Ando: Delighted to travel somewhere local for breakfast, I couldn’t be happier driving to Ristretto & Co. Belle, B and I arrived around 7.30am and though there was a parking meter along Northumberland Street, luckily we avoided paying any fees as the meter starts at 9am on Saturdays.
Sharing the same building with a hairdresser, Ristretto & Co has an Inner West cafe feel to it. My first impression was that the cafe wasn’t very wide, but found out that it boasts a charming rear courtyard with abundant seating. Breakfast starts at 6am from Monday to Friday but on Saturdays it starts at 7am. The rear courtyard opens at 8am but the friendly owner Frank allowed us to sit early. There was a large menu to the left wall of the cafe but they also have menus on miniature clipboards. It’s an order and pay at the counter system here.
I admire the wooden and metal finishings throughout the cafe and the attention to detail of particular centrepieces for example coffee portafilters used as door handles. Since the cafe shares the same lot with the hairdressers, I assume they share similar amenities. Where I sat there were a few occasions where it was displeasing to move out of the way for patrons going to the toilet and staff heading to the laundry room.
Soy flat white ($3.5 + $0.5 soy). Long black ($3.5). Soy piccolo ($3 + $0.5 soy). As you can tell from the picture below, they use Campos beans here and the barista did a great job with the coffee. Of course Bonsoy for the soy milk. One of the waiters slightly tipped the soy flat while en route to our table. He apologised and brought out a new cup a few minutes later.
Bacon & egg brioche with provolone, aioli and smokey bbq ($8). Firstly, I have to say that prices here don’t leave a hole in your wallet. The brioche looked burnt but didn’t taste burnt at all. It was slightly thin for my liking but I did enjoy the sharp taste of the provolone with the sweet smokey flavour of the sauce.
Truss tomato, smoked ham, basil and flor di latte toasty ($6). Simple flavours making it a delightful dish. By the time I got to the second toasty, the bottom of the bread was soggy from the truss tomato which was a bit of a shame.
Avocado & fetta mash on soy and linseed toast ($6). Another simple and affordable dish. The toast was slightly burnt but I didn’t really mind. I’ve had avocado and fetta toasts before but not served as a mash. It allowed the tangy fetta to be dispursed. This dish was topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper.
A blackboard sign outside the cafe displays the pasta of the day. I would definitely like to revisit and try the pasta. You can check out their facebook page for contact details and updates on items such as their pasta of the day.
Oh, and remember it’s cash only!
158 Northumberland Street, Liverpool, NSW 2170
(02) 9821 1880
Operating Hours: Monday to Friday – 6am till 4pm; Saturday – 7am till 3pm.