Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
10. Aug, 2011
The stretch of Little Bourke Street around Elizabeth is fast becoming the centre for serious coffee in the CBD, with Brother Baba Budan, Captains of Industry, Little Mule Co. and Manchester Press now joined by Naked Espresso Bar, the fifth cafe to open in this buzzing little block.
Launched last week, this new cafe has big front windows designed for people watching, and when I enter the smell of freshly roasted coffee is complimented by the scents of freshly baked goodies and a Buddhist monk is tweeting on his iPad. Good karma.
Owned by Jason Berley from Toby’s Estate and lovely couple Shanny Sena and Tom Ervin-Ward, who ran Elevenses before this latest venture, Naked Espresso Bar reflects the couple’s heritage and interests. Shanny explains “we wanted to make a cafe we’d be comfortable coming to.” That means a friendly feel, fresh coffee and home-cooked food.
Bean-wise, Toby’s Estate supplies the single origin espresso blend and Market Lane provides the filtered pour-over stuff, while Tom whips up generous breakfasts and lunches with a German/Southern USA twist that reflects both his own and Shanny’s heritage.
This includes the indulgent Black Forest Waffles (morello cherries, double cream & chocolate syrup, $10), MeeMaw’s Granola (rolled oats baked in apple juice, pecans, dried peach, dates, honey & yoghurt served with milk, $8.50) and a revolving selection of sandwiches with bumper fillings like Peach and Bourbon Pork and the take-no-prisoners Buffalo Soldier, stacked with Buffalo fillets, roasted macadamias, caramelized onion and pear. Sweet-tooths aren’t forgotten either, with macarons from LuxBite.
And the name? Shanny says it refers to the transparency of the cafe, from the sourcing of the coffee (they use PLAnet Cup biodegradable cups) to the food they prepare. It also means No Pants Monday, where the staff go pant-less and customers get a free coffee is they follow suit.
If the promise of good coffee and grub served by someone sans pantaloons won’t beat the Monday blues, nothing will.
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