There are lots of little coffee shops and snack bars around, especially in the major shopping centres. Often it's a matter of personal taste and preference that attracts loyal customers. Quite often it may be the decor, but most importantly its the staff. It's how efficient they are, how pleasant they are, and how competent they are. Not to mention the coffee!
As a regular Forrest Hills shopper, it comes as no surprise to read I've tried most of the coffee shops. Some I have been disappointed in and never returned, while others are, to be honest, just so-so. But then that's when it comes down to personal choice, for what may be so-so to me, may be top of the list for you.
However, there's a reasonably new player in town, and it's becoming more popular as more people get to know about it. While many coffee shops and snack bars become well known for special qualities, the majority have a focus on meeting the demands of the younger generation. It may not start out to be but that's the way it soon becomes. I see that respectfully, because there really isn't any discrimination when it comes to a cup of coffee. It's either good, or it's bad.
However, Central Gourmet, in the Forest Hills Shopping Centre, is appealing to all ages. Mums with little kids in prams (there's plenty of room); families, teens and also the silver-haired young-at-heart. You can even order online to save waiting in a queue at the busy times and have your order waiting for you to collect.
Especially for the older person perhaps it's because of the seating, which is excellent when compared with some of the inappropriate designs of seating these days with spindly metal legs that splay when someone sits on them. The long banquette which extends down the entire side wall, begs to be chosen to be seated upon; everyone wants to sit there!
Perhaps it's just the fact that Central Gourmet doesn't shout about its presence, it merely sits there inviting customers to "come in". The staff are courteous and eager to please. There's a nice relaxing feel about the cafe and people get together to share a meal, to enjoy a chat, or to just sit and read the newspaper.
Behind the Counter
The menu selection is relatively simple yet tasty. Coffee, sweets, focaccias, sandwiches, salads and hot meals. Hot and cold drinks and freshly squeezed juices.
My second visit I ordered pumpkin soup and this was delicious. It had a tang of Thai about it and it certainly was a filling meal with toast accompanying it. I can also recommend their salmon patties which I had ordered on my first visit a week earlier.