Welcome the new kid on the block! Stazione Espresso, provider of extraordinary coffee blends now has its own café in Surry Hills. You may have noticed the brand at other cafés or their coffee carts being towed around town.
If you didn’t know their café’s address, you wouldn’t know it was there. Some milk crates and small tables serve as the outdoor seating. The interior is decidedly more comfortable and filled with the aromas of food and coffee beans. I suggest you grab a table with one of the couches, you’ll sink in quite comfortably.
This Sunday morning was quiet due to the fact that this is a young, hidden establishment. So pay them a visit and let me know what you think too…
Yes, the coffee is as good as you imagine! Ristretto, espresso, long black or (why would you…) Salvatore instant all cost $3. Milk based cups of macchiato, piccolo, flat white, cappuccino or latte are $3.50 for regular or $4 for large.
A bargain for well made, robust and deep flavoured cups.
Our affogato came with a bit too much gelato but a few spoonfuls later and it was ready for the hot coffee to be poured over. It was indulgent and delicious.
You can pick from four flavours of gelato for the milkshake ($6) – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or caramel. An extra scoop of ice cream would have been appreciated. The flavour was great but there was just too much milk in comparison.
In case you’re wondering, the other gelato flavours on offer are boysenberry, coffee, lemon/lime and blood orange.
Yes there is a breakfast menu (I’ll get to that later) but the brunch/lunch menu contains some gorgeous dishes too! The bruschetta al pomodoro ($7.50) boasts a stack of tomato, Spanish onion and herbs atop oil and garlic brushed toast. It is all well seasoned and a suitable dish to cut up and share round a table.
Other dishes on the lunch menu include insalata caprese (sliced tomato, basil, oregano, anchovies, buffalo mozzarella & chilli black olives drizzled with cold press olive oil and glazed balsamic vinegar, $15.50), antipasto (pancetta, serrano prosciutto, mortadella, sopressa salami, milawa blue cheese, crotonese pecorino, dolce provolone with black Italian chilli olives served with bread, $22.50) and traditional lasagne (bolognese with rich Napoletana sauce served with salad, $15.50).
The Italian influence permeates most of the dishes with unmistakable herbs and flavours. We found the entire menu was teaming with fresh ingredients and overall it was quite refreshing to see fare we don’t usually come across.
If you’re after something fresh and fruity to start your morning, the Farmer Jo toasted muesli ($9.50) will hit the spot. While credit for the muesli (which itself is delicious) goes to Farmer Jo, the yoghurt, stewed fruits and honey all add a tremendous amount of flavour. It’s not the most elegantly presented dish but the size for the price and the taste got the thumbs up from my guest.
I myself make a concoction similar to what you’ll find in the scrambled eggs ($14.50). The cacciatore salami adds some spice and a smoky flavour through the eggs while onion, spinach and roasted tomato blend it all together quite well. Scooped onto toast, this is a highly recommended winter dish. The potatoes were slightly undercooked unfortunately but I would happily order this again (and ask for the potatoes to be cooked longer).
One of my guests also tried the baked bacon, cheese and egg ($7.50) which is served on a toasted damper bun. Due to some bad lighting, the picture isn’t worth publishing however I consider my guest who tried this, to be the authority on rolls, wraps or any other handheld breakfast dish. He appreciated the abundance of the promised ingredients and the fact that the roll had been cooked enough for the cheese to be completely melted. The baked bacon in the roll as well as requested on the side of the bruschetta was a cut above what I normally try in my weekly exploits.
Two of the breakfast delights I’d like to try are the eggs Benedict (poached eggs, ham or salmon and hollandaise sauce served on toast, $15.50) and Sicilian breakfast (eggs, chorizo, cannellini beans, mozarella cheese and Napolitana sauce baked in a terracotta hot pot with crusty toasted bread, $16.50).
Even if you’re not hungry, you should definitely drop in for coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. Whilst I could find small things that I would improve with each of our dishes, I’m happy to have been witness to the beginning of Stazione Espresso and I wish them luck for the future.
Overall Rating: 17/25
Payment Options: CC, EFTPOS, cash