Snapshot: Paramount Coffee Project

Saturday, 8 March 2014

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 pi├Ęce 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

Elvis in Cuba: pork, kimchi, bacon, kewpie, swiss cheese and pickle ($19, I die). This was my own rather unfortunate doing I know :S Both bacon and sliced pork with kimchee and melted cheese - I think it was doomed to fail from the start. Nothing went together here and it reminded me of a rather thrown-together home hangover cure...nasty. This dish proves that kewpie does not make everything better

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 UpI 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. 

Fancy a bike? Score a fixed gear beauty for a small fortune @ Tokyo Bike. Err what's with the wallaby? Photo: Fox Johnston

Thanks for reading!
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  1. What a beautiful space! And what a shame the food didn't live up to it. I agree - kewpie on top of all those rich and fatty ingredients would have been a step too far. Hope they work it out because that space is just lovely.

  2. Service was really disappointing when we went too, shame that you didn't enjoy the food.. although I have to agree Reuben Hills is better :)



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