Blog Archives

Espresso Royale – Magill, SA

357 Magill Road, St Morris, ‎ SA,  5068

I have been wanting to visit Espresso Royale (don’t you just love the way they spell Espresso…??) since my very first ristretto at The Pantry – I know! – Not what you thought I’d write – but [wait for it] Espresso Royale is the home of speciality coffee roaster Trevor De Groot – whose company, along with Bernadette Stack, supplies the beans to The Pantry on Egmont – hence the connection.  On Tuesday, with my hospital visit over and my horrible experience of another coffee still littering my pallette – I thought “before my wife calls to come collect her – I’ll just duck out to St Morris for a quality coffee” 10 mins later – I was kind of there.

The first problem I had was finding the place – as there is literally nothing from the road that says “Espresso Royale” – there is the greenish blue a-frame sign which you see in the picture, but it gives little away.  The second problem which I had to solve before the first was parking our ‘recently returned from the crash repairers’ car – NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAR ON MAGILL ROAD – unless you are pro amateur car remodelling at 50km/hr. Car parked in a side street, and using my iPhone’s GPS – I eventually discovered that the place with the red verandah and greenish-blue sign was in fact the legendary place itself.

The inside is tiny, yet comfortable – succeeding to be funky and eclectic, yet still 1960s kitchenish (I wonder how many words I have invented in the life of this blog?) – in a way that the original Bar 9 completely missed.  You can purchase recently roasted De Groot coffee on the shelf – if you like what you tasted – and have brought cash – no plastic here my friend – except for the table tops – see below!

Now to the coffee itself….

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

the green room on high street – Willunga, SA – UNM

2 High Street, Willunga, SA, 5172 – Under New Management

This is my second review of the green room on high street. I felt it needed another go, not because my previous experience was bad – quite the opposite – but it needed a second review because in the last few months it has under gone a change of management and a change in direction. Click HERE for original review and comparison.

So what, other then that aforementioned, has changed – it seems, quite a bit. Gone is the eclectic mix of  café come studio come haberdashery come interesting nic-nac come alternative hang out come, and in its place is a fairly typical looking open plan café.   Also gone is my favourite Black Mountain Coffee.  With plenty of tables and chairs, and now with the addition of a comfy looking couch, the green room looks less willunga and more Unley, O’Connell Street or Hawthorn.  Not sure if they have changed the food department – my previous experience wasn’t the best, but today it was just about the coffee.

Latte Quality – Good – It was a little on the weak side, but that could have been something to do with the size of the cup – HUGE – and it was a perfect temperature.

Cost – $3.50 – for a cup which is around the mark.  $5.50 for a large takeaway.

Coffee Supplier – Villeré Coffee from neighbouring McLaren Vale/Blewitt Springs.

Fair Trade –  No – no mention in store, nor any mention on the Villeré website.

Customer Service –  – average – pretty much what you would expect – you go away neither blown away by the experience, nor complaining about it;  When I was finally noticed by someone (about 3 mins) I had two people ask to serve me at the same time – however the barista who I stood all of two feet away from, was not feeling talkative – or would even look beyond what she was doing.

Special Notes: Similar to the Coffee Barun, their take away cups are the BioCup brand.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Meeting – Quiet Chat – Study and Reflection – As I ventured in on a Farmer’s Market day – the place was pretty quiet (in comparison to last time) and there are plenty of tables both inside and out , and a back garden area for the kids and I am sure it would be a great place for such pastoral activities during the week.

Boulevard Café on the Lake – Encounter Bay, SA

41 Bartel Boulevard, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

The unfortunate event of my wife and boys having a car accident (they are all Ok – Thank God!) turned into the fortunate event of me being able to relax lakeside, sip a latte and read a book doing sermon preparation, while waiting for them to pick me up (the crash repair place is within easy walking distance – not sure if this is a positive or a negative aspect in relation to the café itself – or whether I should include this stat as part of all future reviews…?? Let me know).

I have known about this place for quite a while, having driven past it on the way to other coffee places, church camps or just going to sit by the beach at Encounter Bay – and I can not really offer an excuse as to why I had never stopped before.  Even at the most recent CoC State Camp held down the road, people were commenting on their nice coffee – and yet I still never went.  But I am glad to say that I have rectified the situation.

While the Café itself is hardly “on the Lake” I assume they chose that name because the “Boulevard Cafe from which you can see the lake through some trees beyond the lawned area” doesn’t have the same ambience {see picture below} – but what it lacks in proximity to the man made fresh water lake, it more than makes up for in style and customer service.  Offering a full service menu from Breakfast through Dinner, the food comes highly recommended – and there is plenty of seating both inside and out.  Off street parking is available – which is a plus – and with a southerly wind blowing you can sometimes catch a whiff of the ocean.

If you are attending the Salvation Army ‘Encounters Conference Centre‘ then this place is across the road and away from the beach a bit….so to the review.

Read the rest of this entry

Tango Turtle Retro Art Café – Willunga, SA

30 High Street, Willunga, SA, 5172

Willunga is quickly becoming the place to go for a ‘café crawl’ – with the Tango Turtle joining the ranks of my reviewed cafés in Willunga, with still as least three more to go.  Situated in a reborn Petrol Station, the Tango Turtle is decked out to reflect the third and fourth words in its over long full name, replete with an eclectic assortment of linoleum topped kitchen tables and chairs from the 50s, 60s and 70s of last century.  The walls of the Turtle are used to display the works of local artists, while the former drive through area features plenty of outdoor seating and umbrellas.

