An absolute disgrace …

Yesterday, I took the opportunity to catch up for coffee with a couple of female friends. We went to a dog-friendly cafe, as one of my friends had brought her two small terriers with her. We enjoyed one round of coffees and had gone back to the counter and ordered another round. A beautiful day in Geelong, taking in the sunshine and enjoying each others company. Given the relative warmth of the day, the two dogs – on leashes – had crawled under the table and were laying quietly.

Of the four tables along the footpath, we were using one and the other three were vacant. Another group of four people came up and sat on the table immediately next to us. One of the men – a forty-something, overweight man – demanded (yes, demanded) that one of our party move her chair in so he could sit down. One of the inquisitive dogs stood up and walked towards him, as had been the case with everyone else that had walked past. The barrage of abuse that followed defies belief

Rather than saying “Would you mind keeping your dog away”, he let rip with “Control your f***ing dogs”. My friend asked whether he might like to rephrase his request at which point he let fly with a barrage of f-words, c-words and just about every other obscenity you could imagine. He told us that we should have our dogs put down if we weren’t able to keep them locked up in a cage at home like his dogs always were.

What an absolute pig – a completely unprovoked verbal attack. When his female partner asked him to cut it out, he told her to keep quiet, using other words that reflected his obvious intelligence.

I went to the counter and explained what was happening and they apologised and gave us our coffee for free. They then went out to this obnoxious, self-centred, self-important disgrace of a man and took his order for breakfast.

You can imagine how impressed we were that we were effectively pushed out of their cafe by someone lacking even a shred of social intelligence and THEN THEY REWARDED HIM by encouraging him to stay by taking his order.

You will never know how close I came to publishing the name of the cafe in this post – all I will tell you is that I did not review them yesterday but they have been reviewed in the past.

I recognise that his boorish, aggressive and totally unacceptable behaviour was not their fault BUT it is their cafe and they should have acted quickly and decisively to get rid of him – NOT US.

We will not be returning to the cafe ever again – in part, because he may well be there but more so because the cafe proprietors, through their inaction, took his side.

An absolute disgrace on all fronts …

Pakington Fare

 

Pakington Fare has only recently opened its doors in the location that used to house Soft’s Newtown cafe. The location had been closed with renovations taking place for a number of weeks and so I was a little surprised to find that the layout of the cafe doesn’t seem to be that much different to before.

The coffee was served in a tulip-like cup but with about a centimetre of more of the capacity unused. It is good to see that they have chosen not to just fill the cup with hot water but it looked a little underdone with so much of the cup unfilled.

Another surprise was the fact that when I ordered a long black for me and a piccolo latte for my drinking companion, there was a differential in price – but not as you would expect. When there is a difference in price under normal circumstances, it is the milk coffee that is more expensive to reflect the fact that milk costs more than water. At Pakington Fare, I was charged $3.00 for the piccolo and $4.00 for the long black. Either the attendant mixed the prices up or that is a first in my experience.

When the coffee arrived, the cup had coffee spilled on the side of the cup which always disappoints me. There can only be two explanations – the cup has not been washed properly from the previous customer (yuk) or the coffee has been spilt since being made (clumsy, particularly given that the cup was only 70% full). A quick look at the side of the cup before presenting to the customer and rectifying any spill is simple and will demonstrate better levels of quality control – which always makes this customer feel much better about their coffee.

PS: I’m going to leave you with this – “are you going to Pakington Fare, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” – I’ll bet you think of that Simon & Garfunkel song in your head right now 🙂

 

Address: 327 Pakington Street
Suburb: Newtown 3220
Web Site: Not available
Telephone: Not available
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Unknown
Headline: A brand new cafe right in the heart of Newtown’s main collection of cafes. Coffee tasted good, presentation cost them half a star.
Coffee Rating: Three and a half stars

SIP Cafe

 

SIP (Simple Innovative Personal) Cafe is located on a street corner, away from the hustle and bustle of High Street. Being directly over the road from Belmont Primary School might mean some difficulty parking at drop off time but otherwise it appears to be pretty accessible. There is a main shop with pretty much one communal table with an adjacent room containing smaller tables for smaller groups.

