Corduroy has been my home away from home for a number of months now. When I took a retrenchment package this basically meant i had a whole lot of cafe time and needed to find a local one that felt like home. Somewhere where you could walk in, they know your coffee so you can avoid the queue with a nod, and be confident you can get a seat and just relax. I find a lot of cafes are so busy it becomes a headache and defeats the purpose of going - to have a coffee and maybe some food and relax.
Being in Surry Hills I have a number of options which i explored at the start of my time off, but Corduroy was by far the most relaxing, and offering some of the best coffee in Sydney and simple but high quality food.
Pedigree in Sydney food and drink places is becoming increasing important. It's not likely that some new cafe, restaurant or bar that opens is going to be standout unless you know where the the owners/managers have come from. In regards to Corduroy it's part of the The Little Marionette crew, which roasts its own various single origins and also has a strong roasted bean wholesale business. So you can be assured that the coffee is of the highest quality. I actually prefer their roast more than any other as they tend to roast on the lighter side, giving a bit more roundness, softness and opens up other flavour notes. I find most Sydney coffee roasts are roasted too strong, so that it's a massive straight up full hit; it's almost like it's some macho coffee thing.
The food theme for these guys is simple but good, using the best quality ingredients to drive the finished product. I like it as it's just comforting and homely. They aren't trying to be everything to everyone, nor are they trying to get write-ups following some new food trend. Whilst the menu is basically good things on bread, they also have some sweet things such as custard tarts; i believe from Black Star. Pics above are their soft eggs on toast with chimichurri and toast with avocado. Fantastically simple and good!
Right is a bit of fun with a skull piccolo latte glass. Normally it's in a standard glass. They vary the single origins they serve on a daily basis. I've had coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Bali and I'm sure others too. This mixing things up is again their focus on small details combined with simple quality to differentiate themselves.
And i can't forget the atmosphere of this place as it's another big tick from me. Basically they've occupied a little nook next to a buildings elevator, where the idea of putting a shop was probably the last thing on any average person's mind. It's long and thin, but it is small. A few places to sit outside or inside generally on milk crates or little stools. Old school 1960s tables inside, which would have cost only a few bucks. And they have a very broad and eclectic record collection pumping out tunes from Johnny Cash to Divo (amongst numerous other bands that would be beyond me). Service i find is passionate and driven to provide high quality.
For me this is one of the great cafes in Sydney and it will be a shame when i start working again and wont be able to hit it up the numerous times a week that i currently do.
14 Foster Street, Surry Hills