Dining: Coffee with the touch of Mint

Mint Road (Dining Review) 030

Photo by Brent McDonald

WE’RE undergoing a bean explosion in Canberra. Coffee beans, that is.

Every time you turn around, another little café is making a big entrance on the nation’s capital ensuring coffee lovers can get a fix anywhere, anytime.

That’s not the only trend. The other is the number of places opening that source their food from an external supplier, instead of creating it onsite. Perhaps that’s because the real money to be made is from serving cup after cup after cup of coffee.

Mint Road, at Narrabundah, is such a place. The owners – “descendants of pioneering Narrabundah settlers” – source pastries and tarts from local patisseries and gourmet sandwiches from local suppliers. At least it’s all local…

And you guessed it. Mint is a major theme with the perky fitout, even to the mint-coloured sand in the big hourglass. The bold-striped wallpaper is delightful and the funky planters in corrugated iron containers perched on the wall charming.

The Italian coffee used by the baristas is a unique blend of 12 bean varieties and my cappuccino was intensely satisfying. No doubt Mint Road will eventually dominate the Narrabundah coffee takeaway scene.

The glass cabinet, near the cash register, displays all the food goodies, including the thick slice of banana bread I enjoyed (warmed up, of course) and the not-too-sweet orange friand my friend enjoyed. We spotted bags of muesli on shelves behind the counter, but were told they were display only (huh?).

We popped by on a Saturday – the place had only been open a wee while – and it was busy. The tables outside were nearly all occupied, with customers clustered around heaters. We waited a few minutes and lucked in with a couple of spots on the bench seating positioned along the wall to the right at the entrance.

Mint Road can’t do a lot about its size but it is pretty tiny and it’s not hard for the place to get congested with people sitting, people lining up to order and staff squeezing past customers to serve food and coffee, no doubt hoping and praying they don’t spill anything.

Small wooden “tray tables” protruding from the wall divide the bench seating here and there. They are large enough for two cups of coffee but not much more. So you juggle your plates on your lap or take turns using the tray tables to eat. And what to do with your bags?

Did we enjoy it? Yes, we did. Was the coffee good? Yes, it was. Is it worth another trip? Yep, but when the weather gets warmer and we can be more comfortable with a bit of elbow room outdoors.

Mint Road, Shop 4, 59 Boolimba Crescent, Narrabundah. Call 6260 6713. Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am -3pm.



One Response to “Dining: Coffee with the touch of Mint”