Icoco Cafe, Milsons Point

Icoco Cafe, Milsons Point

Grinders Giancarlo coffee. 110 Alfred St, Milsons Point. Another recommendation from my contact page. This place is significantly raising the bar for interior design in Milsons Point. When I first walked past, I was worried that I had the wrong place – surely this place was a restaurant and not a cafe? Step inside, however, and you realise that the chandelier is a decorative touch, not an indicator of tablecloths and silverware. Instead, you see a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with a diverse range of books, white tables and bright red chairs.

There’s a range of tasty-looking pastries behind glass, and there’s also a wide choice of muffins ready to take and run.

muffins, Icoco Cafe, Milsons Point

Coffee – there’s no decaf grinder – is well-prepared, and so while nothing outstanding in terms of nuance is nonetheless a highly drinkable cup. A welcome addition to this part of Sydney, and worth a look if you have some time to spare here.

Long Black Organic Cafe, Dulwich Hill

Long black cafe, dulwich hill

Belaroma Organic coffee. 2/428 Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. Organics is the theme here: they have a lot of all-organic choices on the menu, and a number of tasty home-made cakes (gluten-free) to choose from too.

Kid-friendliness is certainly there: there are some high-chairs on offer if you’re looking for them, and they even have toys for loan while you’re there.

The prices are – as you’d expect – a little higher than non-organics might be, but you can’t fault them for menu presentation.

menu at long black, dulwich hill

They don’t appear to have a decaf grinder, but nonetheless provide a pleasant, uncomplicated cup.

 

 

 

Petty Cash Cafe, Marrickville

Petty Cash Cafe, Marrickville

Bills Beans coffee. 68 Victoria Rd, Marrickville. On the edge of Enmore Park, near the play equipment, is this character-filled spot. A colourful band of staff work hard at keeping the orders coming and cleaning the place up where necessary. The furniture is diverse – each table setting comes from somewhere else, which gives the place a homey, student chic feel.

For child-friendliness, there’s a choice of red or white high-chair, and plenty of space between tables to store a stroller. If that wasn’t enough, you can grab a picnic blanket and take your food into the park on a tray.

Really enjoyable cup of coffee. They have a decaf grinder, they know what they’re doing with milk and coffee, and they make an epic smoothie.

They also make their own pink lemonade (unreviewed).

Recommended.

pink lemonade at petty cash cafe, marrickville

Lisbon Love Patisserie, Panania

Lisbon Love Patisserie, Panania

Caffe Molinari coffee. 188 Tower Rd, Panania.

Portugese tarts and a range of pastries and cakes, with some savory choices, on brioche.

I try the ham and cheese brioche, toasted. It has a slight sweetness to it, and a light texture: seems a promising sign for the other pastries. The Portugese tarts are very good: they’re crisp and sweet.

Decaf latte is served hot, in a hot glass mug, which makes for a healthy pause between its arrival at the table and the second sip.

There’s a slight metallic aftertaste to the coffee, as I was expecting from this brand, but it’s otherwise a pleasant, well-made cup.

white horse coffee, sutherland

White Horse Coffee, Sutherland

White horse coffee. 137 Flora St, Sutherland.

It’s taken me a long time to get to visit this place when it was open. I’ve seen its shuttered doors on three separate occasions. They’re only open on weekdays, and they have a tendency to be closed over the Christmas holidays.

Walk in past the outdoor seating, past the communal table with its laptop-using customers and locals who are gathered for a conversation and a coffee, and you’ll reach the counter. One staff member is just greeting people and getting the orders right.

Order a decaf latte, and they make it up in very quick time: there’s a decaf grinder, and although the large decaf latte ($4) is dominated by milk (and hence loses any sense of nuance), it’s a drinkable, quality cup.

Pulse espresso bar, Kogarah

Pulse espresso bar, Kogarah

Morgan’s handcrafted coffee. Shop 4, 26 Belgrave St.

With its proximity to St George Public and Private hospitals, there are more doctors and nurses here calling in for breakfast or lunch than you might be used to, but as a break from the in-house catering, this is a welcome retreat.

Choose salads, sandwiches or burgers, from $9-$16.

Table service is good, an extra challenge given the layout – there are external tables around the corner that are near impossible to see from the coffee-making counter.

Decaf latte is served about 95% full, which is unusual in itself. It’s quite hot, and just a little earthy at first sip. It’s a pleasant enough cup, but not worth driving across town for.

Reflections from a walk

Took Puff on an epic walk in the stroller around our suburb today, the park, play equipment, farm animals, food; the works; so that Kel could sleep for a while in between feeds.

Then, when we were praying tonight before bed, and we were talking about his day, the one thing he remembered – and said with a big grin – was “going for a walk with Daddy” (and not any of the recent presents he’s had).

I’d been sceptical about whether spending time with him, was sinking in, but this was convincing. And great.

Oh, and kel managed to sleep for over an hour. A worthwhile trip.

Mecca Espresso, Ultimo

mecca espresso, ultimo

Mecca Espresso coffee. 646 Harris St, Ultimo. Open a week now, but in some ways you’d never know it. Yes, there’s no signage yet, and there are no hours on display, but the interior is ready to go, the food menu is up and running, and the coffee has been pouring freely this whole time.

where the magic happens - mecca espresso, ultimo

Walk into the shop, and the first thing you’ll see is the cash register and the main coffee machine, with the grinders in the background. Orders are taken at the register, then you can find a seat, or grab a glass of water and/or read the newspaper while you’re waiting.

plenty of seating - mecca espresso, ultimo

Appropriately for a venue across the road from a cafe, the seating is predominantly those wooden chairs that you may remember from government high schools (before the plastic chairs came in). They’re surprisingly comfortable, and not prone to having loose nails like their school compatriots.

a big counter - mecca espresso, ultimo

If you’re waiting for food, you’ll be able to pick it up at a different counter, and perhaps stop for a chat. There’s also a display of siphons, tea and other coffee-related things for sale.

water station - mecca espresso, ultimo

Water is self-serve, with an elegant tap assembly and a stack of fresh glasses nearby.

big communal table - mecca espresso, ultimo

There’s the usual options for seating at 2 or 4-tops, but also a large communal table that seats 10. This would be a great spot for a meeting!

As with any new place, there are some gaps: they have some breakfast ($4 – 9.50) and lunch (around $10) menu options, but there are no biscotti or muffins or small morning tea items.

Coffee, though, is fantastic. Even the decaf (50c decaf tax) is ground-to-order, has a rich flavour with a slightly nutty finish. It’s the sort of place that you always hope will open near your office. Highly recommended.

First heard about the cafe via Inner West Live.