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Published August 11th 2014
New cafe not hidden, but still a gem
Raphy's Espresso - Shop 5/ 121 Wellington Road, East Brisbane
Raphy's Espresso isn't a "hidden gem" and it's not 'nestled' anywhere nor is it 'tucked away.' It's bang smack in the middle of Wellington Road in East Brisbane, but if you drive around the area, you'll be forgiven for not having noticed this espresso bar slash cafe - it opened just days ago.
Only weeks ago, the rendered bricks were laid, and now the vibrant orange counter and pick splashback has been unveiled in all its colourful glory. It's not like the area really needs another coffee place, with residents and workers in the area spoilt for choice, but when it comes to cafe openings, this new kid on the block is still a very welcome addition to the inner city coffee scene in my book.
Choose from numerous cute tables, or the takeaway and bar area at the end of the counter.
So many cafes open to fanfare but are soon thereafter almost forgotten in favour of the trendier, and newer establishment, however in the case of Raphy's Espresso I predict its appeal surrounding it is likely to stay, even after the excitement of a new and shiny establishment inevitably dies down. And the glossy acrylic counter? Well it's safe to say that will remain bright and shiny for as long as the cafe operates.
It's not like there aren't already enough cafes in the area, but Raphy's is yet another welcome addition
The fact that I predict long term success for this little food stop is because of its excellent location on the corner of Wellington Road and Mowbray Terrace, but also mainly because for the big 'V for value this place offers.
While the menu is limited (albeit growing) what is on offer is of exceptional value. It's the first time I've had a delicious cafe lunch with rave-worthy coffee for under 15 dollars in as long as I can remember. Most meals are around the 10 dollar mark, and coffee reasonably priced at around 4 dollars so you can be assured of good value on every visit.
Speaking of coffee, this is undoubtedly what they do best and it's quite likely that I'll be stopping here for takeaways while walking my dog since I'm lucky to live only around 15 minutes walk from Raphy's Espresso. There's so much more I've yet to experience in the coffee department of this place, so I'll definitely be back when I'm sans caffeine while dog walking.
We timed our visit for lunch and glad I did so since I've gone off egg laden breakfasts for some reason. I devoured the pork sandwich with great joy, and while a sandwich might sound boring to some, they clearly hadn't had the roast pork sandwich from Raphy's. Generously thick cut roast pork was layered between rocket and apple sauce aioli on toasted thick cut wholegrain - yes please.
The roast pork sandwich layered with rocket and apple sauce aioli was sublime
My accompanying friend enjoyed the BRAT wrap and even though my sandwich was sublime, the wrap gave me an annoying bout of menu envy. It looked amazing and generous with its bacon, rocket, avocado and tomato filling. Both were brought out, succulently presented on crisply clean bread boards. I'd a bug bear of mine when the breadboards are less than perfectly clean since they aren't always the most hygienic however I need not worry with these new looking and immaculate boards. Seemingly small things definitely matter sometimes.
Seeing the BRAT wrap (bacon,rocket, avo and tomato) come out also gave me a bout of menu envy
They also do some delicious and creative looking salads, as well as some delicious treats in the glass cabinet at the counter. The menu is fuss free, and done well with no delusions of grandeur - just quality, thoughtful ingredients and menu items that are sure to be crowd pleasers.
The grilled haloumi and asparagus salad with macadamia oil dressing is one which I must try on my next visit (image from Raphy's Facebook page)
Enjoy the fun bright decor, (with garden flamingos) and the laid back breeziness of this place. In this area of cafes where you are spoiled for choice, the genuinely friendly service without pretence and value of Raphy's Espresso is something to behold.