exception is Workshop at Galeries Victoria). The ingredients sound simple, but it's so tasty that I'm not sure if I could replicate it. Did I mention I'm not even a huge fan of mushrooms? Yet this still wins me over.
Clipper Cafe is right near University of Sydney off Parramatta road. It's always packed. I've had other food there and it's been a bit hit and miss. I had a bit of an infatuation with the baked eggs, but various times it's been overcooked, or they've forgotten the cheese (blasphemy - baked eggs always, always needs cheese) so it's just set me up for nothing but bitter disappointed. So I've switched over to the panini, which are a little bit more boring looking but are a whole lot more reliable.
Breakdown Cost: $9 for the panini you see in the above photo - King Island brie, mushrooms and prosciutto.
Value: Pretty good. It makes me sad living in Sydney though that a sandwich (come on, a panini is basically a sandwich) priced under $10 is considered reasonable, bordering on cheap. Or maybe it's just the hipster/yuppie places I go.... perhaps. I mean, this places has stacks of Monocle magazines. Make what you will.
Speed: Pretty good. Service there is pretty swift since there's so much traffic.
Take-away: Yes! They also do their salads take-away. Obviously for properly cooked meals like baked eggs, take-away is a bit harder.
Tip: Being right next to uni, it's packed when it's on the hour (when classes end and begin - that's when everyone rushes out for a meal). It's best to come at a quarter to the hour, when students are just about to leave Clipper Cafe for class, and the ones with a free period haven't made their way down yet. They also have free wifi, so it's quite a nice spot to sit with a coffee at one of the communal tables and tap away at your MacBook Air/Pro/iPad. Notice I didn't say laptop? Everyone here has an Apple.
Recommendation: Go if you're in the area. I'm not sure if this is the sort of place I would recommend to take the trouble to get to, but it's a nice spot if you're in the area.