The first thing you’ll notice about Rozelle Espresso is that it’s a huge 70-seater café. The proximity to Rozelle Markets ensures this big capacity is useful, “especially on weekends, when we’re full and sometimes there’s a queue,” our friendly waitress explains.
For a casual weekday brunch it makes for an airy, light-filled space with enough space between tables to comfortably bring a pram and kids who don’t always sit quietly and still. You might recognise the frosty green colour scheme from their sister café, The Tiny Giant, in Petersham.
The aesthetic here is bit more modern, but there are still some cute potted fake plants, along with a green wall, hanging ferns, dangling cords and exposed hipster bulbs that draw your eyes up into the vertical space.
The other thing you might recognise, especially if you’re a brunch devotee, is the signature Persian pashmak-topped Brioche Toast ($19.90). While it has similar visual appeal, the Rozelle Espresso version here actually eats better. The caramel is rounder, and goes gangbusters with fresh figs; the brioche toast is more savoury; and the quenelles of mascarpone that prop it up, make a nice counterpoint to all the sweetness. I’m still of the opinion that the fairy floss is overkill, but equally aware that for many, the visual appeal is a big part of this dish’s popularity.
We juxtapose the fairy floss with Campos coffees. While the Latte was a bit so-so, their cold-drip replacement – an Iced Latte ($4.90) – is smooth, with the milk's natural sweetness balancing the coffee’s bitterness.
For something on the savoury side, there’s Huevos Rancheros Hot Pot ($19.90). It’s a Mexican-inspired tomato and bean mix, topped with avocado and an egg, then stuck under a grill. It’s light on the carbohydrates, with only a trio of super-crisp flour tortillas, so you can add in a charred Chorizo ($4.50) without guilty feelings.
If you do want to stay sensible, the Acai Bowl ($15.90) comes layered with contrasting rows of colourful summer fruit – kiwi fruit, banana, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, plus nuts, desiccated coconut and tasty granola, with a few rose petals throw on for good measure. I know it puts me behind the times, but I’m still getting my head around frosty acai bases, so can’t help but prefer The Tiny Giant version of this dish made simply with tangy yoghurt.
654 Darling Street, Rozelle
Ph: (02) 9555 8999