In Short: Good Fella Coffee is new and fresh to Bella Vista. By the team that brought you The Tuckshop and The Baron, Good Fella builds on the same cool vibes. They do have their own signature though, with outstanding bagels (smoked salmon is the goods), and it’s gone to the top of the pops for best coffee in the area.
I rejoiced when The Baron opened just over 5 years ago in Castle Hill. At the time, I was thankful we didn’t have to travel all the way into the city for quality coffee and progressive cafe cuisine. Then, a little closer to home, a couple of The Baron gang teamed up with Parramatta Eels legend Nathan Hindmarsh, to open The Tuckshop in Glenhaven. In The Tuckshop we had access to some of the city’s best burgers, just minutes from home. Now even closer to home, Good Fella Coffee has opened up in Bella Vista. My excitement, unbridled, I made sure I was there on day 2 to give it an audition. Safe to say, the coffee is outstanding, matching the efforts of The Baron and the food is delicious.
Where The Baron and The Tuckshop rejuvenated and pumped energy into both Castle Hill and Glenhaven, I think Good Fella is getting in early and establishing a footing while Bella Vista undergoes its transformation to being a major stop on the north west light rail network. There is a tonne of construction, lollipop guys and gals, detours, and heavy vehicles. There’s an established business hub that’s flourished for over a decade with Woolworths having their HQ in the area. Previously, the only real food destination was the Petersham charcoal chicken powerhouse Frangos. It still draws major crowds every night, and I see Good Fella rescuing the area with brilliant coffee and their bagels.
The fit-out is industrial with a solid looking concrete block counter that wrap arounds the cafe, and it sports a beautiful La Marzocco Strada. I love the hue of the green tiles that softens the space, along with the giant windows that let reams of light in. There are two tiers of seating, with a cool gallery of seats along the bar that stretches across the back of the cafe, allowing you to look down on the baristas as they go about their work. It’s a great space that will allow the corporates to ‘wheel and deal’ and for regular diners to chill out, take in the tunes and enjoy the cafe.
As with The Tuckshop, it’s a process of ordering first and then finding a space to sit. I started out with a flat white. Single O, Killer Blend is their choice for milk-based coffees. My flat white is superb, in fact it’s the best coffee I have had in a while. Beautifully presented, with a creamy top. Silky textures combine with a perfect temperature to reveal the sweet flavours of the blend. Honey notes, with a beautiful rich, milk chocolate finish. Just a sublime way to start!
My first meal is a Roast Pumpkin salad with Chicken. It’s a bowl filled with goodness. From soft roasted pumpkin with a terrific burst of orange, to loads of green leaves, chick peas, pickled zucchini and substantial amount of chicken. It’s seasoned well, and there’s lashings of olive oil that brings it all together. You get your protein hit, a dose of vitamins, and with the chicken and chick peas, it will definitely fill you up.
I return a day later to sample what could become Good Fella’s signature offering. What burgers are to The Tuckshop, bagels will, I feel, be Good Fella’s calling card. I sampled their Smoked Salmon on Poppy Seed. Their bagels are akin to those you get at Smoking Gun Bagels. A Montreal-styled bagel, which is crispy, not too doughy, and perfectly proportioned. I loved the cream cheese that sits below the morsels of the smoked salmon. Poppy seeds on the bagels gives each bite that added textured crunch. Garnishes of dill and thinly sliced red onion, just elevates the flavour profile and complements the hero ingredient of smoked salmon. I think as folks walked in, they were struck by the vibrance of the presentation, and pretty soon the folks sitting either side of me, were tucking into the same bagel as well.
To round out my visit, I finished with a pour over coffee. Like many good cafes, Good Fella rotate their filter coffees. On this visit, I tried a single origin coffee Finca Genesis from Honduras by Sample Coffee Roasters. A first sip straight off while still hot, reveals a sparkling acidity. Left a couple minutes, it mellows out to reveal flavours of currants. There’s sweetness, but it’s restrained. It’s smooth, and definitely worth lingering over to appreciate the complexity of the coffee.
I was 2 for 2. I enjoyed both visits, and can’t wait to see where the team at Good Fella Coffee take this cafe. Fellow Coco and Viner, Mavis, was a little annoyed that I got to enjoy dual visits, so I am sure it will be just a matter of days until we return to sample more of the menu, and take in the space of Good Fella Coffee in Bella Vista.