Espresso Warriors – Mount Druitt

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_1
Espresso Warriors sets the benchmark high for quality coffee and great food in Mount Druitt – 3.5 out of 5.

01_twitter110_instagram113_pinterest115_tumblr102_facebook1

Location: Mt Druitt Westfield Shop 143, Cnr Carlisle Ave and Luxford Rd, Mount Druitt, NSW 2770

Last visited: 2 December, 2015

Must Try: Kray Shakes, The Golden Gaytime and their Eggs Benedict are a winner!

Happy New Year Foodies and welcome to my first post for 2016! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year’s break. I enjoyed catching up with family and friends, carol-singing, fireworks and of course plenty of delicious food. Keep checking back over the next few weeks as I share stories from my trip to Queenstown, NZ and #foodpics of the delicious meals we had there. Now onto this post…

We often cop a lot of flack here in Mount Druitt but to be honest, it’s not all that bad. There are some really cool things happening to our local food scene as we speak. Espresso Warriors is one of them. I first stumbled upon Espresso Warriors on a Friday in April last year. It was the first day of business for the new franchise, which had then been running successful operations in Warrawong and Wetherill Park.

It was the first time I’d seen an establishment of Espresso Warrior’s calibre in my neck of the woods, and certainly unlike any of the other cafe’s and dine-ins at Westfield Mount Druitt, where previously you would head out of the complex to Starbucks to grab a decent cuppa. Personally, I felt the cafe could rival any of those in the Inner-Western and Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The opening seemed to have awoken the curiosity of many local shoppers who could not resist stopping in to take a look at the cronuts and cold drip station set along the front bench.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_13

I’ve been to Espresso Warriors on a number of occasions since then and the reason I keep coming back is that the food is great, the coffee expertly ground and poured, and the service is consistently friendly. It’s even in their mission statement which reads, “Espresso Warriors; a cafe that pledges to provide an above standard coffee and cafe experience.” Speaking with co-owners and sisters Christine and Jennifer Soon one day, I was pleased to hear of their passion for providing Western Sydney with a new take on coffee. As Christine said, ‘Why should it only be the Eastern Suburbs that can experience great coffee.’ I completely agree with this. Times are changing and it’s not only those in more affluent suburbs that seek out fine food and dining experiences. As the surrounding suburbs of Windsor, Richmond and Marsden Park expand with new homes and business parks, I predict a new wave of fine dining establishments and popular food outlets will flock to the area to meet the demands and expectations of the changing population here in Western Sydney. (Note: Not too long after Espresso Warrior’s opening, the popular Soul Origin opened up a franchise near Woolies, possibly wanting to secure a footing in the growing market).

When out on a food blogging adventure, you’d typically visit the venue, photograph and review it on the single occasion. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to return on another day, to see if the restaurant lived up to it’s standards. In this instance, I had the unique opportunity to dine on two occasions and I’m happy to say that I left smiling each time.

On the first of the two visits, I’m joined by Ms. D. and Ms. C. for a sibling lunch catchup. The grinder whizzes as we walk through the door and we are greeted by a delicious coffee fragrance. We watch the barista pour a perfect rosetta for a latte as we wait for a table. Ms C. and I are both obsessed with taking photos of our food, so I knew I was safe from Ms. D. who typically (and deliberately) takes a bite from her plate as soon as the food arrives so I don’t get a chance to get that perfect shot. #sisters #gottalove’em.

To drink, the girls chose two of the fresh fruit juices. Although I would have loved to try one of Espresso Warrior’s Kray Shakes, a version of a loaded shake topped with cronuts and other goodies, the Chai Frappe was calling me that afternoon. I’m glad I picked it because it was bursting with the Christmassy aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. The frappe was silky and wonderfully creamy. You’ll definitely have to try it out!

