When Reuben Hills exploded onto the Sydney scene near two years ago, we were mighty pleased to hear that a spin off was not far off. Paramount Coffee Project was here to rescue the spillover, or so I thought. The space itself cannot be faulted, open plan with lots of natural light. The cafe space is shared with Tokyo Bike, a steady rotation of pop-up stores and the Golden Age Cinema (the old screening room of Paramount Pictures). The whole concept is a genius approach to commerce, a veritable hipster magnet.
|Coffees to start: iced latte (beans from Reuben Hills), the perfect way to start brunch|
Arriving at the ebb of the brunch crowd was a good move, we waited only 15 minutes for a seat at what was little more than a tray table for 3 people (a bit optimistic?). The service was brisk and perhaps a bit forgetful (it's okay, you can write it down). Lucky we weren't in any great rush. The cafe itself is rather plush with its metres high ceiling, big windows and space for coffee tastings, a central banquet and outdoor tables. Just what we needed I think.
|Modern, clean and minimal interiors by Fox Johnston which are a triumph Photo credit: Fox Johnston and The Design Files|
The menu takes its inspiration from Reuben Hills' revival of dude food but perhaps PCP takes it a step too far. I'm all for a greasy handful of a Reuben sandwich once in a while but this was a bit much in hindsight. The poached chicken salad and Avo on rye seemed like more sensible options, which I promptly ignored. Bad move? The aim of the game at PCP is quick turnover = lots of covers. The service is rather fast and furious but we rather deliberately took our time.
|Crab Po Boy: soft shell crab, house slaw, ranch dressing, milk bun and onion rings. Oh yes, this was the pièce de resistance I think. Who doesn't love a bit of SSC in a brioche bun? My only comment would be that the onion rings were a bit undercooked/blonde. They should take a squiz at The Rook's version = to die for|
|Meat Waffle: shredded pork neck, BBQ, green tomato, fried egg, shallot and hush puppies. I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to take this baby on. Let me assure you, this is no duck waffle from Cumulus Up. I was rather curious as to what 'Hush Puppies' actually were apart from rather ergonomic footwear. Turns out, they're balls of dried up polenta, crumbed and fried. This dish proves that deep frying does not make everything better|
|Pot Pourri/Rose iced tea (left) and Schnickers/Vanilla Malt shake (right). A couple of saving graces, the shake was amazing apart from the hefty price tag ($8)|
Look, I'm probably standing alone here but I was fairly disappointed and I think it stemmed from the rather uninspired menu. Riding on the successes of Reuben Hills, you can't deny how outrageously popular PCP has become. It's a beautiful space for sure and you can be guaranteed yourself a good brew (of the coffee variety) but that's about where it stops sadly. The concept of this space is so brilliant but is let down in execution. My advice? An early morning cup of coffee and you're set. That, or head to Reuben Hills where the grass is definitely greener.