Opening its doors in December last year, this little café in Petersham, Sydney is making quite a big name for itself.
Called The Grumpy Barista – after Head Barista and Owner Carlo Ianni – the café is a recent edition to one of Sydney hipsters’ favourite suburbs and is quickly becoming a local favourite.
Carlo, alongside business partner, girlfriend and Chef Sarah Intili, carefully constructed each nook and cranny of the café to make the most of the limited space.
“The two of us designed and personalised every little detail,” says Sarah. “What we have created is a cosy and friendly little corner café, which offers great coffee and quirky modern dishes with an Italian twist.”
With a vintage, industrial feel, the 30 square metre space is filled with a handful of tables and occasional jazz sounds, or according to Sarah, house music when they need a bit of a boost.
“We might not have a full kitchen set up, but that hasn’t stopped us creating carefully presented meals alongside our quality coffee, and gaining a great group of regulars as a result,” says Sarah. “When it comes to the coffee, customers love that Carlo remembers their orders I’ll often hear at the counter, ‘Carlo knows’.”
For their house blend, Carlo and Sarah serve Toby’s Estate’s Woolloomooloo blend on a Kees van der Westen machine, which Sarah describes as “spicy, smooth, with lots of attitude”.
“We also offer Toby’s Estate Single Origins, which our hard core coffee enthusiasts love,” says Sarah. “Our most popular and favourite to date has been a Costa Rican, which is a bit fruity with soft end notes.”
The Grumpy Barista’s rustic food, which is inspired by Sarah’s Italian background, is served up on wooden boards or vintage plates to match the decor.
Its most popular breakfast dish is the Italian Hotpot, which is served with Sonoma sourdough toast. The dish of two baked eggs in a spicy tomato sugo comes with grilled mushrooms and has the option of adding spicy pork salami, ricotta cheese, or chorizo sausage.
“For something sweet, try our own interpretation of the famous cronut, which is filled with delicious goods like custard, Nutella, and Oreo,” says Sarah. “The enthusiasm for these little desserts, actually for the whole café, has completely blown us away.”