Review: R Coffee Co, Picton NSW

I have a remarkable ability to get incredibly absorbed in my own life which usually manifests in two ways of being a shitty friend – 1) being terrible at keeping in touch with people outside of ‘Liking’ a Facebook status or 2) talking incessantly about my own life when I finally get around to catching up with someone. Honestly, if it weren’t for my more redeeming qualities, I don’t even know why most of my friends would bother to stay in touch with me.

One friend who somehow puts up with my chronic inability to stay connected is Jake, who I’ve known since high school. He messaged me recently to catch up, and casually dropped in a “BTW, girlfriend and I just broke up. I feel like I should keep you up to date on things like that happening in my life”. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather – I’d been such a crap friend that I didn’t even realise that there had been issues in their long-term relationship that would lead to a break-up.

I suggested a change of scenery to help him through the rough time post-breakup, and he came up to Sydney from Melbourne for a weekend away. One of the activities that he wanted to tick off a ‘bucket list’ was skydiving, and so on the Saturday we found ourselves driving down south to Picton for Jake to do his inaugural skydive with Sydney Skydivers. I think there’ll be more to come though, he was pretty rapt with the experience!

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We dropped into R Coffee Co in Picton for lunch after his skydive. I’d seen a review of it somewhere before and had it in my mind as the destination of choice in the tiny town of Picton. Having now walked through the town, I can understand why – it seems to be the sole ‘hip’ cafe where everyone drops in to get a good coffee.

Chai Latte, $4
Chai Latte, $4

Having witnessed the lines for R Coffee Co’s takeaway coffees, I can only assume that their coffees are a million times better than their chai lattes. My chai latte was rather unceremoniously delivered to our table, spilling over the edge and puddling in the saucer. The whole latte was gritty, with fine particles that stuck to your teeth. It was also more lukewarm than hot, which was less than pleasant on the cold wintry morning.

Perhaps most shockingly of all though was the attitude of the waitress when I had first tried to order a skim chai latte. “We don’t do skim milk,” she announced, looking down her nose at me. “Oh, well normal milk is fine,” I said. “We don’t do ‘normal’ milk either,” she replied haughtily. “We have unhomogenised milk.”

Look, I didn’t really care what milk they gave me. All I wanted was a chai latte, but what I actually got was snooty attitude and a gritty lukewarm drink. This was disappointing.

Bacon Sandwich (smoked pork belly, poached egg, sirachi aioli), $11
Bacon Sandwich (smoked pork belly, poached egg, sirachi aioli), $11

Thankfully their food is better than their non-caffeinated drinks, and the waitress who dropped off our lunches was much friendlier than the one who originally took our order. We actually got service with a smile!

Jake ordered the Bacon Sandwich which was listed on the menu as being served with “sirachi aioli”…I can only assume that it’s some alternative spelling for sriracha? Whatever it was, it certainly worked in the sandwich! The poached egg was absolutely beautiful with its perfect #yolkporn. The bacon as well was very different from what we were both expecting. Instead of thick cut bacon that you normally find in butchers and delis in Australia, this bacon was shaved so thinly that it was almost translucent. Smoked to perfection, without being over-oily the way normal fried bacon can be.

Honeycomb Crepes (Gluten free crepes, honeycomb cream), $14
Honeycomb Crepes (Gluten free crepes, honeycomb cream), $14

My choice of the Honeycomb Crepes was an absolutely stunning sight to behold. The colours on the plate are stunning, and the composition just works incredibly well. The fact that the crepes were folded and layered asymmetrically on each other rather than laid flat also meant that there were some interesting visual depth to the dish. From a presentation perspective, you can’t fault this dish.

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You really can’t fault the flavours and textures either. The crunch of the honeycomb shards, combined with the creaminess of the ricotta-like cream, as well as the softness of the crepes created an interesting mix of textures in your mouth. The fresh juicy blueberries also added an extra burst of sweet flavour every now and again as well, serving to cut through the richness of the crepes and honeycomb. This is one dish worth driving to Picton for.

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R Coffee Co does some great food, and no doubt the coffees are probably decent as well if the line is anything to judge by. I can’t help but feel though that it trades too heavily off its status as the ‘cool spot’ in a small town, with the poor attitude of staff affecting customer enjoyment as a result.

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6 thoughts on “Review: R Coffee Co, Picton NSW”

  1. They can do gluten-free crepes, but they can’t be bothered to stock skim milk? Okay then.

    I’ve actually heard of a really worrisome phenomenon where wait staff or baristas will use a different ingredient or serve a different drink instead of what was actually ordered, like regular Coke instead of Diet Coke or whole milk instead of soy milk. They do it because they have this mindset of, “Oh, this thin person wants to ‘lose weight’ when they look like THAT already”, stuff like that. It’s very chilling reading stories from people who’ve had this done to them–diabetics going into shock, people with ulcers going through immense pain, etc. I get a little scared when I order from Starbucks because I always order with soy, since milk makes me poot and can sometimes make my stomach hurt.

    I always try to be polite at restaurants; at times I’ver over-polite :| probably need to tone it down. Shame the latte didn’t taste as good as it looks :/

  2. Farouk El Bahsa is the brother of Chehade and founder of El Bahsa sweets in Australia.
    Farouk and Chehade co owned the Bankstown sweet shop in the 90’s before Farouk sold his share to his brother. Bankstown is owned and run by Chehade and his sons.
    Years later Farouk reopened in Auburn with his sons and runs independently also.
    Before Bankstown shop there was Newton and in the 70’s it was open in Redfern.
    Hope I clarrified why the look the same ????

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