Tag Archives: parramatta

Three Ropes Expresso and Circa Expresso, Parramatta

Let’s take a trip out west in Sydney for this post. Well, really, I commute out west five a days, so this wasn’t anything special. But there are some special places in Parramatta that we haven’t blogged out. As the up and coming secondary CBD of metropolitan Sydney, Parramatta is increasingly trafficked by office workers looking for their coffee hit or a bit of lunch.

Let’s go to the breakfast stop:

Three Ropes Expresso

Three Ropes Expresso
Three Ropes Expresso

Three Ropes Expresso (TRE) has made great use of what is otherwise a rather dodgy alleyway that leads towards Parramatta Library and Town Hall.

Cool street art
Cool street art

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do – and they’ve really glammed it up here with some cool street art with crate type chairs/tables next to their coffee bar.

Just chilling
Just chilling

We get there at 9am before D2D has a meeting and there’s quite a few people enjoying their morning coffee or paper out in the open. This guy in red was giving us a few weird looks because we were taking photos, lol.

Expresso bar
Expresso bar

Here they serve food and coffees. They’ve got things like cookies and cakes etc, as well as some hot food. The foods are written on brown sandwich bags stuck on the top there.

Gozleme
Gozleme

D2D orders a coffee and gozleme for breakfast. I grab a bite or two even though I’ve had breakfast already and it’s quite good – not too oily. They do both takeaway and eat in (or out)  for foods.

Some random books
Some random books

Three Ropes Espresso on Urbanspoon

Next stop, we have lunch at:

Circa Expresso

  • Web:  http://circaespresso.com.au/
  • Address: 21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta
  • Open: M-F (7 – 4pm), Sat (8-3pm) – note, kitchen closes at 2pm all days

On the other side of the tracks (the Westfield side) and next to an Indonesian restaurant called Pondok is a garage style cafe called Circa Expresso. It is run by the same guys as Three Ropes Expresso.

And yes, it’s basically a garage that goes far back inside!

Circa Expresso
Circa Expresso

You can see some more street art on the wall, plus a guy waiting outside. We’ve come at around 12.30pm and because of the slight rain, the outdoor seats are wet. So there’s a 5-10 min wait for a table for two.

Assorted table of coffee stuff
Assorted table of coffee stuff

As you can see, Circa Expresso is a specialty tea and coffee cafe. They have a lot of coffee and tea apparatus.

Coffee apparatus
Coffee apparatus

We get seated and given table water and menus quickly. There’s a nice flower and tin of sugar on the table already.

Menu time
Menu time

I think ‘garage’ is a good way to explain this place, because that is how it’s decked out. There’s a random assortment of things decorating the walls and ceiling – kind of like what you would find in someone’s garage of collected junk or at a garage sale.

Menus sitting in an inbuilt window/shelf
Menus sitting in an inbuilt window/shelf

The kitchen is in, and further behind that are even more tables/seats!

Kitchen
Kitchen

After a while our food arrives:

Salmon dish on a pastry/bread/waffle - $19
Salmon dish on a pastry/bread/waffle – $19

D2D’s salmon dish looks a bit small in this picture but it was actually a regular size. I’m not sure if he was satisfied though, because he was very happy to help me eat half my sandwich, which was really big!

Ham with apple slaw sandwich - $14
Ham with apple slaw sandwich – $14

Apple slaw is very yummy! The sourdough was a big hard and with such a large filling for the sandwich, I knew, before I even took a bite, that I would struggle to eat this neatly or finish it.

Milo dinosaur drink
Milo dinosaur drink

This was really yummy! But you have stir it and break the ice cream down a bit.

Iced mocha
Iced mocha

D2D’s iced mocha was “good”. It’s served in a cocktail type glas

Pastries
Pastries

On the way out to pay (best to pay at the counter), there’s a tray of pastries. Yum!

Outdoor plants
Outdoor plants

It’s refreshing to find more places like this in Parramatta, hidden in alleys and corners, despite there being a massive Westfield in the place.

I think the owners of both places have certainly found a good market here in Parramatta, rather than opening yet another hipster cafe in Surry Hills.

The only signage that this is Circa Expreso
The only signage that this is Circa Expreso
Precious comics
Precious comics
The outdoor seating
The outdoor seating

What else is around?

  • Sweet Street Bakery – great pies and other pastries
  • Lots of other restaurants along Church Street – Thai and Italian cuisines
  • Parramatta Park – lots of grass and tracks for cycling and running

Circa on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Sweet Street Bakery, Parramatta

In a way, I hesitate to write this post about the Sweet Street Bakery (SSB). Selfishly and secretly, I want to hide this cafe…lest it become too popular and just another expensive cafe.

Although I can’t really hide it. Given that it’s on a street corner right next to Parramatta train station.

Sweet Street Bakery

  • Address: Shop 17, 162-172 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
  • Cash only

Previously known as the Short Sweet Bakery, this store first appeared as a ‘pop up’ type of cafe. That was around early 2013. I can understand why it was a pop up though – the cafe is of the Surry Hills style, so it was bravely making a venture into the unknown customer needs and expectations of Parramatta.

20131126_124219
The Surry Hills-esque decor

As you can see – some typical Surry Hills-esque features: scrawling chalkboard menu, wooden tables topped with jars with flowers and random books. The decor is understated but hip and I’m particularly fond of the round wooden tables that resemble a giant thread spool!

The walls are also floor to ceiling glass, so you can do some people watching while you eat. There’s a few outdoor tables too.

What’s also noticeable is the service: the regular staff are friendly and seem to care about and love their job. Order is by walk up to the front counter, where you can see all the freshly baked pastries: pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes, cookies, breads and salads. Afterwards they bring the food to you, along with napkins and cutlery. Water is self service.

Our favourite here is the pie lunch deal: $10.

20131126_124301
Pie lunch deal – $10

The pies are a decent size and nicely puffed up. They have different pies all the time – I remember getting an African Lamb once! The pie deal is incredibly good value: you get a pie, two sides (choice of two salads or hot sides such as mashed peas/potatoes).  You also get a drink, and we usually get an organic one (from New Zealand):

20131126_124356
Organic lemonade and lemon lime bitters

I think what distinguishes the SSB from other cafes we’ve frequented is the price and ambience. Unlike a lot of cafes that become too trendy and expensive, this place has stayed rather cheap for a good lunch with a bit of variety and drink. It’s nice to visit a cafe that doesn’t cost $25 pp all up in the end. Secondly, it’s still relatively quiet! Well maybe not quiet, but at least you don’t have to wait half an hour to get a table.

Stay unknown SSB! Shhhh!

Sweet Street Bakery on Urbanspoon