In Short: Sub-Station Cafe in Alexandria is a boutique space, serving up delicious baked goods and healthy meals with fantastic daily specials.
I say ‘electrical sub-station’, you say…’uh, coffee’? Maybe not, right? This is not a combination that typically goes together like, say, scones and jam…but do not let this odd association deter or fool you. Sub-Station Café, with its boutique, eclectic, and quirky café interior, housed in the untouched exterior of an old electrical sub-station in Alexandria, is a perfect match. I would say electric, but I’ll resist the urge for cringe-worthy puns this time!
Making the most of the space, Sub-Station Café is set up with a double-sided bar down the centre and a covered courtyard with small picnic tables. It streams plenty of light and funky music into the open space, which makes this a welcome refuge from the industrial surrounds. Fresh smells of coffee and food waft from the open kitchen and the air is filled with familiar cafe aromas. We make our way through and settle in for a foodie escape.
It’s another hot summer’s day in Sydney and we are starving (surprise, surprise!), as it’s getting late in the day and we skipped breakfast (gasp!). So, we break with our tradition of ordering coffee first, and instead devour the menu, struggling to choose between the all-day breakfast options or lunch!
With a recommendation from our server, we choose one of the enticing daily specials and one of Sub-Station’s signature salads. Like a lush garden bursting full of goodness, the haloumi and quinoa salad has generous portions of perfectly grilled, salty haloumi and roasted garden veggies. Quinoa, mixed greens, and Spanish onion, bathed in fresh lemon and olive oil, delivers fresh, green tastes and there is a notable pepperiness from the rocket. The smokiness of roasted capsicum combines wonderfully with the sweetness of roasted pumpkin. This dish is earthy, healthy and very satisfying.
Lured by the daily special of chicken tahini, it did not disappoint. Succulent, grilled chicken pieces are nestled amongst a smooth, creamy tahini ring with fresh olive oil and a dusting of paprika. A generous garnish of pepitas, flat-leaf and curly parsley, and dill add crispness. Served with toasted grain bread and cucumbers for extra freshness, this was absolutely delicious and the bread did it’s duty mopping up the last of the scrumptious tahini dip.
Having appeased our hunger pangs, we turn our attention to the custom Single Origin blend and order up a cappuccino. The cap is smooth, light tasting, and creamy and is great for those that prefer a less bold cup that has dominated a lot of the coffee flavour profile these days. We complement that with a house chai, brewed with milk and served in a cast iron tea pot. The flavours of the chai come through with strength and the special added touch of dusting of cinnamon in the bottom of the glass is perfect.
Now, just as we were ordering up our coffee and chai, the smell of freshly baked brownies filled my senses and I just couldn’t help myself and ordered the walnut brownie. Although my thighs will curse me later, this was so worth it! The house-made brownie is everything a brownie should be, rich chocolate flavours, the crunch of walnuts, a decadent, silky centre, and a crumbly outer layer. Nothing more to say but, yum!
There are so many reasons for foodies and coffee lovers to head to Alexandria these days, with the suburb shedding some of its industrial roots to make way for innovative and creative culinary spaces. Just make sure any visit includes a stop at Sub-Station Café.