In a moment of desperation, Alan, owner and all rounder at Barista and Cook, developed a little slice of devilish heaven with his Mac n Cheese Toastie. Half starved after a late night he was baffled by the contents of his pantry, only finding Mac n Cheese and some bread he grilled it all together, with a generous slathering of butter and placed it on the jaffle maker. These are the life defining moments we have, realising how a creation like this must be released to the general public.
Barista and Cook is a newly open café in Waterloo and just four weeks in to trading it is gaining a steady crowd for weekend brunch and making lazy weekdays even better. The modern industrial place is filled with hanging plants, creating a garden retreat. The café is fitted with bench couches, perfect for sinking into and slowly slipping into a food coma.
Barista and Cook is equally focused on coffee and food, as the name would suggest. Coffee is by Gypsy, but with a brew bar also set up Cold Drip and more is on offer. The Cold Drip ($6) has a beautiful nutty flavour with a sweet syrup finish.
Looking at the drinks menu you are truly spoilt for choice, with everything from Persian rosewater iced tea, jersey milkshakes, smoothies, fresh juices and kombucha. We opt for the Refresher ($7.50), a watermelon, apple, lime and mint juice as well as the super indulgent Passionfruit Milkshake ($7.50). It’s practically a thickshake, filled with passionfruit and so creamy.
As for the meals, we struggle to pass up this Mac n Cheese Toastie ($12.50) which seems to be an absolute crowd favourite on both the breakfast and lunch menu. The bread is crispy and buttery, encasing the creamy mac n cheese and accompanied well with the sweet house relish.
Taking a spin on the more traditional bacon and eggs is the Char Grilled Pork Belly ($18.50) with chilli fried eggs, crushed edamame and puffed black rice. The pork is super smoky and meaty in flavour and a thin juicy layer of fat as any piece of pork belly should, with a soft, oozy fried egg on top. The chilli adds a nice little kick, but the nicest surprise of the dish is the way the edamame create both a delicious freshness as well as a crisp texture.
For the sweet tooths there are both naughty and nice options, but there is no way I could skip out on the Buckwheat Waffles ($16) topped with butterscotch pears, raspberries, toasted poppy seeds and creme fraiche ice cream. The dish is presented beautifully with lovely splashes of colour from the raspberries. The meal itself is not overly sweet, as some breakfast desserts can be, and is balanced well with the sweet butterscotch sauce and slightly crisp poached pears against the creamy but zesty crème fraiche ice cream, and the tart raspberries.
If all that wasn’t sweet enough, freshly baked tarts and cakes sit in the cabinet at the front of the café, temping you as you leave. Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts, Brownies, Banana Bread, Strawberry and Rhubarb Tarts are all todays offerings, and with a keen focus to ensure those gluten intolerant don’t have to miss out, there is always a sweet on offer, todays being Macadamia and Pear.
Barista and Cook delivers a perfect laid back brunch spot in a bustling industrial area that gives little garden oasis to Waterloo.
Barista & Cook
834 Bourke St, Waterloo, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 8399 1234
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Barista & Cook