The Espresso Room - Northcote
Another first for me, heading off to do a ‘planned’ review of a place that started following Coffee Four Dad. Randomly I had the family in tow and a horse float hooked to the truck, wouldn’t you know it a perfect double parking spot right out the front of The Espresso Room Northcote.
I really loved the corner shop set up that allowed for a vast outdoor seating space and a dog friendly set up. Despite it being mid morning on a Monday it had a fair few people in which I think is a good sign and I can imaging it bustling on a weekend.
There was a very Mediterranean vibe, including the menu which made brunch a real treat. I had fig and haloumi with poached eggs and the pancakes we saw in photos online came out exactly as imagined and brought a smile to my daughters face, she is an experienced pancake critic. (check out my photo of them below, just like the one in the 'brochure' lol)
As for the Coffee, the words that came to mind on the first sip were dry, deep and rough ... it threw me a bit to begin with but the longer the coffee went the tastier it got and the more I understood the boom of the first taste. Ive not yet had a traditional European coffee but I imagine it to be like this one, they roast it themselves so I'm not sure if that was intentional or not but it matched the feel of the place so I'd go with it.
I then spotted the most impressive cold brew unit I've seen, it was a great ice breaker to be able to chat to the Barista. So I could not resist the temptation and had one delivered with a glass of ice and a side of milk. I'm not sure why but I was pleasantly surprised that the taste was just a more defined version of the earlier coffee, of course as it was the same beans.
This place and the experience I had highlights to me that not all coffee tastes the same and trying these various roasters is like hitting up micro breweries, you get unique unexpected, perhaps uncommon, flavours.
I don't know these people, this was my first trip there but something about the Espresso Room screams family. What I presume were the owners worked the room constantly, a sit with a regular, a check in with the waiter or a greet of a new patron. There is a clear 'family' feel to how it is run. Its location is perhaps a little awkward, a coffee sanctuary in an area still on the growth curve when compared to its hipster neighbour suburbs and shopping strips. It unlikely you will just be walking by during shopping etc so it requires a specific trip, but a plan worth making, add it t o your coffee shop to do list.
The whole experience was summed up as we were leaving, the waiter said "I Hope you liked the cold brew, because I made it myself", thats what you get here, I believe everyone there is invested in the place and it shows. The person who served me was the same person who made the cold brew, so she cared more. A nice touch!