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Review - Espresso on Sussex Lane

While cool laneways might summon Melbourne faster than they do Sydney, there are still some tucked away spots in this town worth discovering. Take Sussex Lane as an example - you’ll find it running between Kent Street on the high side, and Sussex Street on the low side. It’s a narrow canyon between towering office blocks on one side, and the Erskine Street terraces on the other.

The terraces are a continuous row of historically significant Victorian terraces (built in the 1880s) with shop fronts on the Erskine Street side. With entrances in the laneway, the businesses along Sussex Lane help to keep their historic façades intact by confining contemporary changes to the rear. Sandwiched between Small Bar and The Bandit's Roost (formerly Shirt Bar), who both serve booze, Espresso on Sussex Lane has the rest of your daytime needs covered.

While the inside décor isn’t particularly noteworthy, our al fresco laneway table gave us a good view of the architecture and a steady people watching parade.

Most seem to be diving in for an afternoon Campos coffee pick-me-up, though I buck the trend with a Mad Mazza ($7) juice. Presented in a glass jar with a handle, this colourful concoction neatly avoids the too-sweet watermelon juice trap by adding pineapple, orange, lemon and beetroot juice for interest and acidity.

Current owner, Baris Kopuz, has had the space for two years. During a brief visit to my table, he explained that converting it from “a basic espresso bar that cooked scrambled eggs in a microwave” to what it is today hasn’t all been smooth sailing. While Kopuz tried out some different price points along the way, he finally hit a menu offering he was happy with in August. His Jamaican Jerk Burger ($12) makes me pretty happy too, though to be fair, I’m a sucker for anything that employs spears of freshly grilled pineapple. With spicy chook, lime mayo, and crisp greens sandwiched in a milk bun, it’s tasty but messy, so be sure to tuck in your tie and lean over the plate.

For an all-day breakfast dish you can order at lunch without looking like you’re hung-over, Chipotle Edamame ($15) is your go-to. Charred bacon, grilled chorizo and chipotle-buttered edamame beans help to elevate the smashed avocado café standard into something more exciting. Presented on thin toast with a fried egg, it’s surrounded by rocket and pesto, with lashings of balsamic glaze, all assembled in a way that avoids looking dated. I’d happily eat here again.

Espresso on Sussex Lane
Building E, Sussex Lane, Sydney
Ph: (1300) 886 104

Espresso on Sussex Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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