Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coffee Traders, Ryde

I'm always a bit (ok, very) skeptical about shopping centre cafes. They seem kind of...sad, lit by terrible fluorescent lighting it feels like your dining underground.  My visit to The Baron put rest to my fears that all shopping centres cafes are not the devil's work (especially if they're to be found outside the shopping centre itself) and my recent visit to The Coffee Traders at Top Ryde has proved this once again.


In 2013 I want to focus on great places to eat that are closer to where I live.  We all know there are a plethora of great cafes in the eastern suburbs and inner west, but surely there have got to be some stunners in the West too. Right? Right! In Parramatta we have Short Sweet BakeryCirca, Three Ropes, Mars Hill and the lovely Parramatta Park CafeThe Baron is not too far away and new kid on the block Element6 makes me more than a little bit excited. And these are just the few that I've visited since moving to Parramatta...what else is lurking out there?


The Coffee Traders is not as quirky as some of the groovy little places I've just mentioned, but a lot of thought has gone in to their interesting decor and menu and I can happily say I'll be adding it to my rotation of local cafes.  The set-up looks like the perfect formula to roll out to other locations, just like Parramatta's Coco Cubano.


I'm loathe to pretend I know anything about coffee, but Coffee Traders does seem to take its caffeine offerings pretty seriously. The barrista looked suitably serious + "hipster" and there was a hipster IN the cafe drinking coffee and he looked pretty happy.  These things are always a good sign that the coffee is going to be OK. This couple with the fact that Coffee Traders offer cold-drip coffee means you'll get a decent cuppa.


I'm not hip or hipster, in fact drinking hot coffee these days makes me feel a little...ill for some reason. I was pleased to see iced-coffee on the menu which has become my caffinated beverage of choice these days. The best type of iced-coffee is just a shot of espresso served over ice with the addition of cold milk - which is sort of what Coffee Traders do, same-same but different. It's a very generous serve, one that I struggled to finish.

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There's a lot of great options on the menu with the food straddling Italian and the Middle East. The mezze plates are tempting but I find the Rosemary and Potato pizza ($15.90) hard to resist.  The base was definitely homemade - thin, crispy and delicious  - and it's hard to go wrong with thinnly sliced potato topped with delicate rosemary leaves. Be warned though: there is A LOT of garlic hiding on this pizza so don't breath on anyone you're not friends with!


VegeTARAian's Neopolitan Pizza ($14.90) was much more easy going on the garlic with a rich tomato base topped with cheese and fresh basil leaves.  The pizzas took a little while to come out of the kitchen but I think they were well worth the wait.


All good things must come to an end...with dessert! Coffee Traders has quite an array of sweat treats to tempt us but in the end we decide to share a Chocolate Brownie ($4.00) that comes presented on a wooden chopping board - it is a delicious sight to behold! The brownie is served warm, its centre chocolatey centre gooey and oozey. Totally scrumptious. 


On my second visit to Coffee Traders I'm all iced-coffee'd out so opt for an Iced Tea instead (about $5 from memory). It's just too hot for me to even contemplate drinking a hot drink in the middle of the day.  The barissta recommends a refreshing Turkish Apple Tea and it goes down a treat.


The breakfast menu at Coffee Traders is small but really interesting with a distinct middle-eastern leaning.  I'd already ear-marked what I wanted for breakfast on my previous visit - Labne with Lebanese Bread, olives and pickles ($12.90). 


It's not something you see on offer for breakfast very often but I loved it. I've recently experimented with making my own Labne (yoghurt cheese) so it was interesting to really "taste" this offering - slightly sour yet creamy. I liked that it was drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good sprinkle of paprika.  My favourite way to eat this is to slather the bread with labne and roll it up with a pickle inside. Perfect!


Coffee Traders can be found on Ground Level at Top Ryde City (Blaxland Road, Ryde).

Coffee Traders on Urbanspoon

20 comments:

  1. Mmm... Who can resist a warm chocolate brownie that's all gooey inside? :D

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  2. Oh you went again! I must get back there and try more tasty things

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    1. I did go again...and I go back! Really like the menu.

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  3. This looks like delicious food, can't wait to try it out very soon!

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    1. It's a good menu - something a little different from the usual cafe fare.

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  4. im not sure the baron counts as a shopping centre cafe!
    i'd really like to try pablo and rustys if your going.....

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    1. I count it...seeing as you have to contend with Castle Towers carpark and all. I've tried the iced-coffee at Pablo & Rusty's in Epping - it looks like a great food menu, simple, but nice.

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  5. This all looks so tempting. I love the chocolate brownie on the board and the breakfast looks and sounds delicious. I good change from the usual breakfast options!

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    1. I agree - it's nice to have a menu that's a bit different. I loved this breakfast...A LOT.

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  6. Air Coffee is lurking out there too - funky independent roasters - give it a go.

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    1. I tried Air over the break as well...really liked it. Be a few times now. Like their iced coffee and simple menu (and it's easy to park).

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  7. i used to work at ryde council across the road - there were very limited decent cafes at ryde during that time. i do pop over there every so often to visit friends so i might try this one out - except not the coffee. not a fan of coffee.

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    1. Not a fan of coffee? WHAT? I used to love hot coffee but I've gone off it in a big way lately - hence the iced coffee obsession.

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  8. mmm that iced coffee looks great! i absolutely hate the car park at top ryde but maybe if i go early i can beat the crowds

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    1. It's a bit of a maze in their carpark, but I get lost getting every nearly every time. Why are their no "exit to Parramatta" signs?

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  9. I am with Suze on the carpark, I ALWAYS get lost in it! but their pizza looks worth getting lost on the maze!

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    1. I agree with you both...crazy car park.

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  10. Top Ryde has changed so much since I use to work there, amazes me now all the great places to eat. Adore their scooters, so cute.

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    1. The new shopping centre is HUGE! It has some good outdoor places to eat which I like...

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