Western Sydney writer, trier of new things and lover of food
Published July 5th 2015
Hidden cafe serves up great coffee and food
I heard good reviews of The Blend in my local paper and on the internet and one beautiful Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I decided to check it out and have lunch there.
The Blend is situated in Western Sydney, in a quiet street next to Toongabbie station. It is very easy to miss, as we almost walked past it – there were no large signs like the other shops surrounding it, and the only indication we had that it was the right place were the little tables and chairs outside and a "B" on the door. There was also an A4-sized printout placed near one of the tables that said "The Blend". Upon walking in, my first impression was that I had walked into a shop in Diagon Alley, the magical wizard shopping centre in the Harry Potter books. The place is very tiny and artfully messy, with old books sitting in bookshelves, otherworldly art hanging on the walls, antique-looking furniture of different sizes, a stained-glass looking light fixture on the ceiling (that looked like it might have been salvaged from an old church or mansion) and newspapers strewn on shelves. It had a shabby chic vibe, and felt like another world from Western Sydney. My boyfriend's first impression: "I don't like it". He's not a fan of shabby chic.
We were greeted immediately by one of the baristas and seated ourselves at two little antique sofas and looked around at the artwork hanging on the wall next to us. Apparently this café also serves as an art gallery where diners can purchase the many artwork hanging on the walls. A lot of the art is quite good, although a bit too quirky for my taste. However, I really liked how the art has been showcased in little tiles on the wall with a certificate of authenticity near it, it makes for a unique display. There were a few other diners that seemed to be regulars as they chatted to the baristas as though they were familiar with each other, and the whole atmosphere was lively and cosy. My boyfriend said it feels like he's stepped into a city café, and he's right, the vibe is hip and cool, which is great to see in a humble little Western Sydney suburb.
I ordered a Vienna coffee (regular $4.90) with my meal, a "Bagels and Lox" which consisted of smoked salmon on bagels with cream cheese, capers, red onion and fresh dill ($12.90). My boyfriend ordered an egg and bacon grilled wrap ($7.90). They sell breakfast food all day, as well as an assortment of toasted sandwiches, cakes, juices, smoothies, coffee and tea.
I really loved the coffee, it was beautifully smooth and just right, not too bitter or watery. Probably one of the best coffees I've had in a while. The bagels were yummy too, and the fresh dill was generous, it tasted very Scandinavian. I was most surprised by my boyfriend's reaction to the food. He wasn't too impressed with the café at first, but he absolutely loved the food. He said it wasn't what he expected (as it was more omelette-like), but was one of the best bacon and egg wraps he's had.