I stumbled upon this beautiful (and a little eccentric) cafe about 3 years ago when I was looking for a good breakfast joint in South Bondi. It sounds bizarre but there are very few good breakfasts in Bondi. Most of the joints are greasy and aimed at the tourist/backpacker trade and offer a meal (of terrible quality) at insanely cheap prices. Then out of nowhere I found Katipo.
I was allured by its rockabilly chic, mismatched furniture and casual style of service. This was at a time when everyone was starting to style their bars and cafes in a "retro" fashion with old throwback 80's furniture. Katipo was way ahead of the times and had this style down pat. Their giant armchairs out the back, old record player and 35mm film projectors only being outdone by the tikis hiding in the enclaves and impressive amateur art on the walls. Even the bathrooms are stylish, with old cassette players, dictaphones, melted candles, old film and concert posters acting as wallpaper. It may all sound over the top and slightly gourdy, but it just works. Somehow the genuine rockabilly inclinations of the owners has shone through and shown the rest of the Bondi Hipsters (or homeless) how it is done.
Samboy Coffee = :-D
Somehow I didn't come back for several months, but when I did return it was as if I had been away from a loved one and was greeted with open arms. The sweet smell of Morgans Coffee filled my nostrils as I was greeted by the host (why do people not have hosts anymore?) and seated.
The coffee when was a Morgan's blend made for Katipo. It is a smooth and strong coffee, with undertones of chocolate and nuts. The flavour is slightly buttery (which I love) and woody (which is indicative of aged gourmet coffee). It is smooth but had full body, a perfect mix of floral coffee flavour and acidity which is an impressive feat. The coffee is a double ristretto poured out of a naked group head giving the maximum amount of crema and allowing the fullest flavours of perfect extraction.
The menu is presented in an old book (another great idea) and has a lovely modern Australian mixed with a dash of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean. I went for the BLT with a fried egg, harissa and cheese. This menu selection has taken years to perfect and whilst it is a $19 breakfast, it is delicious, huge and very spicy. The bread and bacon is chargrilled and the portions are a good size for growing lads.
Someone else had a fruit salad and it looked delicious with a nice topping of bircher muesli beautifully presented in a stack with a honey and berry coulis drizzle around it. Quite possibly one of the nicest looking and tasting fruit salads I have seen. The meal consisted of 2 strong coffees, a fresh juice and breakfast all for $20-25 a head, very good value.
Katipo also runs some kick-arse events including a charity art exhibition every 6 weeks, with amateur artist getting a chance to exhibit their wears and the usual fee a gallery would charge goes to a charity of the artists choice. The art is always of a surprisingly high quality and is for sale not only on the night of the opening but also during normal trade hours. It's a fantastic idea that changes the art of the cafe every 6 weeks but also gives artists a chance to display and sell their works. Plus the proceeds are split between artists and a charity. It's a win-win! They also do function packages for birthdays or corporate functions.