Many readers and friends had recommended this establishment and I figure that if they read SoS, they must have good taste! So off I trotted to review Bus Stop Café where I was greeted by the friendly face of owner José Acosta. With more than a decade of barista and hospitality management experience under his belt and after acquiring a few “best coffee in Sydney” mentions at previous locales, he decided that it was time to strike out on his own. The crowds validate this decision because you need to be sure to get here before 10am or you will be in for quite a wait!
While you’ll find the interior to be simple but contemporary, there are big plans for a complete redesign, the majority of which will be overseen by Billie Acosta (José’s wife and the other owner) so keep your eyes fixed on Bus Stop Café. There are two or three tables outside and the small interior makes me think that there will be a site expansion in the coming years…
I arrived and grabbed a spot within and for the next hour or so, the BSC staff demonstrated what is required to acquire five stars from me for service. Personality, promptness, politeness and professionalism. They had all of this in spades and their execution was perfect.
One element of the design that I appreciated is that the wall tiles behind the counter are home to various specials and some regular menu items. In the kitchen area they have the recipes for a few dishes scrawled on them and I have to admit that I took some notes!
A custom blended Little Marionette struts is stuff on these premises. Basic coffee art but delicious cups make it obvious why so many people line up here! Regular costs $3.50 and large is $4.
The fresh juices ($7) are popular and include calypso (apple, orange juice, pineapple and lemon), spinach cooler (spinach, banana, apple and avocado) and veg attack (beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger and mint).
I consider myself a strawberry smoothie expert due to the amount that I drink. This strawberry smoothie ($7) was the best I’ve had for a long time, hands down. Fresh fruit and absolutely perfect consistency.
They also offer you the choice of ice cream or yoghurt in your smoothie (I chose yoghurt). Other flavours available are banana, mango, mixberry or passionfruit.
Milkshakes ($7, protein shake $8) can be had with chocolate, caramel, strawberry or vanilla.
I ordered one of BSC’s most popular dishes, the green pancakes with lime ($17). I wanted to order something different and that’s what I got. They are José and Billie’s version of Israeli style green pancakes (ie not vegan style) and based on adding baby spinach, spring onions and herbs into the batter.
Well I can tell you that they’re delicious! They come served with melting lime butter above and this is all topped with a perfectly poached egg. The creamy goats cheese on top and on the side add a great consistency when eaten with the pancakes.
I ordered a side of bacon and this isn’t just regular bacon. See those dark edges? Maple baby! Sriracha maple bacon to be precise and holy wow it is amazing.
The cornfritters ($17) are served as a pair but they are quite filling so are still suitable for those with an appetite. They’re dense but not dry and are packed with flavour. The smashed avocado suits them well as does the housemade chimichurri. This condiment blew me away, it was an excellent partner for this dish. While the chilli jam was also tasty, I didn’t think that it was needed so it fell by the wayside! My guest added more of the wicked bacon to this dish.
What else is on the breakfast menu? Well I have to mention Iggy’s toast with Pepe Saya butter ($5) for two reasons. Firstly, Iggy’s bread is close to being unmatched in quality and flavour. They’re in Bronte, so go and grab yourself a loaf. I didn’t have to drive any further though because Bus Stop Café generously allowed me to purchase half a loaf (there’s that outstanding service again and they didn’t even know that I was reviewing at that stage)! Secondly, Pepe Saya is probably the best hand churned butter that you can get your hands on.
There’s also pancakes with maple, Pepe Saya marscapone and topped with seasonal berries ($14) and the breakfast burrito with spinach, beans, poached egg, chimichurri and sriracha ($17). And one thing on the lunch menu that I think I need to mention (and go back for)… lobster roll on a milk bun with a Louisiana remoulade ($15). SOLD!
On the baked side of things, all of the muffins and brownies are baked inhouse with a few items brought in daily from select suppliers such as Luxe Bakery and Raw Love (protein balls).
The menu will be changing constantly as the BSC crew draws inspiration from a variety of cities and chefs. There’ll be vegan items, spicy items, international items, fermented items and more. It was a pleasure to dine at an establishment that is run and operated by such insprired individuals. Well done Bus Stop Café.
Overall Rating: 22.5/25
Website: https://www.facebook.com/busstop80clovellyrd/timeline and http://instagram.com/busstop339cafe
Phone: 9398 8485
Address: 80 Clovelly Road, Clovelly, 2031
Payment Options: Credit card, EFTPOS, cash