My coffee was presented in a branded cappuccino cup – yes, Genovese do make the tulip cups so I’m not sure why some of their cafes don’t buy a dozen of those as well – which usually means no crema and poor flavour. The thing that first struck me was the thickness of the crema on a cappuccino cup – no mean feat.

The flavour was really good as well, at least to start with. Towards the end of the cup – because of the additional volume and the fact that there is a larger surface exposed to both the cup and the air – the coffee was lukewarm at best. For the milk coffee drinkers out there, the insulating properties of the milk would keep the coffee hotter for longer so it shouldn’t be an issue for you.

I reckon that many people who think about coffee in Belmont would only think only of High Street. Of the five coffees that I have now had in Belmont, this would certainly be my favourite and is well worth finding.

 

Address: 56A Mt Pleasant Road
Suburb: Belmont 3216
Web Site: www.facebook.com/SIP-Cafe-407601885941857/
Telephone: 03 5245 8483
Open: Six days per week (closed Tuesday)
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Genovese
Headline: A really good suburban coffee shop. If they had served the coffee in the correct cup size, they might have even scored an additional half-star! The best I’ve found in Belmont.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

The Boatshed Cafe

 

The Boatshed Cafe is located in a space at the end of a large electrical appliances store on Moorabool Street, almost down to the river in South Geelong.

The coffee, presented in a yellow cappuccino cup, lacked any decent crema and as is usually the case with coffee sans crema, lacked any great flavour. I really do think that many baristas drink their coffee in one milk-based form or another and, as a result, simply don’t understand what makes a long black coffee a long black coffee. If they DO know and they present coffee like today’s and every other one that I’ve been critical of, they should be pretty disappointed in themselves

And at the risk of inciting a region-wide chorus of “Bah Humbug”, we didn’t really need schmaltzy Christmas songs to be played while having our morning coffee. And if we really DO need them, we absolutely didn’t need them at the volume that they were being played. Seriously, if I had been with someone else, I would have struggled to hear them over Michael Buble.

PS: Why do we “walk in a winter wonderland” when it is 30 degrees outside?

 

Address: 531 Moorabool Street
Suburb: Geelong South 3220
Web Site: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Boatshed-Cafe/216676025030433
Telephone: 03 5221 0557
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.50
Coffee Suppliers: Two Seasons
Headline: Coffee only fair. Music too loud. Not much more to say.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

Soul Fuel Cafe

 

The preview information on SoulFuel Cafe’s Google listing says “The best coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and wood-fired pizzas in Torquay”. I’m sorry to say that, based on my visit today, their coffee sits well behind my previous two coffee reviews in Torquay.

I know that the coffee was made by a barista because I could hear the machine behind me but seriously, if someone had brought the coffee to me and told me that it was Caterer’s Blend instant coffee, I would not have been surprised. The coffee was grainy and had that bitter taste that I associate with the cheapest of instant coffee – the stuff the make you drink at training courses and parent-teacher nights.

The coffee was served in the wrong cup and the crema was virtually non-existent. The favour was bad and, to top it off, the time I had to wait to (a) place my order and (b) to receive my coffee was unacceptable, given that the cafe was only about one third full.

With the bold claim that it is the best coffee in Torquay, it sounds like I should give them the benefit of the doubt and do a revisit at some stage in the future.

Sorry, Torquay – your average rating has just fallen from 4.5 stars to 3.33 stars, just like that.

 

Address: 57 Surf Coast Highway
Suburb: Torquay 3228
Web Site: www.soulfueltorquay.com.au
Telephone: 03 5261 4999
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.50
Coffee Suppliers: Bertoncello
Headline: The first time that I can remember tasting real coffee that actually tasted like instant coffee. Served in the incorrect cup and virtually no crema.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree