From the moment we open the gleaming white and aqua door at The Brooklyn Tuckshop, it feels like we’re being welcomed home by old friends.
Greeted with beaming smiles by owners (and self-described ‘pashing pair’) Amanda Gonzalez and Lincoln Donaldson, we get the feeling this café experience will be one to remember.
Mini-chic reviewer, Miss Three, promptly marches up to the counter to ask if she can have a cake.
The Brooklyn Tuckshop marches to the beat of its own drum (time goes slower on the Hawkesbury!) and the newly mixed brownies have just been put in the oven to bake, but – no matter! – would Miss Three be happy to lick the mixing bowl?
This is the kind of café we all want as our local: friendly, fast service run by a loved-up pair of former Sydneysiders, who are passionate about what they do.
Amanda is the head baker, Lincoln is a master barista – and incredibly, both are self-taught at their crafts.
The pair left jobs as a full-time writer and analyst respectively, taking a chance on a heritage corner store – and we should all be grateful they took the leap.
Like the front door, the entire café is artfully decorated in coastal chic colours white and aqua, a few vintage toys catching the eye high above the kitchen – while the menus are printed on lined paper that will take you back to your days where school exercise books were de rigueur.
The coffee – made from Small Batch Roasting Co. beans is smooth and creamy – the gruyere cheese jaffle as decadent as it sounds: buttery, generous and served on an old-school Falcon plate.
Miss Three (still busy licking every last morsel of chocolate out of her bowl) opts for a slice of brownie for her morning tea (Amanda kindly asking if someone can suffer from a chocolate headache – ummm, not when it’s this good!).
It arrives with a crunchy top and a molten lava chocolate centre, so it feels like you’re eating a pudding in a brownie case. Heaven.
The rest of the fare follows the same vein: simple, but hearty and delicious.
Sausage rolls featuring lamb and paprika, or pork and fennel seeds, are made on alternate days by Amanda. On weekends, there’s a soup on offer – or, in a nod to the tuckshop lady’s heritage – a slow-cooked empanada.
As they say, ‘It’s not a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll’. Really, what’s not to love?
Coastal Chic tip: Brooklyn is a great half way place to meet some friends from Sydney. Catch the train and make a day of it – it’s a stunning part of the Coast, and the coffee alone is worth the journey.