I ventured in mid-morning on a Willunga Farmer’s Market Saturday – when the town of Willunga is full to bursting with people – to find that other than a full table outside, and a woman sitting guard at the door – I was the only person in the place – and still, most of the waiting staff were too busy to offer me service – leaving it to the barista to eventually take my order.  Then while I was waiting (not really any space in which to do so) I was asked to move so that an old lounge chair could be moved back into a 45 degree angle relevant to the table by a staff member who appeared out of nowhere – this despite the blackboard at street level saying ‘great coffee and great service’ – this is actually my third time here (first intentional review) and this was my best customer service experience – but to the coffee review. Read the rest of this entry

Appleseed Café – Strathalbyn, SA

30 High Street, Strathalbyn, SA, 5255

Strathalbyn is one of those idyllic little Adelaide Hills/Fleurieu Peninsula towns that residents of the flats (aka Adelaide) flock to on weekends, and eastern state tourists come to visit to see what air looks like when it does not contain so much smog.  Or at least, they come to the High Street of Strathalbyn, because that is where the antique shops and the quaint cafés are located – you head too far east and you get to the zinc mine.

Located on the Adelaide side of the High Street is the Appleseed Café – which I discovered was even there, after my first subscription edition of Beanhunter magazine arrived yesterday and it said this place was a place who stocked the magazine (after five newsagents looking at me dumbfounded when I asked about it – “what scene Magazine?”) – looks more like it should be in Hyde Park or North Adelaide then in Strath.  Looking classy, yet comfortable both inside and out, the Appleseed Café is known locally for its concern for those who have food issues – allergies, intolerances and other conditions which are more frequent that other cafes realise – and so has a dedicated and supportive clientele, as indicated on their facebook page.

Latte Quality – Good – as with many take away coffees the barista over compensated with the temperature, which (a) made the cup difficult to hold in one hand, with my toddler holding my other hand, and (b) even after allowing driving time to the playground, it still burnt my tongue. And I ordered a large, but rather than keeping pour to milk ratio equal, this was just a very milky latte.

Cost – $5.20 for a large take away which is expensive.

Coffee SupplierVeneziano Caffe

Fair Trade – Probably not – at least there was no mention in store, but Veneziano do do a “Pure™ ‘Fairtrade Organic”

Customer Service –  – average – pretty much what you would expect – you go away neither blown away by the experience, nor complaining about it;

Special Notes – Plenty of food options for those needing gluten free, vegan, organic etc.  Kid friendly with a children’s menu.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was there at around 1pm and while there were customers in the various rooms, it was by no means packed. There was also some outside seating available.  There is also a beautiful Uniting Church only a short stroll away should you need some spiritual guidance.

Port Elliot Bakery – Port Elliot, SA

31 North Terrace, Port Elliot, SA, 5212

The Port Elliot Bakery is one of those South Australian iconic locations when it comes to baked goods – for me, it is like the Marysville Bakery – it is just that good.  Being that good is probably why the customer service is just so BAD – because of their excellent chocolate donuts, whenever we have visitors staying with us, the Pt Elliot Bakery (like Ballast Stone Winery, and the Alexandrina Cheese Factory) is one those places you just have to stop – and so after dozens of visits, we are yet to strike a person who is pleased to be working there or pleased to see a customer….but this is not a customer service blog, now is it (now that is an idea that will fester…)?

Latte Quality – Excellent – which surprised everyone, because the girl making it hardly even looked at the machine – seemingly focussed upon the clock which was ticking down to knock off time (or so we mused).

Cost – $3.80 for a regular take away, which was on the small side of things

Coffee SupplierGriffiths Coffee

Fair Trade – No indication in store – in actual fact we had to ask the girl what the coffee was – and at a great inconvenience to her, she says over her shoulder as she dismisses us “Griffiths”

Customer Service –  – would have been less painful and awkward to make it myself

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – No – one of these – just way to busy (the baked goods as that great – it is not unusual to see a line up of people out the door and the down the street, despite there being about 15 staff working inside – they are efficient, just not friendly).
But – and probably the most important but – is that their Chocolate Donuts are arguably the best in the world!!

The Avondale Deli – Victor Harbor, SA

25 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

The Avondale Deli, according to their signage and website, have been serving the good people of Victor Harbor “since 1888 and has just got better and better.”  Touted (again, by their signage) as “Victor’s Best Coffee” the Avondale is an old-school Delicatessen, that serves meals and also functions as a Lotteries Commission Venue.  Honesty in advertising is such a wonderful thing. Between 8:30am and 9:00am, it is one of the only places in Victor Harbor that is open – not just for coffee – but actually open.   I had a coffee from this place not long after we moved down to the coast (over 2 years ago now), but giving them and their signage the benefit of the doubt I ventured back again their this morning, while waiting for my favourite place to open whilst my car was being serviced.

Latte Quality – Passable – the latte I ordered, while having a truly wonderful aroma, tasted watery.

Cost – $3.40 – which is slightly cheaper than the average price these days.

Coffee Supplier – Mahalia Coffee – which is one of my all time favourites – pity.

Fairtrade – Mahalia do do some Fair Trade Coffee but the one used here – and in most locations (see previous reviews) – is their Blend No.2 which is not Fair Trade.

Special Notes – It was open when I needed coffee.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Probably not – for some reason, this place did not give me a good vide – but then again, that is just my personal experience – yours will most likely be different.
%d bloggers like this: