Imagine two waffles, each drenched in gooey chocolate and covered in flakes of dried coconut. In between them, is a thick layer of soft nougat parfait. Aside from its tendency to explode out all sides like an over-packed sandwich when you bite in, it looks and tastes just like a lamington, but chewier, richer and less airy.
Find this on the menu of Paperboy, a new Concord cafe from the owners of Rhodes’s innovative cafe Left of Field. Like its sister cafe, there are lots of original ideas on the menu here but the vibe and direction is a little different. “We really wanted this to be locals first, so we’re more conservative here. Not standard, but somewhere in the middle,” says Matthew Abi-Arrage, Paperboy’s owner along with Clovice Khachan.
Rather than completely eschewing cafe staples, chef Peter Tenner (ex-Rockpool Group) is more about working new ideas into classics. Dishes such as baked eggs are served with chickpeas, Lebanese lamb sausage and flatbread; Tenner’s textural granola comes with a buttermilk panna cotta and a shard of pink peppercorn meringue; and the chicken burger is done Thai-style with nahm jim (fish sauce, lime, sugar and chilli) and prawn crackers. If you order the latter, here’s a hack: slide a few prawn crackers into your burger – it’s a like a chip butty but crunchier and more flavoursome. “In the future we’ll mix it up more. I’d like to play to Pete’s German background. There’s a lot of really cool German home-style cooking that people don’t usually see,” says Abi-Arrage.
The coffee, by Single O, is a darker blend than what Left of Field regulars will be used to, a choice Abi-Arrage says is down to the area’s European palate.
The fit-out and design of the slender, street-corner space takes inspiration from the building’s history. Most of the cafe is white tiles and light timber. Light-blue accents and houseplants provide simple decoration. “It was a sandwich shop, a takeaway shop and the landlord was the lady who built it. We wanted to stay true to that,” says Abi-Arrage.
18 Tennyson Road, Concord
(02) 8765 0661
Tue to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat to Sun 8am–4pm