Caffe di Gabriel. 56 Connells Point Rd, South Hurstville. Doing an excellent job on an upmarket version of Lebanese pizza (the meat pizza is crispy, the Zatar is generously flavoured), their real strength is in the scrolls, where a range of flavours are on display. I try the Tahini scroll, which is a delightful mix of sweet and savoury.
Coffee is really good: the decaf is fresh ground and the milk work is excellent. This is a great spot to sit down and enjoy the passing of time. It’s a little more pricey than the usual, but the quality justifies it. Recommended.
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Campos Coffee. 79 Regent St, Chippendale. This place is a re-invention of “The Angry Fix” – the wifi network still bears that name. Look inside, and a lot has changed. There’s less seating, but a larger kitchen area, and the menu has expanded accordingly.
A welcome addition is a decaf grinder, and their decaf is quite good. The highlight beverage for me, though, is the Nutella hot chocolate (you can see the giant jar of Nutella above the coffee machine) – it’s an excellent blend of flavours, and bodes well for future visits.
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Aslan Coffee. 1 Council St, St Peters. In a little corner shop next to Camdenville Park in St Peters you’ll see this unassuming space. A little bit of outdoor seating, and some well-branded signage lets pedestrians know they’re in the right spot, but I’ve managed to drive past a couple of times without realising, so pay attention to the map below if you’re going to visit by car. Full disclosure: I know the barista who works here.
Walk through the door and you’ll notice this blackboard that tells a bit of the story of Aslan coffee. Their specialty is Indonesian single origin coffee, and they’re working on having a relationship with the farmers themselves. Note also that they have a foursquare special which can get you a discount on first check-in.
As you step up to the machine, you’ll know they mean business with their coffee: two grinders and enough attention to detail to make sure you get the right spoon with the right cup for your order. Glance to your right and a tiny (2kg!) roaster is working away, turning single origin green beans from a hessian sack into their latest roasted offering. Establish yourself as a regular and you’ll have access to some very special coffees that will be hard to find elsewhere in Australia.
Coffee is really good. The decaf (a long black) has enough complexity to hold interest, and is very pleasant. A short black is a little grassy, and again has more to it than you might expect from a single origin.
Special mention to the babycino, which is a great mix of 90% froth, 10% milk, ready to drink, with a complimentary marshmallow.
Overall, it’s worth a visit – if it’s a pleasant day, they even have picnic blankets you can borrow and sit in the adjacent park.
Aslan Coffee website
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Golden Cobra Coffee (including the Timothy Dalton decaf). 7/383-387 Princes Hwy, Woonona (down an alley, look for the yellow ramp). I had a conversation with someone I met at a party and found they were opening a cafe south of Sydney, north of Wollongong. A week after their grand opening, and I’m impressed enough to trek back and see what their normal Saturday trade looks like.
One of the challenges at first is to find the place – the street address indicates that you’re looking for a place on the Princes Highway, but you’re actually walking down a lane way in search of a large yellow ramp. Step inside (or sit outside on the garden benches) and you can sample a menu of delicious food, and some of the best coffee you’re likely to sample in the south of Sydney.
There’s a variety of methods of coffee preparation on offer here: the usual espresso variations, but also aeropress, pour-over and filter for those who are interested. For the non-coffee-drinking crowd, there are tea craft teas. Order a beverage, and you’ll be treated to a variety of cups and saucers from a simpler time.
This is counter-balanced with the modern, bright colours of the outdoor furniture, and the indoor seats that are, for want of a better word, reminiscent of old church hall furniture.
Food is of an excellent calibre, well prepared – I’m looking forward to a trip back somewhere around a mealtime so I can sample something more substantial than avocado with olive oil on sourdough toast ($6).
Coffee is really the best news of the place. The best decaf coffee I’ve had in a long time, and delivered consistently. Ask Josh – the man behind the counter – and you’ll receive an education on the nuances of coffee selection: worth the price of the coffee in itself.
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