Coffee Trad3rs represents the sort of cafe offerings you can only get in the more expansive spaces of suburbia, away from the bustling, in-and-out inner city cafes where everyone is in a rush to squeeze past everyone else. Situated at the entrance of Top Ryde City, it’s large, light-filled and open, with rustic touches and dark wood giving it a sophisticated edge. There’s a stock of magazines rested beside the cozy couches by the window and there’s no sense of any sort of rush. Here and there are personal touches, marks of a cafe that really values its customers, like the string of polaroid photos pegged around two columns at the entrance. As I’m talking to owner, James Chen, about Coffee Trad3r’s gluten free cakes, an old man greets him with familiar cheer as he picks up his coffee order.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘master of all trades’, Coffee Trad3rs seems to be making a concerted effort to do so. Are you in need of some tinned tea, jams or kitchen goods? There’s a store at the back of the cafe. Are you feeling like a cheeky Friday cocktail? The fully stocked bar will take care of you. Feel like breakfast for dinner, or spring rolls with your chorizo? The extensive, all-day menu – which focuses on making good healthier, will take care of you.
If you’re a fan of latte art, you may have seen 3D latte art, popularised by Japanese barista, Kazuki Yamamoto. You no longer have to travel to Japan for that – Coffee Trad3rs will make sure your Insta-feed is looking good and give you your cappuccino fix to boot.
We started with the French Toast Deluxe ($15.90), which certainly did not skimp on the ingredients. The eggy brioche bread was fluffy and delicious, accompanied by maple syrup and a mix of fresh forest berries. Don’t spend too long Instagramming this one – eat it while it’s hot. I was fascinated to discover the existence of kiwi berries, which is exactly what you might imagine the child of a kiwi and grape to taste like. Easy to eat, sweet and absolutely adorable to look at – forget regular furry kiwis, where can I get a bag of these??
Another highlight from Coffee Trad3rs was its Smoked Salmon with House Special Avocado Sauce and Fresh Made Mini Pancake Base ($13.50), a definite recommendation. Something distinctive about Coffee Trad3rs’ offering is that the salmon is placed on top of a small pancake, instead of a hard cracker or toast. I usually prefer a little textural contrast in my food, but the pancake worked surprisingly well at making the dish smooth and light. The tomato in the relish created the perfect burst of flavour to bring out the flavour of the salmon.
The thick, herb fries that came with the Portugese Chicken Burger ($13.90) were amazing – light and crispy on the outside and melting into soft, fluffy centre. The ‘burger’ is actually generously buttered ciabatta bread, which makes the burger quite filling. Despite the slight kick of spiciness, I think the burger needed a heap more of sauce and seasoning to really justify its name.
Again, you want to eat The Trad3rs Classic Waffle ($13.90) as soon as they arrive – the batter itself is fragrant and buttery and the dish is generous in portion size, meaning you probably want to share with a friend. A home-made chocolate sauce may be a better accompaniment to the waffles however, as the current version reminds me a little bit of the McDonalds sundae sauce, which tends to be thinner and sweeter than perhaps the best sort of chocolate sauce.
We left Coffee Trad3rs nursing a food baby and the starts of a satisfied food coma. If you’re studying for exams or trying for a change of place, you might just find yourself calling this place a second home.
Top Ryde Shopping Centre, Corner Blaxland & Devlin Street, Ryde, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9808 3313
Web: Coffee Trad3Rs Facebook
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Coffee Trad3rs