Posts Tagged ‘cafe reviews Australia’

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Cornerstone Cafe

Cornerstone Cafe HamptonA mere stone’s throw from the vibrant busy main shopping strip of Hampton, Cornerstone & Co. Cafe is conveniently situation in Bayside Melbourne. Far enough from the hustle and bustle of Hampton Street, yet near enough to ensure ease of access and parking. Set in a quiet suburban location, Cornerstone & Co. café brings together luscious gastronomy, quality coffee, and skilful service.

This fresh and lively café was named after a Kings of Leon song that brought owner Michelle and her partner together. This sentimental value follows through the café, with a unique menu based on a well traversed head chef, Shoichi Ueda , from Japan who travelled through Italy perfecting the art of Italian cuisine. Design wise, cornerstone is clean, and energetic, with timber hexagon wall features behind the counter, bright spring toned wire bar stools, an outstanding yellow wired chandelier, and a fresh courtyard dotted with greenery.

Expect to be spoilt by choices for distinctive meals that bring together a fusion between traditional Italian style cooking, and Japanese cuisine. Not just your average café- this place shines in many ways. From traditionally made pasta dishes, to Karaage Burgers with marinated fried Japanese style chicken; your taste buds are sure to be pleased. The stand out dish that showcases the true talent of head chef Shoichi Ueda,  is the Japanese Brunch Set, which offers wasabi seared salmon, miso soup, creamy mustard mayo filled eggs, marinated veggies, 5 grain rice , and a to die for avocado nori jam!  For those who are after the usual favourites, rest assured- home-made muesli, toasties, and other beloved options are available. The eggs benedict is worth visiting for- topped with an Italian twist- Mortadella. Truly memorable!

Cornerstone_120839Coffee is smoothly extracted on a custom powder coat white La Marzocco Linea, and sourced from Melbourne’s award winning boutique roaster- The Maling Room.  Single Origins rotate weekly, and I was spoilt by the Ethiopian Aricha. As an espresso, it was sweet with floral notes, a creamy body, and a candied lemon fragrance.  Tea is sourced from Larsen and Thompson, and Mork chocolate is also available for those with a yearning to indulge in specialty hot chocolate.

Cornerstone and Co. adds a special touch to Melbourne’s bayside area.

75 Ludstone St

Hampton

Review: Tess Presso

 

 



Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Best Cafes of Melbourne 2011

Proud Mary_Cup_webWhen we started up, and we’re just about to celebrate our tenth anniversary, we floated the [then slightly sacrilegious] notion that Melbourne might not, after all, be Australia’s coffee capital – in fact the things that were happening in the Sydney coffee scene were rather leaving Melbourne in the shade. Since then, however, coffee in Australia has taken many leaps forward and we’ve enjoyed riding the wave as coffee in Melbourne, in particular, has surged forward.

We have recently concluded a coffee-hopping trip [including the erstwhile capital of modern world espresso - Seattle] and we now firmly believe that Melbourne takes its place – not just as Australia’s but pretty much the world’s, coffee capital – and as you’ve probably guessed, we don’t make that sort of statement lightly!

However, coffee has got to such a stage in Melbourne, that there may not be much further you can go with espresso. The ‘third wave’ in coffee has seen more emphasis on brewing with different methods – syphon, pour-over, chemex, french press and clover – to the extent that some roasts are optimised for these brewing methods & may actually not be quite so good for espresso… a quandary that probably no other city in Australia may be experiencing.

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Friday, July 15th, 2011

CafeSmart 2011

cafesmart logoCafeSmart will take place on Friday 5th August, during National Homeless Persons’ Week (1-7 August 2011), and will bring together cafés and their customers, to create change for some of our most disadvantaged Australians. Part proceeds, from each cup purchased on the day, will be put towards charities that tackle homelessness in Australia. The initiative is StreetSmart’s most recent project called CafeSmart whereby participating cafes have generously pledged to donate $1.00 per coffee sold to fund local grassroots projects.

Cafe Customers – is your favourite local cafe participating? If not, ask them why they haven’t signed up yet? For a list of participating cafes visit the StreetSmart website www.streetsmartaustralia.org/findcafe

Cafe Owners – Why sign up your cafe? For lots of good reasons, (more…)



Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

DeClieu

DeClieu_webOn the corner of George and Gertrude streets (part of the Gertrude Street boutique/shopping strip) is a smallish café which is part of the Seven Seeds stable [run by Melbourne coffee don Mark Dundon] curiously named De Clieu. Not so curious perhaps when you look into the taxonomy of Mark’s other café names [Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan] and see that they derive from the colourful history of coffee and its discovery.

The original De Clieu was a french naval officer who is celebrated for his claim to have introduced coffee to the French colonies of the Western Hemisphere in the 1720s. According to l’Année littéraire of 1774, he arranged to transport a coffee plant (or perhaps several) from the greenhouses of the Jardin Royal des Plantes [which had originally been given to the French King from Holland] to Martinique in 1720.

The story goes that water was rationed on the voyage and De Clieu was so dedicated to his mission that he shared his ration with the seedlings. The story may be apocryphal, but most sources do in fact credit De Clieu with the introduction of coffee to Martinique & thence the Caribbean.

But enough of history – De Clieu is a funky spot where everyone seems to hang out in black jeans [& black jackets, shoes or whatever] but this belies its class – it’s trendy, but it also serves good coffee and very good food.

The menu reveals an elegant simplicity as would be expected from the kitchen of Steven Carr (previously of the Healesville Hotel) and offers a slightly exotic take on otherwise prosaic items – our Pork Neck Roti [sweet roasted pork neck on a spring onion roti, with a fried egg and hoisin-flavoured BBQ sauce] was exquisite.