Ms. D. orders the Salmon Fishcake Stack while Ms. C. chooses the Eggs Benedict with ham, explaining that she must try it once at each cafe she visits. Being a sucker for pork, and feeling quite hungry that day, I couldn’t look past the barbecued pulled pork served with mash. Completely carnivorous I know, but as they say, ‘When in Rome/ When dining out…’

We couldn’t help but laugh as we flicked through the menus to find a series of useless facts, left to keep us smiling while the staff perfected our orders. Apparently Donald Duck stirred quite a controversy in Finland due to his lack of pants, and apparently a “jiffy” is an actual unit of time. Check the image below for more.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_12

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_11

The food arrives and I tuck into my pork. It’s juicy and tender but could do with some smoky barbecue sauce stirred through the meat. The mash is buttery with a caramel sweetness that works perfectly with the pork.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_9

The Salmon Fishcake Stack is served on a bed of diced tomato with a sweet tomato relish, smashed avocado and gooey melted brie on top. It’s a little messy to eat but the flavours are good. It’s definitely filling – perfect for serious hunger attacks.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_8

Ms. C.’s Eggs Benedict arrive on a pice of white sourdough toast. The fine ham slivers and tender poached eggs are dredged in golden hollandaise. It’s creamy and buttery with a touch of citrus zing. Red, black and white quinoa is sprinkled on top as a garnish, adding crunch and bite to the dish.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_10

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_4

On my next visit, a few days later, I’m joined by The Cousin to celebrate his birthday. Our waiter notices my camera and suggests we sit at the large wooden table towards the back of the room, explaining it has the best lighting. I love the rustic wood grain and make a mental list to buy a table like that one day (It’d look incredible for food styling, although I’d probably look for a black or creamy wood grain).

We’re there for lunch and starving. I know I’m definitely going to try a Kray Shake this time. The Cousin hadn’t had one previously so it was the perfect excuse to order a double! The special for the day featured Kit Kat bars and Cronuts so we couldn’t say no. Served in ‘hipster mugs’ swirled with a rich chocolate sauce with a thick layer of choc coating the rim, the shakes were creamy with a bold choc-hazelnut flavour. These were topped with creme-pat-filled cronuts, decorated with chocolate, chopped hazelnuts, and both white and milk chocolate Kit Kat fingers. A single strawberry on the top served to justify our order. It must be healthy if it’s served with fruit…right?

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_2

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_3

To eat, The Cousin chose a Bacon and Egg Roll with barbecue sauce while I go for the Baramundi special.

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_5

The Bacon and Egg Roll was everything you’d want and expect. Soft roll, crispy belly bacon and golden fried egg with perfect crunchy edges. Yum!

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_7

EspressoWarriors_BrendonTheSmilingChef_6

The Barra was lightly browned and served on a bed of the same sweet, nutty potato mash with carrots, cauliflower and broccoli florets, and a light lemon butter sauce. I hate to sound like Manu from My Kitchen Rules but being a butter fiend, I really liked the sauce and wanted more! The fish was cooked well, but could have used a little more seasoning.

The Verdict

Overall I’ve been consistently pleased with the standard of the food and service at Espresso Warriors. Sure, there are some minor adjustments that could be made, but overall the food tastes great and I enjoy the atmosphere within the cafe. I’m a sucker for supporting businesses in my local community, but it’s also great to see a venue of Espresso Warrior’s calibre doing so well. I’m sure it will grow to be a much loved venue in the local food scene.

Food Presentation: 3 out of 5

Taste: 3 out of 5

Service: 4 out of 5

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5

Espresso Warriors Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Have you been to Espresso Warriors? Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Share your recipes and food photos by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef and #whatsbrendoncooking on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef or leave me a comment below.

Happy cooking and keep smiling,

Brendon 🙂

BrendonTheSmilingChef_profile_hawaii_BrendonD'Souza View my food journey on Zomato!

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. milktea says:

    the salmon fishcakes look good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for getting in touch milktea! Glad to hear you liked the fishcakes. Thanks for reading,

      Brendon 🙂

      Like

I love to read your comments as much as I love cheesecake. Leave me a message below so we can continue the foodie discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s