If you are a visitor to Sydney or a new resident of Sydney, you certainly cannot missed going to The Rocks. There is our famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge and if you are reading this blog, I am assuming that you are a fan of coffee and hence you cannot miss our annual Sydney Aroma Festival that will be held at the Rocks this year on 29th July 2012 from 10am to 5pm.
Or alternatively, there are organized tours that will guide you to the different sites.
Normally, if you were to go to The Rocks by public transport, you would get to the cafe via George Street. Having drove there, I decided to park at one of the back streets (Harrington Street). Below is a series of photos to show you the road to the cafe. Walking from Wynyard towards The Rocks on Harrington Street, you would pass by the tourist popular Duty Free Shop (DFS Galleries).
As you walk past 66 Harrington Street, look out for a sign that points to Nurses Walk.
Progress your way down Mission Stairs to Nurses Walk
The cafe is actually located on Nurses Walk within the building of what used to be Sydney first hospital.
If you are coming from George Street, once again like any other good cafes that were featured before, it is tuck away from the public eye. So here's the direction.
Walking along George Street, as you get to the ice-cream shop (Copenhagan), turn left into nurses walk.
Another reference point, the alley is diagonally across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art.
You would come up from this arcade and immediately you are greeted with something so beautiful. If you are thinking this is cafe, sorry, nope.
Now that you know how to get there. Let start with the interview.
Cafe Name: The Vintage Cafe
R2 Nurses Walk, The Rocks
Monday - Wednesday: 1030 to 1630
Thursday - Friday: 1030 to 2130
Saturday: 0900 to 2130
Sunday: 0900 to 2100
So what is the idea behind the cafe name?
Firstly, the sandstone building itself is a vintage. Secondly, cafe owner like antique (see clock in picture) and you can spot a thing or two around his cafe. The decoration of the cafe is also set in a vintage style with wooden tables and chairs and for a moment I thought I was in Europe. Other than the surrounding this feeling came about when I heard Spanish/Portuguese spoken among the staffs.
Coffee Beans: Ducale Coffee Beans
Why this location?
For 11 years this location was run by another cafe (Latte Brothers on the Rocks), when the opportunity came up for this location. Julian thought it was too good an opportunity to pass especially due to his taste for vintage and antique. This was a perfect location for him.
Cafe Owner: Julian Montenegro (during the rush, I forgot to take a picture of the owner, will have to make it up one day)
Julian is a chef by trade and he started this cafe 3 years ago alongside with his wife. Julian also mentioned that his staffs are either Spanish/Portuguese speaking because this is to go along with the fact that his cafe is also a Latin Restaurant by night.
If you think that chorizos is only limited to the Spanish Quarters down at Goulburn Street then you have certainly got to give this cafe a try. They are famous for its flaming Chorizos served at the table and Portuguese tarts.
What is also great at this cafe is on a weekend, after you have done your walk around the botanic gardens or at the Rocks market, this is a great cafe to sit in and enjoy a brunch while listening to the mellow sounds of live music. If you are thinking that it is going to be noisy with the music, well then you are in for a surprise. It is actually quite a zen experience and you certainly do not have to shout to your friends on the table for a conversation.
As I sat and observe, most of the patrons of the cafe are certainly tourists, so when I ask Julian if there are many locals. He said that over the last 3 years, the number of tourists have certainly reduced but he said that there has been a slight increase in the number of locals and there are more return local customers for his cafe during the night.
So come on people, let us support our local business, organize a few friends and give this cafe a go, be it their breakfast or coffee or their famous burning chorizos.
What is your favourite coffee?
Long black without sugar - like to enjoy coffee as it is