Posts Tagged ‘Sydney cafes’

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Brewtown Newtown

Brewtown Newtown exteriorWe arrive at Newtown Brewtown on a cool but sunny autumn morning; the traffic on Newtown’s King St hasn’t yet reached Saturday gridlock and it’s great to be back in old haunts. It’s a slightly unpreposessing exterior, housed in an old bookshop – that serves to hide the buzz inside.

Of course, there’s a queue, but it is manageable, and besides, what self-respecting brunch place doesn’t have a queue on a Saturday morning?Brewtown sign

We were sat at the bar by the shiny machine with the customised fascia [see pic] and presented with a slightly bewildering array of brunch options from a Mini-egg benedict brioche roll [$8.50] to Salmon gravlax, taramasalata, beetroot, radish, pached egg, caviar and herb salad [$16]. We were also offered a nice touch – to be poured a glass of sparkling water, while we pondered the tantalising choices.

Brewtown fascia

Brewtown coffeeChoices made: we awaited our coffees: slightly acidic, these were of the ‘new breed’ of roast – lighter and exhibiting greater fruitiness, but giving away a little in mellowness

Brewtown_130

 

The Poached egg on toast with a side of canadian bacon, was perfectly cooked and the house relish was so nice we asked for more. The Dhalicious – baked polenta with spiced lentils & spinach tomatoes, poached egg & yoghurt dressing was delicious, if not as spicy as the name implied. The polenta was subtly flavoured inside with a beautifully baked outer, the perfect accompaniment to the individual flavours of the dish.

 

The buzzy atmosphere belied the underlying order – in spite of the busy crowd, the wait staff were professional and attentive, always seeming to be on top of our orders, and the food was excellent. Brewtown Newtown is a new era of Newtown Café, industrial chic and professionalism, definitely a step ahead of the ‘grunge’ norm for the area.

 

Brewtown Newtown: 6-8 O’Connell St, Newtown 2042.

 

Reviewer: Ashley Felderhof



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…)



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…

(more…)



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



Monday, February 15th, 2010

Kokoh

Kokoh_lowresThe selection of cafes on Sydney’s Northern Beaches can be ‘mixed’ at best. However, there’s a little gem in leafy Wahroonga which really hits the spot.

Kokoh is tucked rather unpretentiously in on Redleaf Ave, but it’s proof that you can find good food and coffee on the Northern Beaches, if you look hard enough!

The menu itself seems, at first glance pretty modest, with a selection of teas, coffee [by Morgan's Handcrafted] and gourmet sandwiches.

Breakfast includes regulars such as Muesli, Fruit Toast, and Toast with numerous spreads, and for lunch, sandwiches include Ham [$13.50], Turkey [$13.50], Salmon [$13.50] and Chicken Schnitzel [$14.50]. However it’s the way things are done, with special menu touches and a lot of care taken over preparation, that make an impression. The only downside is the pricing – at $14 for Bacon and Eggs, with extras like a sausage at $5 or salmon $6.50, some would say prices are a little on the high side, although the ingredients are of top quality.

The toast includes four varieties of La Tartine certified organic sourdough: spelt, wholemeal, white or sesame, and is accompanied by Hank’s strawberry  or triple berry jam, four fruits marmalade, or honey and ricotta… not a huge selection, but beautifully done.  And for lunch, the sandwiches [on the same four La Tartine breads] are simple but beautifully made.

Indeed Kokoh is a lovely little haven situated as it is, just off the busy Pacific Highway; a haven that’s definitely worth searching out!

Kokoh

11 Redleaf Ave
Wahroonga NSW 2076
Tel: (02) 9489 1470



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 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