It seems like only yesterday that The Roots Espresso opened up in North Sydney but the fact is, they have been open for just over 3 years now. I have been coming here since they opened, and even though I have seen baristas come and go, Brett and his team keep delivering consistently great coffees, day in and day out, coupled with delicious food offerings.
The Roots Espresso Video Review:
The Roots is accessible from either a level of steps from Pacific Highway, or from Greenwood Plaza via a pedestrian bridge-way. Initially, The Roots was confined to just half of the space it now occupies, but over time (due to its enormous popularity) it has taken up both spaces and has enough seating to house upwards of 50 people comfortably. Even when fully loaded, the ambiance is still relaxed and comfortable as you faintly pick up the vibrations of bass coming through the 70’s speakers, the clanging of cutlery as diners tuck into food, and muted conversations as business is conducted.
As I work in the area, I have a plethora of coffee choices. Yet, not long after The Roots opened it quickly firmed as my favourite and daily haunt for coffee. There’s a real concerted effort on the coffee front with a rotation of beans from the best roasters in the country. As of this month, the rotation consists of Reuben Hills, Seven Seeds, Dukes, and Single Origin Roasters. To begin my session at The Roots Espresso, I go with a filter pour-over coffee. It’s a single origin coffee Haro Sana from Ethopia by Reuben Hills. There’s hints of raspberry cordial with an acidic punch yet leaves me with a clean tea like finish. It’s so smooth yet tickles your palate, it’s a bright way to start off a meal.
While waiting for the food to arrive, I quickly sneak in a piccolo! Like my pour-over, the piccolo packs a punch. As a piccolo should be, it’s all about the coffee and that’s the way it is here at The Roots Espresso. There’s a silkiness to the milk with just the perfect viscosity and temperature. The acidity of the ristretto cuts through the milk perfectly.
Fellow Coco and Vine team member Mavis has been sampling the Texas Toddy Cold Brew Panella since the doors opened at The Roots, such is her devotion! It’s only appropriate then, that I relay her experience word-for-word.
The Texas Toddy, is described as a Cold Brew with Vanilla Bean Panella Sugar syrup, ice and milk. The coffee is essentially a strong cold brew ice coffee that is mixed with milk and a special vanilla-flavoured panella sugar syrup which is a type of unrefined sugar commonly used in Mexican and Central American cuisine.
I still remember when I first tried the drink over 2 years ago, I was floored by the heady mix of coffee, milk, and the panella, which gave the cold brew an edge over other cold brew coffees. I was also fascinated how the drink has evolved since my first tasting. The drink is still bang on with flavour and its potency is undiminished, yet I feel the syrup volume has been lightened a touch to bring more balance to the drink. Needless to say, there’s no cold brew either side of the bridge that has yet to beat The Root’s offering.
On the food front, The Roots Espresso splits their menu into a breakfast and lunch service. If you want brekkie, then head on up before 11:30am for a menu with offerings that take you on a ride through North Africa and the Middle East. Pistachio, tahini, and dukkah are prevalent on over half the dishes. All up there are 10 dishes to choose from and this morning I choose poached eggs on sourdough with dukkah crumb. On the menu it sounds simple enough but, as with most things in life, keeping it simple is often hardest to execute. With just eggs, dukkah and bread there’s no where to hide. But, I am served the most perfect combination. As the dish makes it way from the kitchen I can see the gentle wobble of the egg. It breaks and oozes, as a perfectly poached egg should. There’s a light touch with the dukkah crumb and it doesn’t overpower the egg. A crumb of pistachio adds a nice, textural, nutty touch and a drizzling of olive oil rounds it off – simply perfect!
Mavis feasts on the Clay Pot Baked Eggs with Spicy Cannellini Beans and Tomato Ragout Manchego and Sourdough Toast. Quite a mouthful isn’t it, but there no complaints! Middle Eastern baked eggs are like the new age Bacon and Egg Roll. They make for an adventurous brekkie experience and are becoming a more common sight in brekkie menus around Sydney. The baked egg comes in a dark brown ceramic dish and when it is initially presented, you can only see the eggs on top with sprinkling of spices and shavings of manchego cheese. But when you cut into the egg, that’s when the magic happens. The baked beans and tomato sauce start to ooze out and marry with the eggs, spices and cheese, creating a taste sensation that immediately transports you to the exotic Middle East. Baked beans and eggs are a traditional match made in heaven, but when it’s jazzed up with middle eastern flavours and spicy, piquant flavours of the Manchego, well….it’s something special!
With Steve, our resident Coco & Vine banana bread connoisseur joining us for the review, he tucks into a thick moist slice of the rich “nana” goodness. The Roots banana bread is perfectly sweet, with a nice touch of spice, and all topped off with an exquisite dollop of espresso butter. As the butter slowly melts and slathers the slab of banana delight in its subtle coffee notes, the flavours of the two mingle to create a must-try experience for all us banana bread devotees.
If you live nearby North Sydney, or need to escape the corporate melee, then The Roots Espresso is a definite oasis to escape to for consistently exceptional coffee and delicious, and refined food offerings.