The old Cadbury Chocolate Factory in The Rocks may have once been the sweetest building for miles, but fear not, we can rejoice that the building hasn’t been completely lost to corporate and residential hounds. Kansas City Shuffle has opened up and it’s a rocking addition to the area. The lineage is good here with chef Kayne Papworth, that wowed with Proud Mary, and Benny Sweeten who worked his magic by establishing Joe Black. And, by the way was also a barista at Proud Mary. Booyah!
Kansas City Shuffle Video Review:
I was intrigued by the name Kansas City Shuffle, so I had to google it. I learned that not only was it a jazz tune from the 20s, but it was also a game of subterfuge. Now, I am not suggesting there’s anything untoward with Kansas City Shuffle, but there’s a little ‘trickery’ going on. As you approach the cafe you could be forgiven for thinking it was just two cutout holes in a wall with a couple tables out front. Don’t be fooled though – there’s so much more, literally, and figuratively, if you do venture under the big glass door. Kansas City Shuffle has a cavernous interior, with a very smart looking dining area with cute little booths that keeps you close to the kitchen. There’s also an area to the side where you can still sit in and relax with your coffee but note, this will be transformed into a bar soon! There are also little alcoves, filled with light, that really allow you to escape to a more intimate setting.
In an area bereft of classy coffee, Kansas City Shuffle serve Single Origin Roasters and a drink by the name of Magic! Yes, I needed some of that magic – a double shot ristretto with milk – bam! As you can imagine, it’s strong, yet I get distinct, chocolate flavours that permeate through the milk. There’s a nice marriage between the coffee and milk, with a thicker texture than my normal caps, and yet I enjoy slowly savouring the liquid goodness. Let’s hail Kansas City Shuffle, as they have delivered the northern end of the CBD from coffee mediocrity!
KCS’s cold drip is served in a whisky glass tumbler with engraved design. With their beans sourced from, and provided by, Single Origin Roasters, the cold drip is a light and fruity extraction, which has a smooth, rich taste with minimal acidity. In the warmer months, if you are looking for a cold drink that is able to give you a coffee hit, but is sophisticated at the same time, KCS’s cold drip is your drink of choice.
Rounding out our trifecta of KCS’s perfectly brewed beverages, is the café stalwart – the cappuccino. Just to mix it up a little, and acknowledge that some of us coffee connoisseurs prefer our cup sans caffeine, we choose the decaf cappuccino to see if we could catch our outstanding barista off guard. As with the other drinks, this delightfully light, smooth, and richly flavoured sip was one of the best decaf caps we’ve ever tasted. Not giving up any complexity or maturity in flavour to its caffeinated cousin, this brew is a testament to what a quality café and skilled barista can achieve when they focus on the essentials.
With our palates tickled with delightful hits of caffeine, it’s time for the main event!
Superfoods are all the rage, whether it’s kale in various forms or acai bowls, and now chia. We’ve all seen these items on café menus that are clearly “trying too hard” or are there just to prove they are “hip to the latest food trends”. To the uninitiated in the virtues of the Kansas City Shuffle Chia Pudding, you’d be forgiven for thinking along those lines. Let me tell you though, this bowl of goodness is in no way a poser! The Chia Pudding is light, smooth, fresh, perfectly textured and popping with a spectrum of flavours. I’d rarely say that I’m surprised by a dish, but I genuinely took a moment to consider how such a seemingly simple offering on the menu could deliver way above expectation. From the silky smooth mouth-feel of the pudding itself, to the perfect touch of mint, every element of the dish works hand-in-hand to enhance the others. The shaved apples, hazelnuts, berries, and puffed grains all collaborating to make it a breakfast plate I’d take a detour to enjoy.
Kansas City Shuffle has lots of great dishes on their menu, but one of the signature offerings is its KCS Style Beef Brisket. It is a braised beef brisket served with waffles, smoked chilli butter and poached eggs. Breakfast, you say? I say, why not? You are probably thinking how they can get beef brisket ready for breakfast? All I can say to that is, the cooking team must start work really early as the beef is fall-off-the-bone perfection, jam-packed with lots of bbq flavours, and jazzed up by the smoked chilli butter.
Placing the beef brisket on top of the light and fluffy waffle is a little bit of genius, as all the yummy juices from the brisket infuse into the waffle.
There is not one, but two, poached eggs both served and cooked to gooey perfection. When you cut into the egg, the yolk oozes out and fuses so well with the rest of the flavours of the dish. The sprinkling of chives add colour and a delicate dose of onion and garlic flavour. The extra drizzling of sauce around the entire dish is much appreciated, because I can’t get enough of it. Suffice to say, I am telling anyone who asks about beef brisket, to head to 195 Gloucester Street in The Rocks, that’s all!
Kansas City Shuffle are passionate about their food and it is reflected in the fact that they make all their own sauces, marinades…basically everything, but the sourdough. It’s with interest then I sample their toasted pumpkin bread with avocado, whipped feta, fresh heirloom tomatoes and chives. Their pumpkin bread is a revelation. It’s soft, with a cake-like texture that doesn’t crumble, and is moist, with a distinct, yet not overpowering, pumpkin flavour. Mix it with the ultra smooth feta and the rich avocado and tomato, you experience an explosion of flavours! Toasted seeds add a crunchy texture along with a nutty flavour, and with generous drizzles of olive oil this makes for a luxurious, filling breakfast without the need for meat, fish or eggs.
To say we left Kansas City Shuffle with a good impression is definitely understating our experience! The food was perfect, the service staff are ultra relaxed and helpful and, the flexibility of the space means they can cater to larger groups and be segmented away from the rest of the patrons. Good work Kansas City Shuffle for creating a destination for foodies who appreciate great coffee and absolutely sensational brunch offerings.