Sensory Lab (CLOSED)
Time Out says
[THIS VENUE IS CLOSED] Melbourne’s latest dining incursion brings great coffee and country tunes to Bondi.
[THIS VENUE IS CLOSED] Not all of Bondi’s best assets are within a stone's throw of the ocean. You’ll have to strike back from the golden sand in order to get a Lox Stock and Barrel bagel; the Stuffed Beaver’s eye-watering Bloody Mary means a hike up Bondi Road; and now there is a new dining hub blossoming below the Adina Apartments development further back on Hall Street. Gelato Messina has already set up shop here, as has the eastern posting for the handmade pasta house, A Tavola.
And to complete this tasty tableau Melbourne’s Sensory Lab Roastery (our Melbourne office loves coffee so much they've even set up in the same building) have opened up a caffeine cavern that plays J Cash and Bob Dylan while serving kick-arse coffee.
Here they punch a dark, glossy, fragrant shot that might have you knee-slapping and hollering ‘yeehah’ if this place wasn’t so chilled. The room is essentially a big concrete box with folded felt wall covers pinned in place by copper piping and plants in glass beakers. The opposite wall is divided between the coffee counter and a display cabinet where the takeaway beans, teas, and paraphernalia are kept. These guys encourage coffee worship at home too.
They’re keeping the snack options on a short leash. If you side with the Italians on espresso and cake for breakfast there’s fruit bread with Pepe Saya butter, jammy doughnuts from Penny Fours and orange poppyseed and chocolate muffins from Three Blue Ducks to temper the jumper cable effect of a ristretto and espresso in short succession. That’s right. They take their coffee so seriously that when we order a ristretto they throw an espresso our way as well so that we can taste and compare. It’s certainly an effective way to wake up fast.
If, like us, you fear the combined effect of a caffeine and sugar slump in one hit, a bagel is a smart choice. The dense, chewy seeded bagels from the Bagel Shop comes with enough green onion cream cheese to generously schmear both sides of our bagel – no extra cream cheese shame here.
Someone in your party not keen on the bean? The chai here is a mild and milky but a cool jar of pineapple and lime juice with coconut water goes down a treat when the sun is high.
Forget the meek: it’s the coffee roasters who look set to inherit the earth, and we for one welcome our new caffeinated overlords.