Posts Tagged ‘cafes’

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Buy a ‘Cappuccino for a Cause’ : 26 & 27 October

With more than a billion cups of coffee each year now consumed away from home by Australia’s café society, Variety – the Children’s Charity, is asking our growing nation of coffee drinkers to have a cappuccino to help kids in need during October.

Cappuccino for a Cause, an annual fundraising event by Gloria Jean’s Coffees is seeking to raise $170,000 for Variety – the Children’s Charity this October. Donation boxes, in coffee houses nationally will be dedicated to raising funds for Variety throughout the month.
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Cafe Cities of the World – Vancouver


Nestled in the lee of the majestic snow-capped Coast mountain ranges, Vancouver is a stunning city.  it’s situated on a scenic harbour, protected from the harsh elements of the Pacific ocean by Vancouver Island, just offshore. Its location ensures a relatively temperate climate (although it will rain anytime of the year and frequently does) and one which Vancouverites enjoy in their myriad year-round outdoor activities; cycling, skiing, boating and hiking, just to name a few.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Cafe Cities of the World – Wellington

Havana_CoffeeWidely regarded as New Zealand’s arts and culture capital, Wellington or ‘the windy city’ as it is colloquially known, has a wealth of museums, art galleries, theatres and festivals. There is an innate confidence here, be it borne from the fact that this is New Zealand’s capital city, or perhaps from its role as a cultural and artistic epicentre.

Although a city with a population of little more than 300,000 Wellington has the cosmopolitan vibrancy of a much larger city. This is, in the main, due to the fact that the CBD of Wellington is principally structured to be accessible by foot and, with a civic policy of discouraging generic malls and outlying shopping precincts, it draws a communal breath into its restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, giving a pulse to its streets and a beat to its heart. Venture out on a Friday or Saturday night and you will be greeted by the buzz of the city’s populace in its myriad of  forms, all congregated around the restaurant and bar precincts of Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. (more…)



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



Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Shot Cafe

ShotCafe_Mosman_tinyRecently opened located in Sydney Harbour’s headland park in Mosman this café blends a stunning location with good coffee and delicious food. With extensive harbour views and a large al fresco dining area this former Army ‘All Ranks Club’ heritage cottage is proving very popular with families and lovers of the outdoors.

Shot was established by  Tracey Leitch and her partner Peter Rose, whose previous openings include establishing the iconic Balmoral Sandbar and Awaba Café. “Our menu is a mix of delicious home style food with a few irresistible sweet treats thrown in” notes Rose. Shot has set up a ‘Bark Park’ to accommodate dogs whilst their owners enjoy a mid walk refreshment. Tethered amidst the shade of trees they can enjoy some company and often get spoilt with a doggie bone biscuit sold at Shot.

Pre- or post a Shot espresso there is a chance to explore the stunning harbour vantage point: there are magnificent harbour views, a lookout, walking track from Chowder Bay to Balmoral, fortifications, tunnels and heritage buildings. For those who love all things organic, the growers markets are held at Headland Park every Thursday. Peter and Tracey’s vision for Shot was a café that consistently delivered fresh, tasty, home-style food, and on that count it heartily delivers, with a lot more besides.

Shot Cafe
Building 3, Headland Park
Middle Head Rd
Mosman

Tel 02 9969 4400



Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Bunker

Bunker_darlinghurst2It’s not easy to make an impression on Darlinghurst’s ‘cafe’d-out’ Victoria Avenue. True, Bunker’s actually not quite on Victoria Ave, squeezed in as it is by the hairdresser around the corner on Liverpool Street. It’s easy to see how it got it’s name; as you round the corner it’s easy to miss, but once you’re inside, the sandstone block walls do indeed give the impression of being inside a wartime bunker.

Bunker’s menu suffers from a hint of that slightly pretentious ‘down-home’ bonhommie [Poached chook/steak sanga] that screams ‘I’m so inner-city Sydney’. On the other hand, given that it was a friend in the media who informed me I absolutely had to check this place out, I guess I can’t complain. And in fact, the food range is interesting and eclectic; typical items include Omelette of the Day served on Sonoma sourdough [$13], Scrambled or Poached eggs on sourdough [$8.50] with a range of extras: bacon, field mushrooms ['mushies'], chorizo, smoked salmon and homemade baked beans, and a range of ‘Sangas’ including the aforementioned Poached chook, coriander & fetta on sourdough [$9.00] and the Kurobuta ham with cheddar & dijon on wholewheat miche roll [$8.50], which was excellent.

They do it well, with just the right mix of friendliness and panache, and even the coffee is pretty good. In fact, we’ve heard people say it’s the best in Darlinghurst [although given the quality of the competition, that wouldn't be so hard].

Bunker_darlinghurst1So all in all, we’d have to give Bunker a big tick. The only other thing is, so have a lot of others in the know and it’s a pretty small space, so if you’re going to visit, make sure you don’t come at weekend peak times, or you’ll be in for a wait!

