2/431 Bourke Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(no listed number)
It was a beautiful Sydney morning when we decided to wake from our slumber and take a stroll from the CBD to Surry Hills, which is now my favourite suburb in Sydney. It wasn’t a terribly long walk but given how unfit we chumps were, we eventually worked up an appetite and decided to find a place that actually did half-decent coffees – no mean feat if you happen to be in Sydney.
According to Urbanspoon, there are places in Surry Hills that did a good coffee. The problem was trying to work our way through a list of nonsensical names and find one that would make us happy for the morning. In the end, I chose Pigeon, literally a hole-in-the-wall operation, purely because of the name. What kind of people would choose to name a café after an ugly bird that seemingly bobs its head involuntarily? And one that’s a known pest not just in Australia but all around the world? There is also another reason why we decided to go here – it’s one of Marty’s stupid nicknames for me (yeah, figure it out).
Pigeon may look at home in 1980s East Germany and the place itself is pretty small, but they certainly attract a steady stream of customers even though it’s sort of out of the way, hidden from the hustle and bustle of Bourke Street proper. We grabbed a few newspapers and sat outside on the coloured plastic chairs, watching dog walkers go by.
Bloggers who have been here in the past say that the coffee is proudly Campos, but the lady who worked there proudly told me that they (now?) use Double Roasters beans from Marrickville. While I do like Campos coffee, I do think it’s good that they’re slowly losing their monopoly status in Sydney and that other smaller players are getting a turn. Both Marty and I thought the Double Roaster beans were fantastic. With the aid of the barista’s touch, they produced two lattes ($3.50 each) that were full-bodied, velvety and sweet without the need for sugar. This was literally the first time I had a good coffee in Sydney.
I went for the less healthy option of a Croque Monsieur ($7.50), their version being slices of ham, cheese and béchamel wrapped in Turkish bread. I couldn’t really fault it – it was certainly filling enough to keep me satisfied, but not to the point where I was bloating like a mofo. Oh, and it was delicious too; ‘the boss-est of boss toasties’, piped up Marty.
Just like your garden-variety street pigeon, this café goes about its daily business with little fanfare. I like the fact that Pigeon (as in, the café) is so humble and friendly, yet can still produce great coffees and even though their food is simple, they are of good quality. I’m still on the lookout for more good coffee-producing cafés in Sydney so it’ll be a while before I return. However, if my search starts getting futile, I’ll be back at Pigeon soon to nest.