New "trendy" coffee shops are springing up all over Sydney. They seem to be places where berets are compulsory, tattoos get you a table and coffees only come with skim milk and extra foam. Most new shop owners seem to think that new and shiny automatically amounts to trendy. What ever happened to character? I don't want metallic metal seats with shiny timber floors. Boring. Give me something I haven't seen, something different. For those little off-beat cafes, Sydney-siders usually have to head interstate, or even overseas. Thankfully now days, some baristas are getting right at home.
Sydney's Katipo on Bondi Road is a little slice of Melbourne without the rain, cold or AFL. Walk in and you discover bicycles hanging on the wall. Artworks from aspiring Sydney artists cover the wall. A collection of old coffee machines line the bar. You can sit outside, sit at dining tables or laze into the comfy couches out the back. Don't get confused when the waitress gives you a book entitled "Drugs and Teenagers". She's not giving you a hint, just a menu. They are stapled inside an array of old and used books. Now that's character.
The food here is exceptional. That's no exaggeration. Char-grilled bacon, fresh muesli, chorizo omelettes... Healthy breakfasts with a Spanish twist. Presented like a three hat restaurant, the meal always looks just as good as it tastes. Don't worry, I don't do expensive. This place is reasonable, especially for what you get. On top of Katipo's welcoming character and seductive menu comes the friendly staff. The nicest of which can't be missed due to his intimidating size juxtaposed by his courteous demeanour. Known as "Big Ben," he makes a killer coffee. He also makes for good conversation while you wait for it.
If you haven't been, go. If you've gone, go again. If you're going, bring me with you.
This "Big Ben" character sounds hilarious. A friendly giant you could even say? Good piece Michael, truly inspirational! Bravo, bravo.
By Anonymous Saturday, 1st of October @ 02:00 pm
This sounds a bit like an advert for one cafe that you frequent regularly. Our regular is Michels at Forestville where you can sip inside or outside and being in a small plaza there is no traffic noise or fumes. But for location, location try Echos on the Marina under the Roseville Bridge. Hard to find, horrible parking and entry via lots of long steep stairs or a ricketty old inclinator but you end up sitting on the wharf down in middle harbour with nothing but lapping waves and the occasion boat trundling out.
By john5 - reader Tuesday, 11th of October @ 02:46 am
I have tried Katipo several times and while I agree, the service is fab, the serving sizes for brekky are much too small for the price and the coffee was bitter!
By media0 - reader Tuesday, 11th of October @ 11:16 pm
Next time try the 'little beaut'. Don't let the name fool you. It's a challenge and it's only 10 bucks.
By Michael Perry - senior reviewer Wednesday, 12th of October @ 07:31 am
nice article Michael!
By niche - reader Wednesday, 12th of October @ 11:29 am