Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters
Point to any tiny detail of the Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters and owner Alex Ridgway will have an interesting story to tell you. He had a hand in almost every aspect of bringing the ex-Rainworth General Store back to life. See: the bench in the back room made from restored floorboards; the rescued retro wall art; or the handmade, pull-out tables inset in the bleachers-style seating.
He also tamed the overgrown garden and replaced it with a neat selection of planter beds. With the goal of using as little processed food as possible, the NCR team is 100 per cent self-sufficient for herbs. The abundant home-grown produce includes some unusual Japanese greens.
The menu was masterminded by Ridgway and hints at his fine-dining roots – he was formerly front-of-house at Esquire, Cha Cha Char, Urbane. It’s unfussy but interesting. The Japanese-style cheese on toast, for example, packs a miso-egg emulsion, crisp seaweed and pickles. Not exactly your grandmother’s grilled snack.
Other items toe the same line between familiar and interesting. The avocado on toast comes with pineapple, corn and coriander salsa. It sits comfortably next to an imaginative toastie of kimchi, shiitake and pork floss.
The coffee is a house blend of Brazilian, Guatemalan and Papua New Guinean beans, backed by a rotating roster of single origins. The milk? Maleny Dairy, kept at the optimum two degrees using a juggler system (aka milk-on-tap).