Bella Espresso, Bellevue Hill

Allpress espresso. 9 Bellevue Road, Bellevue Hill. Busy and popular, it’s standing room only outside, but there’s still some room indoors where a couple of wooden boxes against a wall have been artfully transformed into comfortable seating by virtue of some plush cushioning.

Ordering is all outside; four staff work busily in a small kitchen space; taking orders, cooking – the scent of grilling bacon drifts across the indoors – and an ipod provides some relaxing music. newspapers are on offer for customers to browse. Some baby chillies sit in water bottles in an installation artwork.

Even the regulars’ dogs are known by name, but if you’re just visiting, you could be in for a wait.

Coffee breaks all reasonable convention in how long it takes to arrive; perhaps have a regular order for you. When it arrives, it’s good; not too strong, not too hot.

Update 20th January 2010: Bella Espresso has closed, and been replaced by a cafe (as yet unreviewed) called BLIP. Due to consistent anonymous comments, I’ve closed comments on this post.

Crave café, Bellevue Hill

Santos coffee. As you’d expect for this hybrid corner store, café and deli, the food is of excellent calibre – the choice of breads alone is worth the journey. Don’t be surprised to see a porsche park in front of the café, grab a takeaway coffee, and drive off.

Coffee is quite good; well presented, promptly made and a good temperature.