Just when we were despairing that Lismore has all the best cafes, along came something exciting. Marrickville café, District, strikes a great balance between keeping things real and cutting edge cool.
Taking inspiration from similar café-meets-nightclub spaces in Berlin, owner Ash Houghton, has put together a visually spectacular space that club kids of any age will feel instantly at home in.
Kaleidoscopic collage celebrating iconic women takes up one wall. On another wall, the same local artist, Tiera Boo, plays around with Bowie and pastels.
From the ceiling dangle test-tube Edison lights, and hanging tyres filled with a luscious collection of living plants. Over the all-important coffee machine, you’ll find bright red trucker mudflap girl neon.
The back room is also worth a gander, with pop art tables and velvet couches, quirky neon and wall-sized female cartoon character face-off.
Craving both daylight and coffee, we settled in the front room, and felt ourselves quickly unwind to deep throbbing house, delivered from the quality sound system.
Barista Kat quickly had us smiling with personable service and a golden touch with Golden Cobra's amazing coffee.
Drunk across a latte, strong flat white and cold drip, their particular blend, My Brother’s Wife, really delivered. This is the coffee I use at home for very good reason, and Kat really does it proud.
Drawing upon experience gathered at Newtown’s Satellite and St Peter’s (now defunct) Velvet Garage, Houghton’s hand-made menus hold a clever list of updated café classics.
On the fancy side there’s the Dead Posh Crab Scram ($20) with crab, miso corn, jalapeno, Spanish Mahon cheese and lashings of chipotle ranch, presented with Brickfields sourdough.
On the simpler side there’s a tasty Chorizo Sanga ($13) wrapping grilled chorizo, fried egg, rocket and house-made onion jam inside crusty, white bread. Simplicity leaves nowhere to hide bad produce - and everything on this sandwich rocks.
Now if you do crave more oomph on any dish, District has an arsenal of chilli sauces, as well as sachets of French's yellow mustard.
We worked our way through them with the chips that came with our Sweet Miso Eggplant Burger ($17), conveniently presented on a paper mat for your dip and drag hot sauce adventure. This vegetarian burger contains an unusual mix of charred eggplant slices, lotus root chips, raspberry daikon ‘slaw, caramelised pink lady apples, pickled cucumber and crisp shallots. It is let down slightly by a too-dense bun, but the texturally interesting interior is a win.
If things get too heated, the Strawberry Lemon and Pine Frappe ($6.50) will sort out your mouth. We also constructed our own Orange, Carrot and Ginger Juice ($7.50) from their fresh juice ingredient range. Both drinks were colourful with quirky tropical presentation. Yes, there's plenty to like at this upbeat, Marrickville oasis.
Thanks to the Australian Good Food Guide for arranging this visit.
107 Addison Road, Marrickville
Ph: (0424) 920 962