399 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Phone (0404) 407 349



Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Foxy Brown

FoxyBrown-smallFoxy Brown is one of those rarest of things: a cosy corner cafe in a former house that actually still feels like someone’s living room. Original 70′s furniture pieces provide a cosy backdrop in this long and narrow space, as does mood lighting and front and rear courtyards – which are just the thing for the kids to muck around in!

In fact the space itself has a long history servicing the local community, dating back at least until the 1920′s when it traded as a general store and in its most recent successful incarnation, as an eclectic community-based cafe run by a brilliant if somewhat flawed musician, prior to being taken over by Patrick Sloane, aka Askthecoffeeguy, of the Crema Forum.

Patrick spent six months fine tuning the coffee blend with master roaster Joshua Bailey, who, interestingly flies somewhat beneath the radar in Melbourne – roasting as he does from his lounge room on Errol Street in North Melbourne – and the blend is a combination of high altitude shade grown ingredients which are also available individually as ‘Foxy Bean of the Day’ components. Patrick pulled over 2000 coffees through his coffee machine prior to be opening, to be certain that it was working properly and to thoroughly assess the coffee that he is using – such are his coffee credentials.

In fact one of the first things that you notice about the place is the massive coffee blackboard which dwarfs the kitchen’s daily specials board – which says something about the emphasis on coffee here, as does the two page coffee menu which sits on top of the all day breakfast menu.

Foxy prides itself on being mostly organic and FairTrade wherever possible and uses a unique DEMTER certified biodynamic un-homoginised milk – which is in such short supply that Patrick had to go on a two month waiting list and was interviewed vigorously for several hours before passing muster, and the cafe is still one of only a select few able to stock this product.  The milk itself is not cheap but is an integral part of the coffee equation and the coffee itself needs to be experienced to do it justice!

Foxy Brown Espresso Bar & Cafe
31 South Crescent
Northcote VIC 3070



Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Deus ex Machina

DeusI (15)_tiny

Some people might consider Deus ex Machina – or ‘god from a machine’ [Latin deus, god + Latin ex, from + Latin māchinā] an enigma – a motorbike shop turned cafe. If you’ve got a bit of extra space [a lot, actually] why not put up some funky posters [big, striking artwork, actually] add some communal tables, a kitchen and an espresso machine, leave a racing motorbike in the middle, and call it a cafe? Which is precisely what the owners of Deus did and somehow it works!

Although right on the abominable Parramatta Road at the corner of Missenden Rd, they have managed to completely blanket out the sound of the road and replace it with the busy bustle of barista, waiters and expectant diners.

The menu is eclectic, adventurous and varied. Two items stood out for me – the Smoked trout and kipfler potato salad, with a poached egg and hollandaise [$15], and the Canellini and french beans, tuna, olive, fennel, tomato and caper salad [$15], and I tried them both [on consecutive days].

The bean salad was a trifle disappointing – perhaps perfect for a health food fanatic – ie it tasted pretty much like beans and not much else. The Smoked trout on the other hand, was delicious – the trout delicately smoked, fresh and moist perfectly balanced by the accompanying egg and salad.  To top it off, the chips [ordered separately] were delicious – perfectly fried in fresh oil. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the quality of their chips [which are so easy to get wrong] and judging by this simple criteria, Deus beats many restaurants serving meals at twice the price!

Coffee [by di Lorenzo] was good – well-rounded and smooth, although talking of price, I can’t say it was deserving of the $3.50 price tag. However, as a complete cafe experience in an iconic location, Deus is one not to be missed!  AF [Sept 09].

DeusI (20)_tiny
98-104 Parramatta Road
Camperdown
NSW 2050

tel: 02 8594 2800



Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Dov at Delectica

DOV (6)_tinyIn the slightly seedy area of backpackers’ hostels and cafes mixed with comfortable terraces, is one cafe that has a particularly interesting heritage. Dov at Delectica has a strange name  and a slightly unusual history to boot. Originally on the premises of what is now Darlinghurst’s Forbes & Burton, opposite the National Art School, DOV was a Sydney inner-city institution. The glitterati used to mix with artists and A-listers, residents and druggies in a gloriously eclectic mix. However [as the story goes] the owner of Forbes & Burton wanted the premises for himself and didn’t renew the lease, causing the DOV owners to look for new premises. Instead of a ‘heritage’ style artistic haven, they settled on the slightly seedy premises of an existing cafe called Delectica.

Dov at Delectica serves a range of hearty meals, such as Penne with ham, baby spinach, pine nuts, garlic and white wine [$15.50] and Open steak sandwich, cos lettuce, avocado, tomato, onion, aloili and fries [$16.00] and, perhaps given their backpacker clientele, a $10 Special of Soup and cheese sandwich [Monday to Friday]. They also serve a small range of desserts [baked on the premises] – I had the Pear and almond frangipane tart and it was delicious. Coffee was well-made –  full-bodied but smooth.

With its wide-open windows, it’s a pleasant place to hang out, especially in summer. However, while its clientele may still be eclectic, it was nothing on the mix of people that used to gravitate to the old DOV!

2/130 Victoria St
Potts Point
NSW 2000