Elude the Dismal Weather with a Jaunt to Sydney

Samantha Riley

Sydney Providence that is, the café and coffee shop that recently opened up over in the WaterPlace complex, rather than the famed Australian metropolis. Tucked away from the regular hustle and bustle of the city on a side street behind the train station, it allures those who desire that typical city hotspot but also that quiet space to unwind. It joins a seemingly ever-growing army of cafes in Providence. However, despite the similarities in all of these places, Sydney Providence has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. It had evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of all its forerunners and used this knowledge to develop its own unique successful concept.

Upon initially entering, the minimalistic interior design is something that is immediately noticed. There are stark white walls decorated with simple pieces of Australian-influenced art, bare bulb pendant lights, and a sprinkling of plants throughout. Even the logo itself is basic with its clean, sharp lines. This approach would not work in every type of environment but it does at Sydney Providence because it is part of its ‘brand.’

The line of customers snaked and slithered its way through the tables with no end in sight. Word had begun to spread a contender for new favorite café was in town. The hospitable staff enhanced the overall experience by providing a genuine level of service to each and every individual. There were no automated robotic-like interactions; the staff’s passion for their job was conveyed through their demeanor.

Sydney’s signature dishes include “avocado smash, mini quiches, a roasted broccoli sandwich with ricotta salata, and salad with grilled Baffoni Farm chicken, fresh citrus, slivered almonds, and a creamy lemon-herb arbequina olive oil emulsion.” Where the café seems to veer astray and mislead its customers though, is in regard to its cuisine. Traditional Australian food is more along the lines of grilled kangaroo, pea and ham soup and other hearty dishes. More clarity is needed to ward away any confusion; just merely stating it is Australian-inspired is not enough.

My order of a hot chai tea latte was placed on the small serving table between the kitchen and register. The tight quarters of the establishment required innovative approached to utilize the most of every inch of space. Although a more typical countertop would have been preferred, it didn’t deter from the possibility of a return visit. The seasonal salad of roasted beet with herb ricotta, arugula, walnuts and a lemon honey beet dressing arrived a few minutes later. For only being something with a few ingredients and a salad nonetheless, it surpassed all expectations. All around people continued to cascade in like the waters of Niagara Falls.

In an area of hipster coffee havens that toss the words organic and vegan almost too freely, the personality-less places and Kimmy Schmidt cafes, overexposed and cheerful, Sydney stands out by lying somewhere in between. It may not be the café meets coffee shop of choice for everyone but it is definitely worth a jaunt over to warm up and experience all it has to offer for oneself.

 

Lifestyle & Culinary Section Editor

Samantha Riley

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