Testimony to blended families, Where The Bean Drops, is a new cafe venture by Alexandra Agrillo and her step-mum, Cinzia Agrillo. The pair are in their ninth week of operation, after opening their Rozelle doors a mere three weeks after Alexandra moved to Sydney to live with her father.
While Alexandra has just four years in hospitality under her belt, Cinzia operated a café in neighbouring Leichhardt a decade ago. Their joint venture walks a nice line between youthfulness and experience, with a modern colourful mural offset by homely touches from knickknacks to gift-packs of flavoured salts.
With the name centralising coffee, I’m pleased to report that the beans – Metropolis by Brewtown Coffee Roasters in Newtown – scrub up well across a Latte ($3.50) and a Flat White ($3.50).
Their coffee is even better if you let Cinzia twist your arm into a mini Sfogliatelle ($2.50/each), combining a crisp, flaky pastry shell with soft creamy ricotta cheese and orange peel, served fresh from the oven. The citrus in it makes it a winner with their Juice of the Day ($7/small) – apple, orange, lime and carrot – as well.
However before you get your mitts buried too deeply in their house-made pastries, croissants, slices and cakes, let me tell you that the real highlights here are the pies.
“They might sound expensive at $9.50 each, but there’s a whole steak in there,” said Cinzia. She also explained that the flavours of the pies change regularly, and they're exclusive to this particular cafe because they're another family affair, baked by a cousin. My Lamb Pie ($11) served with Chips ($4) and tangy, well-dressed Salad ($4), was firm enough not to be sloppy, and packed to the brim with slow-cooked lamb and vegetables in tasty gravy.
While the pie’s sides are shortcrust pastry to help with structural integrity, the top is golden, flaky, puff pastry.
If you’re visiting for breakfast, you can get a healthy start with a bowl of Granola ($14.50). This chewy, baked muesli is balanced and made visually appealing with banana slices, uber-tangy yoghurt, berry compote and a scattering of edible flowers. Even better: it doesn’t eat too sweet!
For something heartier, Classic Mediterranean Baked Eggs ($20) topped with long thin slices of chorizo, proves a fraction too wet and acidic for me, but is generously proportioned with plentiful buttered toast.
Bringing in par-baked panini helps to ensure the sandwiches on their lunch menu toast up beautifully. I wrapped my lips around their Angus Scotch Fillet Panino ($16.50), which combines well-seasoned, tender slivers of Angus steak, rocket, tomato, a spattering of caramelised onion and mayonnaise on a lightly toasted panino.
And if you happen to stumble upon this venue looking for the building’s previous inhabitant, don’t fear, they’ve cleverly decided to keep the former cake clientele happy by doing a range of full cakes to order. Yes, Where The Bean Drops has all the hallmarks of being a good café, with their attention firmly fixed on meeting the needs of local residents.
Where The Bean Drops
569 Darling Street, Rozelle
Ph: (02) 9818 6887