Nick Wood and Sean Baker were tired of going to the same cafes in Canberra, so they opened Intra. Their laid-back approach, combined with inventive food and reliably excellent coffee, proved to be a winning formula – it’s now an essential pit stop on the Canberra coffee trail, and a particular favourite with the city’s hospitality crowd.
Chef Steven Hahnen’s South African and German backgrounds bring an eclectic edge to the concise all-day offering. Anchoring the menu since day one is the kimchi jaffle, which now enjoys cult status in the capital. The chashu bacon and egg roll is another mainstay. It’s a more sophisticated version of the cafe staple enhanced with swiss cheese, shallots and Kewpie mayo. Prawn toast drizzled with yuzu mayo and scattered with fresh, zingy herbs continues the theme.
Local coffee roaster Barrio is behind the house blend, with Sydney’s Edition providing a consistent supply of rare and interesting single origins. Teas by Melbourne’s Kuura are enticing enough to sway even the most occasional tea drinker. Kuura’s signature tea “discs” can also be nabbed from the retail shelf, along with coffee beans, specialty milks and coffee-making accessories.
Interiors are dark and deliberately pared back to allow the food and drinks to take centre stage. Stone-grey walls and black tables are kept bare, save for the native flowers bunched on the communal table. The minimal aesthetic is offset by leafy views of Hassett Park across the street, seen through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the additional seats on the footpath outside.
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