The Missing Piece Cafe in its open space at Macquarie Shopping Centre is busy, to say the least. It has taken a few shopping trips to finally get a table here with previous attempts made on both weekends and weekdays but be persistent as it is worth it.
Is it the coffee, the food or the fabulous looking smoothies and milkshake concoctions on their Facebook page that entice the crowds? It was the latter for me that I happened upon and the main reason for visiting. I'm a big kid at heart and the amazing pictures of milky drinks in glass jars, topped with fruit, lollies and chocolates, had me.
There's usually a line of people queuing for takeaway coffee and breakfast items at the front counter and another line waiting for a table. The coffee must be good but it was the cold drinks I was a wanting. As it was lunchtime and a special occasion, I join a friend (who arrived early and snagged a table) and we each buy a meal first.
I went with something light, the Duck Confit Salad, as I had to leave room for my sweet tooth to be satisfied later. The green baby spinach and rocket surrounded in a ring of pulled duck meat atop a bed of chick peas with droppings of walnuts, beetroot and orange tasted great. The presentation was fantastic with it looking like a birds nest. Tender meat and plenty of it, along with the other flavours and different textures, hit the spot.
My friend went light as well, with the Caesar Salad. Chicken breast topped with cos, pancetta, croutons, parmesan, chef's own Caesar dressing and a twist in the form of a poached egg, was proclaimed as very nice.
I washed my meal down with a mango smoothie. With the mango flavour delicious in itself, it also surprised in the presentation with the chocolate rimmed glass, raspberries covering the top and sprigs of mint leaves adding further flavour. I was feeling quite full and content.
Some chatter and a breather before sharing a Cookies and Cream Cronut with loads of chocolate, caramel, Oreos and Maltesers, in honour of my birthday. This cross between a croissant and doughnut did not disappoint. It was heaven with its freshness and texture being light and airy, oh and its sweetness, of course.
It's easy to see why this cafe is doing great business when they put so much love into everything they serve up. It makes you want to go back to try other sensations and that I did within a week of my first visit.
I had eyed what other people were eating and had to try the hashtag sliders as they looked so cute. Three small burgers arrive on a wooden board filled with slow cooked lamb, jalapeno mayonnaise and rocket with the hashtag represented in the display of four polenta blocks. I was pleasantly surprised with this meal as I normally can't eat jalapenos as they are way too hot for me but in the mayonnaise, the strength was not overbearing. Another surprise was the polenta as I've had this before elsewhere and didn't like it at all. Here they looked like fish fingers but tasted like potato. It's something special when a cafe can turn your taste buds and dislikes to likes around on a food or beverage.
This meal was accompanied by a Lemonado Mocktail which was very refreshing but I was also on a milkshake mission and determined to fit in one of their over-the-top milkshakes. A special grabbed me that I couldn't go past – the Bantella – a Banana and Nutella shake topped with a twirl, thin chocolate chips, chocolate liquorice bullets and banana pieces. A chocolate rim around the glass was covered in hundreds and thousands. It was divine in flavour with the combination of the banana and Nutella blending well and their presentation once again wowing me.
There's a lot to like about this cafe that also does steak on sourdough, fries, bacon & eggs, and salmon paired with salad. Vegetarian options are available too. Prices at The Missing Piece are in line with most cafes. Breakfast can be had for under $10 whilst mains range from $15-19, smoothies come in at $9 and the creative milkshakes are from $7 and up. My decadent Bantella was $13.
On my way out, I thought I better get something to take home for hubby as he has developed quite a sweet tooth, thanks to me. So I purchased a cronut with flaky and crushed Twirl pieces. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try it as it was downed pretty fast with the verdict coming in as delicious.
Not only are the meals and drinks amazing, the service is also great with very attentive staff on the ball attending to your needs. The only Missing Pieces are in the name and the missing jigsaw pieces in the decor at the front counter. Privacy may be the only real issue as tables are close together and shoppers stroll nearby although that didn't worry me and doesn't seem to worry others as the food and drinks enticing the flocks outweigh this as an issue and if you're like me you're in deep conversation with the rest of the world a blur or you're drooling over your milkshake and taking photos.
The owners are the same as for The Vogue Cafe (also in Macquarie Centre), their first venture which introduced patrons to their wacky milkshakes. Now just open is a third venture, Hattrick, for breakfast, lunch and after hours partying where the antics are upped with killer drinks like the Vodka Nutella Shaketail and a Tequila Frapyay with mint, lime and lemon in addition to beer, wine and cocktails. It's also at Macquarie Centre, located on Waterloo Road near the Big W exit.
You can find The Missing Piece Cafe on level 3 of Macquarie Shopping Centre, opposite David Jones, open from 7.30am most days (Sundays from 8.30am) through to 5.30pm (Thursdays 8.30pm).