In Short: Alt Cafe is that little cafe in Blacktown that punches above its weight. Sublime coffee with a menu that’s exciting and evolving. Our tip, definitely try your favourite cup of coffee and pair it with the Ancient Grains bowl with Apple Pie, you will not be disappointed.
For this week’s discovery all credit has go to fellow foodie, Ramen Raff. When I saw his post praising the good things happening at Alt Cafe, I was there the next day to try it out. It’s been a few weeks since that first visit, and I have made a few visits to see how the menu has evolved over that time.
What had me most excited, was Alt Cafe’s location in Blacktown. To be honest, up to this point, Blacktown has really struggled on the coffee/cafe front. While there’s a food transformation slowly occurring there now, coffee has still not been at the forefront of that transition. That has all changed with Alt Cafe. Walking in, the gleaming silver Synesso is a sight for sore eyes, and it keeps getting better as their coffee roaster of choice is The Reformatory Lab in Surry Hills. On the food front, there’s truly exciting choices and we will cover a few of the most exciting ones below.
The fit-out is very contemporary, with in-vogue warm lighting fixtures and earthy tones throughout. It’s a clean and airy space with lots of light filling the space. What struck me about the vibe was the amount of laughter. The crew inject a real fun vibe into the space, and it’s a warm and welcoming.
On to what comes from the Synesso at Alt Cafe. Of course it’s a Flat White for me. I love the caramel flavour on the first sip. There is only the slightest acidic hit to balance out the rich notes. It’s perfectly balanced with a nice smooth creamy texture. It is as good as any coffee you will have anywhere in the city.
Proving that it is cool to be out west, the first of the food we sampled at Alt Cafe was an Avo Smash and Ash. A pretty looking dish that featured smashed avocado, hand-made ash feta, and roasted cherry tomatoes. The ash theme continues with ash sourdough. It’s a dish bursting with flavour especially with the roasted cherry tomatoes that cut through the feta. There was lovely texture with the toasted nuts and puffed quinoa. It’s an accomplished take on what has become a staple of Sydney brunch culture.
I thought I had one of the best porridge dishes ever at Gyspy Espresso, but Alt Cafe eclipses it, with their Ancient Grains. I have to be honest, I had to google amaranth and teff, the ancient grains that form the basis of the dish. Teff is of African heritage, and amaranth was the grain of the Aztecs. I absolutely loved the textures and consistency of the porridge. Then there’s the pairing of apple pie fresh custard, with apple compote. This is comfort food, next level. I loved the cubes of apple with their silky smooth custard. It’s a breakfast dish that you would expect in Bondi, not Blacktown. I am chuffed that a breakfast offering of this quality is only 10 minutes from home.
Exhibiting diversity is a Shakshuka with the star being pork, fennel, and juniper meatballs. It’s an unusual combination but the fennel’s anise flavours and juniper’s pine-like flavour balances out the meatiness of the pork. Then, there’s the tomato sauce with onions slowly cooked down which gives it a rich sweet flavour with slight warming chilli heat that slowly builds. Four slices of sourdough ensures none of that sauce goes to waste. A perfectly poached egg completes a delicious and hearty breakfast dish.
My family and I have embraced Alt Cafe, and here’s hoping that the community of Blacktown embrace this little cafe that brings exciting and refined fare to western Sydney coupled with outstanding coffee. And, as I write this, they have started doing batch brews, meaning that coffee aficionados now have a new spot to hang out! I spent a little time talking to head chef Wade, and he has exciting plans for the menu here. Check back on this post as you can be certain I will be posting brand new discoveries as I sample them.