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Published June 7th 2017
Brevity is the name of the game and that precisely is the first impression Piccolina Espresso casts on you. Even locating it can be a brief hide-and-seek as the cafe is blanketed from all sides by buildings wide and tall. It resembles a nook to settle in for a quick breakfast; a rather tiny section of the building, on the ground floor of which it is located. Facing it is the entrance of the Mercure Sydney International Airport Hotel. Advising from the experience, to find Piccolina, it is wiser to turn towards the Mercure from Levey Street and the cafe will be on the right.
Well, coming to the brevity, let me add some elaboration: Piccolina is a single roomed cafe (and when I say single just imagine a small bedroom sized space) boasting of Campos coffee, with a stockpile of essentials ready to be assembled into a sumptuous breakfast, a display cabinet filled with selected baked dainties, a stack of single paged menus, and three tables arranged for sidewalk seating.
The cafe opens early at 6:00am. Peter, the manager, greeted us into its concise world with a huge grin. He broke into small talk with us as our drinks were served. Upon a cold-pressed watermelon strawberry juice and the steaming, frothy, chocolatey mocha, we learned that Piccolina is in fact the younger sibling of two flourishing cafes - Kafé Neo & Linea Cafe.
The menu includes the typical breakfast favourites - toasts, croissants, sandwiches, burgers, juices, coffee and smoothies. We chose the chicken schnitzel sandwich and the cheeky chicken burger and were impressed with the serving size of both. The crunch of the crumbed chicken evened by fresh leafy greens and bacon, all bound by the balancing act of the dressing sauces, made for a scrumptious bite. What I loved most about the constructions was the fluffiness of the brioche in the burger and the crispy loaves of my sandwich.
The prices, though tipping towards the heavier side, are not as pocket pinching given the cafe's placement at just a kilometre and half from the international airport and its monopoly in a neighbourhood which comprises mostly of hotels and residential properties. So unless you are willing to cross the Princess Highway to get over to the Woolworths side of Wolli Creek, Piccolina Espresso might just be the recourse at hand to duck in, grab a Campos Coffee or a healthy bite and head for your flight.