South End Cafe

Coffee: 13/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 25/40
Bean: Grinders Organic

Saturday: A sunny morning finds me walking down King Street with nerd two in search of an amazing breakfast after a long week doing slightly less serious things then writing this blog (dam you employment!). We headed far further south this Saturday then we would usually, until we came to the well-named South End Café.

Scoping out the place as we entered, it is clear that this café is a local’s local café. Couples, singles and what not all walk in, most with a knowing nod at the barista moving to their usual tables.

The worrying thing about cafes like this is that they can make you feel like a serious outsider if you don’t know the score.

South End sadly, did initially fit this bill. As we secured a table nerd 2 and myself were found we left alone for a long while, as people and tables were served around us. I scoped out a few menus myself and the whole experience started to get better.

Having made up our minds on food and importantly coffee, we flagged down a girl and made our orders. My long black and our food orders (x2) were on their way.

The coffee came quickly and had an interesting, if not the coolest looking crema I have seen since I started blogging. It was an amazing multi coloured viscous, with dark and lighter veins of colour running though it. Nice job guys.

Smell wise it had a rich and dark aroma, something almost to an Italian roasted level. The coffee also carried flowery/ fruity smells, which were pleasant, but a little contracted with the dark roast.

Tasting it the coffee it was far milder then the smell would have let on. The flowery fruity smells really came though in the tasting flavours. I really enjoyed this taste and it’s unusual flavour set really worked well with the food (which I’ll talk about in a second). However, it’s contracting aroma served as a bit of a distraction and took away from the taste, I’m not sure if this is a better milk based coffee destination.

The food at the South End is kind of fabulous and most likely the reason you will stop by. It’s all inspired of Middle Eastern flavours and concepts, thus meaning haloumi, the god of cheese, fields a place of pride across the entire menu. While my breakfast was a great mix of poached eggs, olives and what not, Nerd 2’s pea and haloumi pancakes looked (and were from my picking) brilliant. And deserved the photo.       

Overall, while the service is questionable and the local vibe possibly overwhelming to some and lovely to others, the coffee here is an interesting (and free trade) experience that really fits the great food that it comes with. If you’re down this end of King really worth the breakfast stop!

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10 (cool crema, fail on cup)
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
Coffee total: 13/20

2. Cafe score 
Style (what’s it feel like): Local’s inner city hangout Middle Eastern flair
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 5/10
Cafe: 12/20

Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 25/40

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South End on Urbanspoon

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