Review: Penny Farthing Expresso

Located in Northcoate I decided to give this place a go as I hadn’t tried too many cafes outside of the city area.  The place is located on a busy street amongst a collection of other cafes that looked equally delectable so I must definitely return to this area to sample the other offerings the Northcoate suburb has to offer.  Upon approaching the cafe it was quite busy, it was a beautiful day so it looked like alot of the locals had the same idea as me and decided to venture out into the beautiful weather.  After approaching the counter (because no one greets you or indicates to you to have a seat) I was made to wait for the waiter to finish his conversation about micro brewery beer and what he had been listening to most recently with his coffee drinking friend.  After awkwardly standing there for a good couple of minutes I was finally welcomed with a “Can I help you?” and I asked him if there were any seats available as most of the place appeared to be packed.  He said he would check the back and upon returning went about his business making coffee.   After a few moments of waiting he looked up confused and asked me “If everything was alright?” I reminded him about the table for me and he replied casually “Yeah there’s some in the back go on through”.  Noting down the awful service in the beginning of the day I decided to plod on through, maybe all the other waiters and waitresses weren’t this awful.  Finally after dodging other wait staff through a narrow corridor I found myself a seat and flagged down a waitress to request the menu.  The waitress was not as bad as the first one but struggled with some questions I had about the coffees.  I made my order and after a few moments received my coffee and breakfast.

I ordered the fig, caramelised onion and bacon chutney served on sourdough with poached eggs and roquette with one of their special blend coffees.  The roquette was of poor quality not offering the bitey nutty flavour that usual comes with it.  The chutney was not what I was expecting and was overall much too sweet and dry for a chutney.  A single lemon wedge offered, provided to lift the dish was pathetic and all dried up.  Bread and eggs were nice but where it counted it didn’t deliver.  

Overall the combination of ingredients could have worked better if more thought and care was put into it.  Coffee was nice but I won’t say it was anything special as I can get just as good a cup at anyone of the other cafes I frequent with much better service provided.  Cost wise in my opinion is a little over priced, I didn’t feel as it was worth the money I spent and ambience was loud and felt as I needed to hurry up, eat and get out.  Spacing is an issue in this place as there isnt much of it especially in the back where I was seated and the overall noise and confined space left me feeling uncomfortable and far from relaxed.

I usually don’t recommend to not attend a place but if you do end up in the Northcoate area I would recommend trying some where else.  If you do go into Penny Farthing Expresso maybe just get a coffee for take away.


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