One of the first of the ‘third wave’ coffee shops (they’re not cafes, you know) in London, this antipodean venue is a Soho favourite and inspiration for many imitators. Opened in 2005, it fast became a hub for Australians and New Zealanders. These days, you can still here the odd twang of an accent from down under, but it’s full of all-sorts from market traders to trendy Soho media type.
Coffee – 5/5
Serving its own Square Mile blend, this cappuccino was truly excellent. A deep and smoky flavour with a creamy foam. And at £2.50, it was a bargain.
Atmosphere – 4/5
It’s pretty small and dark inside, with a few tables dotted around the edges. It does have a cosy, get chatting the stranger next to you feel, and the old Hollywood pictures on the wall give it a dive bar vibe. Getting one of the coveted seats out fronts is nigh on impossible, but on a sunny day, it’s a prime spot in Soho.
Food – 3/4
Pretty limited in choices, it serves its breakfast menu until 4pm. This consist of the usual porridge, muesli, and eggs on toast. It also serves toasties, which go for a very reasonable £3. I recommend the Baked Beans and Chorizo toastie.
Service – 3/3
With the typical Aussie attitude, it’s chatty and in your face service, but done with a smile and a wink. Fast, efficient and highly competent.
Extras – 0/3
Not much, not even wifi.
Summary – 15/20
As the Godfather of new coffee shops, this had a lot to live up to and does so with aplomb. A bit more choice on the food and some extras and this would be unstoppable.
17 Berwick Street,