Surry Hills in Wetherill Park.
Spotlight, Pet Barn, Godfreys and XS Espresso. It all goes together doesn’t it?
Just about every current cafe food trend is here: milkshakes in mason jars with outrageous toppings, cronuts, runny eggs, even acai. The only components missing are a vegetable garden in the back and some foraged ingredients.
XS Espresso is a newcomer in this uniquely Western Suburb collection of shops clustered around a huge carpark. Makes sense, the public transport system out West can’t compare with the inner city. So Westies like us need our concrete carparks.
Just about every current cafe food trend is here, milkshakes in mason jars… cronuts, runny eggs, even acai.
XS Espresso has been getting some rave reviews, sure some are comped food but, heh, if free food will get foodies out West, then it’s a good thing. Noodlies, Sydney food blog feels a pang of guilt. We’re 10 mins away in Cabramatta, but have not yet ventured out.
That gets corrected this morning.
The cafe is smaller than we’d imagined, literally two short rows of seats, a long counter and compact open kitchen, plus a few more chair out the front. The decor is homely, brick on the back wall and on the other wall, white cupboards built up to the ceiling.
These guys (and they’re guys only today in the kitchen) must know what they’re doing because the kitchen is seriously small for the amount of food this busy cafe produces. And full marks to the efficient exhaust system. You won’t leave smelling like fried bacon.
The wait staff are friendly and proactive. The menu gets dropped to your table, but you’ll need to order and pay at the counter.
At 8am this sunny Sunday morning there’s a steady stream of people; couples, mates catching up, and gym guys and gals from the 24 hour gym next door.
I need a coffee. Now.
It lands relatively quickly looking like it should including the obligatory attractive froth pattern. Nice, but I’ll ask for strong next time. Though it does the job of clearing my head – last night’s Mr Robot TV binge has really done my head in (no thanks to Penny).
Binge TV makes you hungry too, apparently. I skip all the healthy choices: organic muesli, acai bowl, avocado crush. Not today. Flirted with French toast, Belgian stack pancakes (chocolate ice cream with Belgian chocolate) but settle for the big XS breakfast (above).
It comes with eggs (poached, fried or scrambled), crispy bacon, tomatoes, avocado, mushroom and lightly fried spinach with toasted sourdough. Great value for $18. The spinach is cooked until it’s just wilted, soft and still juicy, it’s easily my favourite component. Bacon is a close second; crispy and not overly oily. I’m looking forward to poached eggs which disappoints because there’s too much vinegar and it seeps through the dish, diluting some joy from that creamy yolk. Adding extra salt and pepper helps, but doesn’t completely rid the sour.
It’s the same with Walter’s eggs Benedict, whether it’s the eggs or home made Hollandaise sauce, there’s a sour which comes through. We’re not talking about ruining a dish territory, more a persistent niggle.
Which is a shame. Noodlies can live without the sugar high milk shakes but have really been looking forward to finding a great local breakfast joint. Sure pho and hu tieu are great for breakie, but gosh a good Western cooked breakfast and coffee would make a great change.
XS Espresso isn’t bad, especially for the area. It’s just not the one.
XS Espresso Cafe
9a /1183-1187 The Horsley Dr, Wetherill Park, NSW.