Shenkin Espresso Bar, Newtown

shenkin espresso bar, newtown

Mecca Espresso, 239a King St, Newtown. Where for so many years “The old fish cafe” had been pouring coffees, with its signature cords of garlic hanging from the ceiling, a new cafe has emerged. The boys from Shenkin (a little down the road in Erskineville) have created a new venue where the emphasis is not on Israeli food, but on coffee, and exceptional pastries.


interior, shenkin espresso bar, newtown

If you’re trying to watch what you eat, this place is not for you – free samples of a few of the pastries await you right next to the cash register, and a single taste will have you keen to purchase something.

where the magic happens shenkin espresso bar, newtown

Coffee is really good: it’s all ground to order, lovingly made, and ready fairly quickly. A strong contender for the best coffee in Newtown, and certainly the pick of the cafes in the immediate area.


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Sample Coffee Bar, Surry Hills

sample coffee bar, surry hills

Mecca Coffee. Shop 2, 118 Devonshire St, Surry Hills. Tiny hole in the wall, punching well above its weight for the quality of coffee, and the range of samples of single origin coffees that are on offer.

Coffee is ground to order, and expertly made. Whether you’re after a top-notch decaf latte, or the full tasting notes for a single origin. The Mirage lever machine is gone now, leaving bench space for other methods of coffee preparation.

If you’re in the area, make sure you drop in. 

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alley break cafe, cronulla

alley break cafe, cronulla

Mecca Espresso Coffee. With only one other restaurant between it and the water, this is a great spot to have a leisurely breakfast and take in some ocean air. Worth noting that it has been completely refurbished, and ownership has changed over since my last review here.

The new chef is from Danks St Depot, and as such, the menu is much more varied and up-market. Sure, the prices are a little higher, but this is a level of food that I haven’t encountered anywhere else in the Shire, much less in Cronulla – perhaps there are a couple of restaurants that are playing at this level, but no cafes.

vegetarian big breakfast at alley break

Coffee (the decaf is freshly ground, and they receive coffee deliveries three times per week to ensure freshness) is really good. They have a team who know what they’re doing, and it’s a good complement to the food on offer.

coffee at alley break

If you’re down at Cronulla looking for a place to actually catch a glimpse of the waves, while enjoying fantastic food and really good coffee, then I would look no further.

Quarry St Cafe, Ultimo

Quarry St Cafe, Ultimo

Mecca espresso coffee. 97 Quarry St, Ultimo. There’s seating for 8 people outside, and a little bit of space inside. The coffee machine has pride of place here, accessible from the street, through the window, and also from inside the shop.

Coffee is good: the milkwork is competent, meaning that a decaf latte
– freshly ground decaf – is relatively fresh in flavour. I’m surprised to find after I’ve finished my coffee that it’s from Mecca – there’s no signage to suggest it!