Kyosk Cafe

 

Another recommendation – this time from Geelong Coffee follower, Kathryn of Ocean Grove. Thanks, Kathryn!

Kyosk is attached to the Kyo Yoga centre in The Parade in Ocean Grove. There a number of different areas within the cafe, including a couple of outdoor sections – ideal for a nice sunny winter day like today. Being Sunday lunchtime, there was a great mix of people enjoying each other’s company in a friendly, relaxed environment.

There was a little confusion about whether table service was offered or not – it appears that different parts of the cafe work in different ways. Either way, I ended up ordering my coffee and stepped outside to enjoy some sunshine.

Kyosk are promoting themselves as “Ocean Grove’s newest foodie haven”, according to their web site. I feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole “foodie” thing – my food tastes are relatively simple and so I was pleased to see that there were relatively unsophisticated items on the menu as well as few more complex offerings for the “foodies” of Ocean Grove.

The coffee was really good. Served in the correct cup with a good solid crema, it tasted as good as it looked. A rich and smooth flavour that would have seen me ordering a second cup had I not been to another cafe immediately beforehand.

The cafe is very much family friendly, wiht kids menu items as well. My main criticism relates to its location – right on the bend where The Terrace meets Hodgson Street. With the exception of a couple of disabled parks immediately outside the cafe, you will need to park in the shopping centre car park and walk across. Something to think about from a child-friendly perspective.

That said, I’ll certainly return for another coffee next time I’m in Ocean Grove.

 

Address: 91 The Parade
Suburb: Ocean Grove
Web Site: www.kyosk.com.au
Telephone: 0403 811 273
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Proud Mary
Headline: Tricky location but otherwise a really good, family-friendly place to drink really good coffee.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

McGains Cafe

 

I was encouraged to visit McGains Cafe by none other than Catherine, the manager of the aforementioned cafe. She said “We’d love you to pop in and try our coffee. People rave about it (and the food, and the ambience) but we’d like your opinion, too … It’ll be worth the effort. I promise.” Flattered to be asked, I took up Catherine’s invitation but in keeping with my modus operandi, did so without Catherine knowing I’d been in. This ensures that I am treated just like anyone else and can give you an unbiased opinion.

So, was Catherine right – was it worth the effort?

For the most part, yes, she is right – it IS worth the effort to drive to Anglesea to sample their fare. I chose to go for breakfast to see what their food was like as well and, since this is a coffee review and not a food review, I’ll just say that the food was really good. But to the coffee …

My heart sank a little when I saw the brand of coffee that they serve – as you will know from previous posts, I am not a great fan of the local Coffee Cartel blends. In the places where I have tried it around the district, I have found that the brew has been too bitter for my taste.

But, I am pleased to report that today’s version was very good – much smoother and less bitter than my experience in other places. I must note at this point that the coffee was not served in a tulip cup and with the larger top surface area, the crema was broken when the coffee arrived. But, at the end of the day, the taste was really good – the best Cartel Coffee I have tasted thus far. Maybe it was different blend. Maybe it was brewed by a better barista. Either way, it was a really good cup of coffee.

And as for the ambience – the cafe is set in the grounds of a nursery and adjacent to an organic food store. So rather than funky hipster or beach side shack, McGains is more earthy and “real” than many other places I have visited on this journey. Certainly somewhere you can relax with friends or family if you are looking for something good on a Sunday morning (or any other day of the week!).

 

Address: 1 Simmons Court
Suburb: Anglesea 3230
Web Site: www.mcgains.com.au
Telephone: 03 5263 3841
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Coffee Cartel
Headline: Set in the grounds of a plant nursery and adjacent to an organic food store, there’s something earthy and real about McGains. In my opinion, they brew Coffee Cartel coffee better than CC themselves.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

Seasons Cafe – Geelong East

 

Seasons Cafe is operated by local not-for-profit organisation, Karingal, in two locations in Geelong – one in Douro Street in Geelong North and the one that I visited in McKillop Street in Geelong East (corner of Humble Street). To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect – with a focus on inclusion for people with a disability or mental illness, older people and those who are disadvantaged, I was wondering how well the cafe would shape up.
 

I need not have worried – the cafe is bright and fresh, the staff I met seemed pleased to be at work (in stark contrast to some places I’ve been on a Sunday) and the food and coffee were very, very acceptable. I may have been fortunate to go there so early because I was the only person there at the start which means that my food and coffee arrived promptly. The coffee was rich in flavour and smooth in taste.
 

A few locals came and went while I was there – from what I can see, Seasons has little competition in the immediate area. If you live within walking distance, I would suggest that it would make a very good local cafe. If you don’t, I’d suggest that getting the car keys out and driving to Seasons would be well worth the effort.

I haven’t tried the Geelong North version yet but after my experience in the east, it’s on my list!

 

Address: 285a McKillop Street
Suburb: Geelong East 3220
Web Site: easternhub.org.au/what-we-offer/seasons-cafe
Telephone: 5249 6100
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Piazza D’Oro
Headline: Nice environment. Good food. Really good coffee. Give it a try and support Karingal as well!
Coffee Rating: Four stars