Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 26/40
A windy Sunday finds Nerd 2 and I looking for a sheltered spit to find breakfast. Heading south towards King Cross station from the harbour finds us both standing outside one of the most hyper modern European cafes on Macleay Street, La Croix.
I walk past La Croix every day on my way to work, and from my observational experience, the cafe looks like small box (a cool one at that) with a barista at the end. However, scouting for a table I found I could just keep walking and then walking. Turn the corner after the coffee machine and you’ll find yourself in what could be a full size showroom full of French provincial furniture with ‘nick-nacs’. It’s quite unexpected!
It was a busy morning and the café was pumping, Nerd 2 was behind me picking up some supplies for the day and so I managed some quick moves and score the last remaining table sitting just outside on the main square.
Upon taking a seat a girl quickly came up to me, she said – “order now because there is a bit of a wait on the coffee”, which was sound advise in my book, so I did. A latte was on it’s way.
As Nerd 2 arrived the wind had picked up and the table was becoming slightly unmanageable. A lady, who I presume was the owner saw us turning a shade of blue and invited us to move out table inside, really good service in my books.
Feeling a little warmer, I had a better chance to scope out this unexpected area of the café. It feels very provincial French, and not so much rustic as highly decorative and slightly feminine, potentially quite over the top for some, very Elizabeth Bay.
With Nerd 2’s arrival and our table move complete more menus were given to us for breakfast selection. This point in time also heralded the arrival of my latte – it came to me after about 8 minutes if you’re interested, expectations were well managed so no complaints.
My coffee, considering how good the service had been was disappointingly rather lack lustre. With a rather dry look to it, you can tell it had waiting at the counter a little while. Instead of that silky smooth froth it had clearly separated. It’s ratio was off, however, was presented nicely.
Aroma wise it had a distinctive French smell to it – it was fruity sweet, a little creamy with some earthy dry overtones from the roasting. It was not a distinguishable brand from its smell, so I assume it’s a house blend.
Tasting wise once you got over the additional foam the drink was everything that you would hope for in a French continental coffee. Hints of a fruity sweet coffee well roasted (potentially not to a French roast level) with a creaminess that comes from a full bodied well-balanced, roast.
The arrival of the tea and food, to Nerd 2’s relief, dropped my fixation with the coffee for a while. The food was wonderfully presented and most likely one of the healthiest breakfasts I’d eaten in a while (not to mention amazingly tasty). Oh while I enjoyed the aroma of the coffee, the aroma from Nerd 2’s tea had it beat, if you like your teas the Rose Grey tea seems like a killer option.
As my coffee had not lasted the length of my meal, I ordered a long black. This coffee arrived far faster, was presented neatly and had a solid and rich creama to round it out.
The long black in my opinion was a far better call. Tasting wise it was a far smoother with some nice rich earthiness to the roast, balanced against some fruity sweatiness, its finish was a little long lasting butter like in a way and sat well in the mouth.
Overall, it’s an interesting space (décor preference will be quite personal) with some amazingly simple yet complex continental French food. Service, I found to be attentive, but a little pushed when at capacity. And the coffee while pleasant (especially the long black), was let down in its creation presentation (although the orange plate latte’s are served on is quite nice). Milk to foam ratio and the lack of latte art on my latte was disappointing. While the long black was a bit of a lifesaver – consistency is key to a good coffee shop.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 5/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 13/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Potts Point’s understanding of French culture.
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 26/40