With an air of absolute certainty, I can say, each of the stations within Sydney have a single Platform one. But not in Kogarah. There is a dainty aberration outside the Kogarah Station, an anomaly embedded right in the face of the station - a second Platform One. The difference: unlike the one that hosts chugging trains and hurrying commuters, this one entertains customers with hot brews and good food. With minimal decor, Platform One Espresso appears as a neatly lettered blackboard on the facade that would otherwise have been the insipid concrete exterior wall of a train station.
Owners, Yianni Epanomatis and Mithat Uluc, and the staff are quietly at work, observably fine-tuned to their jobs. The set-up is casual with adequately appointed tables, a wall-counter and subdued lighting with natural light filling in much of the semi-open design of the cafe. The sleek menu has a stack of cafe-styled options like salads and rolls along with specials but excludes the baked confections arranged in the display unit at the billing counter. The prices are not pocket searing as the items cost between $3 to $21. Mithat takes our order as he goes about attending tables and engaging customers in small talk while Yianni is the busy barista catering to the to-go and dine-in brew orders.
Our drinks are served without any delay. I love the way my berry smoothie looks with its bounty of chia seeds topping. As it seems, so does it taste too. My husband's mocha has its usual beauty - heart, froth and all. What points at it scoring extra credits is the cup journeying towards me across the table for a sip. And, of course, there's that credit giving smile on his face. My verdict from the sip: perfect punch of coffee-bitterness and the right amount of chocolaty sweetness!! Yianni, a 5/5 to you for the mocha.
Salmon Breakfast at Platform One (photo by writer)
Our brunch is visually as handsome as the brew. The truffle omelette is fluffy, the grilled chicken burger is fat with stuffing and the salmon breakfast (yes, that's exactly what it is called, no words missing there), well, I have to confess, we had a stop-and-stare moment there. The salmon breakfast is a combination of lovely poached eggs, tastefully cured salmon and golden hash browns, stacked upon each other. The best part - as I slice open the egg, the bright yolk oozes and dribbles romantically onto the fish and the crunchy hash browns. I couldn't resist digging into that amorous bond. This, inarguably, is one of the best breakfast/brunch dishes I have tasted in a long time. The lime aioli and the sprinkling of sesame seeds spike the taste further.
Truffle Omelette at Platform One Espresso (photo by writer)
The omelette with cauliflower earns a double thumbs up. The roasted cauliflower is a clever addition balancing the sourness of goat's cheese. And the toasted sourdough served with it crisps things up forming a wholesome breakfast.
Grilled Chicken Burger at Platform One Espresso (photo by writer)
The burger is plumped up with a thick slab of chicken, bacon slices and slaw. The accompanying chips are perfectly crunchy. The only spoilsport is the heightened salt in the bacon, though the rest of the stuffing wrest well to refine the taste. The chicken is grilled right to retain the juiciness. And the spicy cabbage and apple slaw enhances the overall flavour of the mouthful bite.
In the display cabinet at Platform One Espress0 (photo by writer)
Platform One Espresso does not adorn the corridors of Sydney CBD but the humble heart of St George area. In spite of that, given the ease of accessibility by public transport and availability of streetside parking on Railway Parade, if the cafe retains its current standards, it might end up catering to a loyal traffic as big as the footfall borne by the eponymous platform beyond its circumference. If for nothing else, then just for that Salmon Breakfast and a sip of coffee.