In short: Best coffee in Chatswood, contemporary and tasty menu, adjacent to Westfield mall, great service.
Chatswood has always been the retail jewel of the North Shore with its twin malls in Westfield and Chatswood Chase. Outside of the malls though, the streets have been less than alluring with a mish-mash of stores and offerings. The cafe culture has had a reboot or two, but remained grounded in mediocrity. With the rejuvenation of the theatre precinct and makeover of Chatswood station, there has been a transformation of the foodie scene, and literally overnight, the area has become a destination for great food. The District and Hawker Lane Foodcourt are examples of the injection of quality eateries and adds to the already great Asian fare in the area.
On the coffee scene, Elbow Room Espresso has delivered coffee chutzpah to Chatswood, finally! Housed on Spring Street, Elbow Room is a beautiful cafe with floor to ceiling glass frontage that really glams up the immediate area. Inside the cafe it’s a smart little setup. A communal table sit on one side, individual tables on the other side, and if you want to people watch, there’s a bar style counter looking out onto the street. Grey tiles with copper toned furniture make it a warm cozy space to relax in.
While we peruse the menu deciding between the great sounding dishes, our coffees arrive. Mavis orders her favourite coffee, a cold drip. It’s made with Kenyan Karatu beans roasted by Marvel Street Roasters. It is presented on a board with the coffee housed in a conical flask, and a tumbler with a rose motif filled with a bulbous block of ice. Taking a couple sips, I get currants, plums and delicate sweet honey flavours coming through. It’s a smooth refreshing drink, with fruity flavours.
On a similar footing with cold drip is the pour over coffee that arrives a couple minutes later. Using the same beans, there are familiar flavours, but being on the opposite end of the temperature spectrum yields some subtle differences. My pour over is brighter and it leaves a tingle on my tongue. There’s hints of cola flavours and currants. It’s light and aromatic.
Elbow Room Espresso has a menu that delivers a variety of dishes on its all day breakfast menu and a selection of sandwiches and salads at lunchtime. With 2 pages filled with items, you really are spoiled for choice! A breakfast taco is filled with a medley of pulled pork, black beans, corn salsa, coriander, avocado and fried eggs. It sits on a soft taco. You can roll it up and start tucking into it or treat it like an open faced taco and pick at the delicious ingredients. There’s a nice level of spice with the pulled pork and corn salsa and combined with the oozing egg, it’s just heavenly. Crunchy red pickled cabbage and creamy avocado are flavourful yet provide contrasting textures. The soft taco absorbs all the flavours of the dish, and even by itself, is a real treat.
Wild mushrooms with poached eggs and ricotta on sourdough toast, is another breakfast item that delivers bags of flavour. I love the various textures of mushroom from the stringy enoki mushrooms with their mild and somewhat fruity flavour to the oyster mushrooms with a decidedly earthier meaty flavour and firmer texture. Roasted pine nuts are delicious and crunchy, and the ricotta is creamy yet mild which provides a little tangy hit to the palate. Poached eggs are perfect as I slice through the white exterior to reveal a golden, gooey yolk. After my early morning workout, this offering from Elbow Room really does sate the appetite.
No Coco and Vine café coffee review would be complete without trying the cappuccino. In this case, the cappuccino is a full bodied coffee, that’s equal parts fruity and sweet with a slight acidic hit that lingers for just a second. Coming through are chocolate flavours. Overall the coffee is smooth and so easy drinking, owing to its perfect temperature and expert milk work.
Elbow Room Espresso has definitely nailed the brief of providing consistently good coffee with an extensive menu. We especially loved their friendly and attentive service. If you love coffee and need to be in Chatswood, you definitely need to drop in and let the barista look after your food and coffee needs.