Darling Street Espresso
Sitting quietly by a primary school on a suburban street, you would be forgiven for thinking Darling Street Espresso was a typical suburban cafe. But upon entering the open, sunlight-filled space, it’s apparent something a bit different is at work here.
Darling Street is chef and owner Robyn Neaves’ first foray into the cafe industry, having previously owned restaurants including Cases Farro and The Curious Goose. But despite his fine-dining background, the cafe remains adamantly relaxed, free from pomp and pretension.
Warm, exposed red brick and simple fittings lend the space an uncomplicated, easy-going feel. Window-side benches spanning two sides of the cafe are perfect for catching the morning rays, as is the large courtyard that boasts an impressive herb garden.
Much of the menu’s produce is sourced from the cafe’s Riddles Creek kitchen garden, so food is seasonally driven, organic and always fresh. Neaves’ dishes strike a balance between simplicity and creativity, neither fussy nor daunting. For example, a classic apple-pie porridge with a coconut crumble and chai butter. Ingredients such as espresso caviar and zucchini flowers elevate dishes above standard cafe food.
A La Marzocco churns out Industry Beans' signature Fitzroy Street blend, with single origins available for espresso coffee as well as filter and cold drip. There’s also a “split shot” available: a single-origin espresso with a piccolo to chase it down, or the tasting paddle, which offers a combination of three coffees to sample.