It is a Saturday morning in No Name Lane and there’s a crowd of tradies and public servants at Mayfair Espresso’s front counter ordering breakfast to go. It is a good indicator that either good coffee, good food or both come from within this pint-sized cafe.
Owner Sophie explains how it came to be.
“Back in 2018, Eric and I were looking to open our own coffee shop and Mayfair Espresso was up for sale. We fell in love with this small coffee shop at first sight. We are using ONA coffee beans and they have trained us well,” she says.
While coffee is where it began, they’ve evolved a lot since then.
“Eric and I both love food so we want to expand our food menu. The customers now come to us not just for excellent coffee but great food too. During office hours, our signature bacon egg rolls and breakfast wraps are very popular because it’s quick: wrap and go!”
The exotic-sounding menu items grab our attention more than brekkie wraps and the regular breakfast fare: two Japanese-style burgers, several Southeast Asian flavoured rolls, chorizo shakshuka and chilli prawn croissant, among others.
Sophie says hiring a chef during COVID was a very difficult experience. But finding their incredible Thai chef, Bim, who brings a wealth of experience working in Thai restaurants, has transformed their breakfast and lunch offerings.
We settle on the soft-shell crab burger, a chilli prawn croissant, tom yum prawn spaghetti and the pancake stack.
The pancake stack comes with its own little jug of maple syrup and a wooden honey stick to drizzle the perfect amount over everything.
My first bite of that soft-shell crab burger … oh, my word! Crispy, well-seasoned soft-shell crab, lush, salty little bursts from the roe and a tropically herbed slaw. A generous pile of salted fries with the golden crunch I cannot say no to accompanies the burger. You would want to have a solid French fries game if you are within the vicinity of Terra. These fries hold their own.
My other favourite dish has to be the chilli prawn croissant. Char-grilled chilli prawns, all smoky and tender, served up with tater tots, grilled tomatoes and scrambled eggs cooked with a dash of oyster sauce. And that toasted croissant from Three Mills Bakery gets a big tick.
The tom yum prawn spaghetti is prawns, chilli and mushrooms in a delicate tom yum sauce, tossed through al dente spaghetti. This popular Thai pasta dish is a real comfort food addition to the café’s winter menu. Neither dish that comes with chilli is overly spicy, but their inclusion brings extra flavour.
Sophie says that Eric and Bim are collaborating over more delicious dishes and the menu changes seasonally.
Mayfair Espresso is located in the city at No Name Lane, 40 Marcus Clarke St. It is open from 7 am to 2:30 pm on weekdays and from 8 am until midday on Saturdays. Follow Mayfair Espresso on Facebook and Instagram (their food pics are as pretty as the food is delicious).