Enticed by the innovative cronuts at one of Petersham’s hidden gems, The Grumpy Barista inevitably jumped to the top of my list to discover whether they are as good as they look.
Situated on the corner of a small street, the cafe gives a cosy rustic feel with wooden benches, shelves and decor around the room. There were also some green plants lying around which added to the earthy touch.
One of the first things I noticed when I sat down : the face with the moustache? Brilliant. Who can forget that not-so-grumpy grandpa face!
It was a nice warm midday when the boy and I ventured to set our hands on one.. or a few.. of these cronuts. It was a quiet day for the cafe, and we were able to pick a table of our choice.
The menu was set in typewriter-like font on old rusty-looking paper on a wooden clipboard. Excited as I were, we ordered our coffees and with cronuts set in mind, I rushed to ask the waiter for the flavours available that day. Softly but heartbreakingly, I was delivered the disappointing news that they had run out of cronuts at 11.30am!! They apparently only order in 30 assorted cronuts each day, which are usually sold out by 11am. The day I had visited, there was a supply problem and they only had 20 cronuts to distribute, and unfortunately we had just missed out. This meant the need for a second visit for our cronuts, which I have included later in this post.
Shocked as I were like a sad lost puppy, I ended up ordering the Smashed Avocado on Artisan Rye. Avocado was spread generously on the crisp toasted rye, covered with clumps of feta and topped off with zesty chilli oil dressing that gave the flavour a unique fresh kick. Although knowing it was not what I was craving for, the smashed avocado rye was surprisingly heart warming.
The boy chose The Italian Pot which consisted of baked eggs with mushroom and onion in homemade mild chilli tomato sugo. The optional addition of chorizo is definitely recommended to add spicy saltiness, contrasting with the sourness of the tomato sauce.
I am a big fan of baked eggs, but this time I didn’t regret choosing the smashed avocado. The baked eggs was good but I felt the smashed avocado rye was more outstanding here on this occasion.
On my second visit with my bestie, we were lucky to arrive early enough (9.30am) for some cronuts. Upon questioning the flavours available, the waiter informed us that today they had the honey and pistachio flavour. There were only three cronuts left in the display, and we ordered two for ourselves.
Every cafe has their own signature plates that we can associate them with, and for The Grumpy Barista, I definitely will remember the beautiful Victorian style plates that our breakfast were served in.
During this visit, I also picked out the Sweet fig and ricotta bruschetta on artisan sour dough drizzled with honey and lime zest (right below), while my friend chose to be safe with proscuitto, avocado and feta on artisan sour dough (left below).
The simple taste of sweet fig neutralised the strong flavour of feta, the crunchiness of the walnuts, and was overall served well with fresh artisan sourdough bread. Being the second time I have had fig, this dish lead me to like it even more – though I have still yet to be accustomed to their outer hairiness.
We then moved on to our long awaited cronuts!
The pastry was crisp but soft – you can tell that its been freshly baked. The top was glazed with honey and sprinkled with some pistachio crumbs. I enjoyed the texture and flavour of the cronut, though it did get a little too sweet for both of us and a little too full after having our meal.
Midway indulging in our cronut, we saw the waiter bring out a couple of nutella cronuts from somewhere to serve to another customer! I suddenly felt somewhat disappointed that they were hiding it and that it wasn’t there for us to choose. Although I did enjoy the honey cronut, I would pick nutella over honey any day!
Overall, I do recommended visiting The Grumpy Barista. Other than their cronuts which I believe has achieved the main appeal for them, they do also offer a variety of other appetising pastries. I definitely will be back to visit not only for their other flavours of cronuts but also for their tarts and baguettes, and their decent coffee!
I feel that Petersham is a little underrated for their cafe community which has grown to much potential. Having found The Grumpy Barista, I will be back in this area without fail. Next stop Sweet Belem Bakery for their tarts?