And the coffee – we had one shot which was excellent and one which was [only] good, which given the general state of espresso coffee, is still very good overall! Definitely recommended.

De Clieu
187 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy
(03) 9416 4661



Friday, April 15th, 2011

Brisbane’s Best Cafes 2011

Cup Specialty_Brisbane_webLike any large Australian city, Brisbane has a wide range of cafes from the simple ‘mom & pop’ café to those where the focus is on excellent business lunches and great food. However, Brisbane has a large coffee purist element that is bubbling underground and is beginning to show itself to those who are seriously interested.

And the good news is this: from an espresso coffee point-of-view, the Brisbane espresso ‘scene’ rocks, supported by many enthusiastic young professionals eager to share their coffee knowledge and passion. One quick note: it’s not in necessarily in the CBD itself, but in the inner suburbs that you find the best coffee… suburbs like West End, New Farm, Spring Hill and even the formerly seedy Fortitude Valley! (more…)



Friday, March 25th, 2011

Room 10

Room10_webWith the increasing tendency of hip new cafes to use ‘boutique’ coffee brands to make their coffee, it’s probably no surprise that Room 10 uses Mecca [see Sydney’s Best Cafes 2011]. It’s a compact space with no separate kitchen – the kitchen is actually a dedicated area of bench space on the right [as you walk in]of the café. The space is dominated by two things – one a bicycle curiously mounted on the wall at the rear and secondly a shiny La Marzocco espresso machine at the front. It’s not always guaranteed, but it’s usually a sign that they’re serious about their coffee and in this case, the coffee didn’t disappoint, although there was some variability, depending on who was behind the machine. They offer a limited food menu and in spite of the size of the kitchen [or lack of it!] the food was actually pretty good, and if you can get a seat [especially in Summer] the little outdoor tables are a nice option. Room 10 brings a new dimension to otherwise ‘good-coffee-denuded’ Kings Cross.

10 Llankelly Place
Potts Point NSW 2011



Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Gnome

GnomeRGB_web

In a great little space in one of the buzziest and trendiest parts of Surry hills, Anakin from Toby’s Estate has created a real gem. A natural café spot, Anakin has taken this space over from Coffee, Tea or me, and created a café that is a true coffee lover’s hangout. And what a hang-out it is – with great food and tables on to the street, it’s the perfect place to watch the passing bustle of humanity on cosmopolitan Crown street.

But it’s the coffee that the aficionados come for – the house blend combining a wet and a dry processed Ethiopian, a Java and a Brazil – sweet on the tip of the tongue, with an earthy middle palate and a hint of saltiness on the back palate. Delicious.

536 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010

T: (02) 9332 3191



Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Best Cafes of Sydney 2011

WorkshopRGB_webMake no mistake, Australia is at the peak of espresso coffee on the world stage with a number of barista champions, past and present hailing from our shores and many of our top cafes cresting the ‘third’ and even ‘fourth’ waves in world espresso.

Sydney is no exception to this and boasts a number of truly world-class cafes. Many of our reviewers have travelled, or even lived in Europe and their reviews attest to the increasing dominance of antipodean coffee on the world scene; let no-one doubt – these cafes are at the peak of their game and are of a world class standard.

So it is with pleasure that we bring you Crema Magazine’s Best Cafes of Sydney for 2011…

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Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Obscura [Melbourne]

obscura_webreadyThere’s a new gun in town and the word going around is that only the Laotian will do! If you haven’t been to Kensington recently then you should probably do so, as a plethora of cafes beckon and none more so than the aptly named, Obscura, located somewhat obscurely at 1 Bellair Street, Kensington, just outside the train station. However, as I write, plans are afoot to relocate the café across the tracks sometime in April, so get in quick if you want to experience the best of what’s on offer at the current location.

The café itself is only seven months old and already they’re looking to relocate to larger premises, which will also hopefully be a bit more resilient to Melbourne’s notorious weather. After cycling furiously around Kensington for 40 minutes trying to find the cafe on my mobile gps, I eventually found Obscura nestled in the comfortable confines of the train station.

Still, the wait was worthwhile because what I discovered was a speciality coffee shop that imports its own coffee from Laos, roasted to order, and flown direct to Melbourne via Thai Airways. Now I’m not sure how many readers have been to Laos, but I have and I can tell you that the coffee there is fantastic, and is poured dark and strong over ice, but be sure to tell the locals to leave the condensed milk out of the mix!

I enjoyed a piccolo latte at Obscura made from the Bruno blend, which Tom describes as medium to full-bodied and as his ‘Melbourne-Italian style espresso blend.’ My piccolo was well made and flavoursome with caramel and biscuit notes predominating, combined with a hint of exotic Asian spice.

It’s all about the coffee at Obscura, with 7 blends to choose from, most of which are rotated on the coffee machine. According to the JCFC website the coffee is, ‘cultivated from antique Arabica rootstock planted by French colonists in the 1920′s,’ and the coffee is shade grown in jungle forests of the Bolven Plateau in Southern Lao. You can also purchase whole beans for home use, and all of the coffees are certified FairTrade, from the Jhai Coffee Farmers Coop of Lao.

For the record, the Laotians refer to their homeland as Lao (and not Laos), apparently it was those pesky French colonists who decided to call the country Laos, as is their habit of putting a redundant ‘s’ on the end of everything. In the words of the local Lao people; ‘Khob chai lai lai! (which means thank you very much)’. [PS]

1 Bellair Street,
Kensington VIC 3031