Central Cafe, Market City

Coffee: 12/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 23/40

If yum cha is as synonymous with a Sunday morning as a coffee is we’re peas from the same pod. However fellow nerd, where in Chinatown on a Sunday should someone go?

Sunday morning finds me walking towards Chinatown for a yum cha with nerd 2 for a lunch/breakfast kind of thing. Having started my day late, coffee in Potts Point was a no go, so I’d have to find a coffee in the city.

Walking from Town Hall station towards Chinatown did not fill me with much confidence that there were any interesting options on the way. I could have gone the usual suspects, Starbucks, Gloria Jeans or even that Deli France place or whatever it’s called now on George Street, but that’s not what we live for right? As I was planning on going to Marigold for lunch, Market City the ultimate west meets east compromise seemed an interesting bet to take.

I ended up at the aptly named Central Cafe within Market City, found in the central court space. It looked no different to a typical 90s food court cafe and I figured it could not hurt.

Ordering a coffee here was no problem, even though the cafe was half a Japanese BBQ fastfood stop. The only other people in front of me were a big elderly group they looked a little confused. I ordered a latte when my turn came and took a seat.

My latte came to me pretty quickly and hit me just as it had finished layering. It had a nice free poured design on top and sat on another fashionable brown saucer.

My initial impression was that the layering of the latte was just at the lowest it should be, with a dangerous milk to foam ratio (editing note: wow I can be such a wanker). Touching the glass  the heat of the milk was right up there (many would say this is ‘extra hot’), but this kind of super heated milk worked well with the elderly customers who had all ordered ‘mugachinos’.

The aroma was highly chocolate-like which is an easy crowd pleaser, with some smokey hits to it from the roasting process. So far so good.

Tasting wise, it was a pleasant roasted chocolate taste and very milk chocolate like, as the milk had been heated quite a bit. Leaving it to sit, I found some identifiable burnt caramel flavours. This was clearly a result of the very hot milk, but fortunately worked well with the milk chocolate flavours from the bean.

Overall, it was not a bad glass of coffee. The atmosphere was like sitting in a food court, so that’s a little lacking, however unlike a Westfield there was certainly chaos going on all around me, which I reckon is fun. Coffee wise, it was far better than I would have picked it for and looked quite creditable for a random choice. Tasting wise, I would have preferred a far less heated drink. However, the flavours worked well. My only warning is takeaway here may be more questionable, as heat like this never works that well for the coffee’s flavours.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 12/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Food court
Cool?: 5/10
Service: 6/10
Cafe: 11/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 23/40

Central Cafe on Urbanspoon

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