The suburb of Paddington is humming with cafes, but one its most delightful isn't the sort of place you'd simply stumble upon. Tucked in the corner of a newish strip of shops on out-of-the-way Kennedy Terrace, The Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co. is a true local haunt. It caters for all crowds, including early morning starters in search of coffee-to-go, sleepyheads seeking all-day breakfasts, and those with rumbling tummies looking for lunch.
As the name suggests, the Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co is also a destination for all manner of anthropomorphic adventures. There are dozens of foxes and rabbits - ceramic, stone, chalkboard, moss-covered and more - hiding out in pot plants and other locations around the cafe, and a mural inspired by Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox takes pride of place upon one of the walls. Devoted customers have also helped to decorate, surprising owners David Keegan and Victoria Wall with themed contributions of their own. Further upping this quirky ante, The Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co decorates with charity shop charm. We sat on mismatched chairs, ate from a table that was a recycled door and stirred our coffee with vintage spoons (the likes of which my grandmother would have loved).
In less skilled or less passionate hands, this venue could seem gimmicky - but what really makes The Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co work is the fabulous food and coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed what is described on the menu as 'fancy avocado' ($12). The firm, fresh, just-picked avocado lent a delicious creaminess, corn kernels carved from the husk added sweetness, and Danish feta delivered a salty, tangy kick. The best bit? I got to feel virtuous while eating it. My companion couldn't claim the higher culinary ground. He chose French toast ($15) in the form of a thick-cut brioche loaf soaked in egg, blueberries, raspberry coulis, mascarpone, macadamias, and maple syrup. Ultra-indulgent, but thoroughly worth it, he says.
The Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co's quirky interior. Author image.
There was also plenty left on the menu to try next time. A woman sitting at the table behind us was chowing down on a hearty plate of nachos - warmed corn chips, house-made Mexican chilli beans, natural yoghurt and cumin, mersey valley cheddar cheese ($19 if you add guacamole, which she did). I'd also love to sample the pulled pork sandwich with smokey barbecue sauce, house made tangy green apple coriander and red cabbage coleslaw, toasted rye sourdough, crinkle cut BBQ chips, rocket and almond salad with balsamic glaze ($15).
As an former coffee roaster and barista, Keegan is passionate about the beans which are custom blended to his specifications. The proof of his know-how was in the latte I sipped, as slowly as possible, wishing it would never end. Moreish milkshakes (including flavours like Oreos), smoothies, iced crushies and freshly-squeezed juices are also available for those seeking alternate ways to fuel the day.