It’s very true that we always eat with our eyes first. Even when we’re hungry, the look of a place must be appealing before we sit down.
What first caught my eye when moseying by Piccolo’s were the illustrations of cold press, filter and espresso coffees on the wall. Add to that, the barista’s bearded. There’s single origin coffee on the menu. They use Brooklyn Boy Bagels. The couple beside us were moaning and extolling over warring cutlery. When my espresso arrived, it came with an excited and erudite spiel.
The coffee is some of the best in Sydney, and far off the beaten track of hipsters and roasters in Surry Hills. ‘We use Toby’s Estate,’ said Fady, the owner. ‘It’s actually good coffee. It’s a shame there’s a stigma surrounding it. With coffee, it’s nearly always about how it’s made.’
And Piccolo’s make it well. The line-up out the door this morning was indicative of its quality. The single origin had an interesting back-story. It wasn’t acidic, but long and syrupy and slightly chocolaty. Better make that two.
Bubble and Squeak – sweet potato and zucchini fritter with haloumi, runny organic egg and roasted tomato on organic rye sourdough with minted pea puree – is perfectly cooked – thick, runny egg – and seasoned.
The Shakshuka Baked Eggs – served with soggok (Egyptian styled sausages) and topped with labne and a sprinkle of zatar and toasted pita bread – is one of the best we’ve had in Sydney. There’s contrast and an interesting mix of flavour and spice. Swoon.
There’s a large courtyard out the back. Bypass the old coffee-machine-cum-garden and pick from a litany of tables. The service is friendly and knowledgeable; Fady a warm and generous host.
It’s no secret to regulars of Darling Street, but Piccolo’s are serving up some of the best food and coffee in Sydney. Well worth the trip? Definitely.
Piccolo’s Espresso Bar & Cafe
626 Darling Street, Rozelle, New South Wales, Australia
+61 2 9818 7950