Working a three day week has so many benefits, I can’t count them on both my hands. One of my favourite things about it is I get to go to cafes at non-peak times, soak up the atmosphere and have a couple of leisurely coffees. No matter how much fun that is though, it’s always better to have someone to share it with, to revel in it like a kid wagging school. That’s why I’m glad I got to check out Cowbell with my mate Elise of beauty blog Stuff That I Bought. What’s more, she told me her idea for The Potluck Club, so it was a pretty mach a business meeting, yeah?

The Cowbell 808 menu is a 1-pager, listing 13 items. Its a fusion of ingredients and cuisines, served up cafe style, presenting a mish mash of meal times. It’s not the usual suspects ingredients-wise, although weirdly, its what you’d expect. House made is the word du jour; these guys make everything from their own yogurt, to their own bacon. Now that’s hardcore.

Ticking off at least 2 of the 5 big Sydney trends this year, the menu also has a slight ‘americana’ influence. Case in point, fried chicken with ‘slaw, and my dining companion’s order of fat stacked ricotta hotcakes with marscarpone, bacon maple ice cream and espresso syrup. I like that they don’t separate things based on time of day – if you want to have a burger for breakfast, or a Banancolada (house made coconut yogurt with roast banana and lime), feel free. Elise declares her hotcakes delicious but super filling – she eats about half.

I’m well and truly past my one-coffee-a-day limit, ordering two macchs from the list of ‘liquid vices’ (and I had an espresso before I left home…) I’m impressed, but far too lazy to check something basic like what coffee these guys use. It’s an organic house blend, but I’m not sure if they roast it themselves or have someone do it for them. That would be because I don’t much care what coffee is used, as long as its good. Anyone who knows let me know, it seems like the kind of fact I should have on hand.

I’m not sure why there’s a basketball hoop, a graffitti mural or a disco ball in the cafe. Sure, it fits with the 80’s/music theme, but I’m not convinced it makes for a cohesive aesthetic. The rest- second hand furniture, scrabble letters spelling out the coffee menu, the huge windows flooding the room with light, the selectively exposed brick- I love.

We checked out Cowbell 808 on a Monday morning, so we weren’t faced with the hideous crowds that swamped the newly opened, Short Black-mentioned cafe in the previous couple of days. The service was beyond lovely and not pushy – the people working there were so attentive and generally, dare I say it, caring. And they didn’t even blink when I started snapping away, which is excellent, because I always feel awkward doing so. Word on the street (not sure which street, but there you go) is that the weekend experience is a lot less fun. What can I say, chuck a sickie. It’s worth it for the hotcakes and the rich, creamy macchs on offer. I will be back, if only to try the sundae.

Cowbell 808
616 Bourke Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9698 5044
Open 7 days
7:00am – 4:00pm

Cowbell 808 on Urbanspoon

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6 Responses to Cowbell 808, Surry Hills

  1. Chuck a sickie, I might. Although that’s unneccesary when I have three late starts every week. I’m beginning to notice the price of mac’s are increasing and in many places the same price as a flat white. My vices are costing more dammit.
    john@heneedsfood recently posted…Breskvice {peaches}

    • Lau says:

      Why yes, I *would* like to have coffee with you one morning, how kind of you to ask.

      I agree, the price of macch’s is going up. We live a tough life…

  2. Miss Piggy says:

    I know a fellow blogger who’s just started working here which is how Cowbell 808 is on my radar (I dare say you know her too). I like the fit out, and the menu sounds yummy. Love when cafes homemake their goodies.
    Miss Piggy recently posted…Hardware Societe + Mamasita, Melbourne

  3. […] a full post over on her blog soon, so I’ll link to that when she does. (edit: Lauren’s review of Cowbell 808 is […]

  4. Gaby says:

    Damn, too far away from my office.
    Gaby recently posted…Review: Bah Bq (Crows Nest)

  5. SarahKate says:

    Awwww… I love this. A friend and fellow blogger (the same one mentioned by the lovely Miss Piggy) has started working here and I’m so excited to go try it out. Can’t beat maple and bacon!
    SarahKate recently posted…The Mill Stone Tea Room… a guest post by SK’s dad.

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