Even though there are plenty of cafes around my area, I still get a little excited when a new one pops up. Word on the street was that there was a new cafe in Artarmon that had awesome coffee and food to boot.
You’d never think that there was a hipster cafe down the little pedestrian walkway leading out from Artarmon train station, but in amongst the Japanese restaurants, convenience stores and bookshops is Salvage Specialty Coffee.
They take their coffee seriously here with the Mecca Dark Horse blend and single origin coffees on offer, and a rather amusing sign saying that any coffee “extras” cost 50c – extras that may or may not include “soy, extra shot, mocha, honey, vampire blood, unicorn tears, kisses from Zooey Deschanel”.
Apart from the normal espresso-based coffees, Salvage also do filter coffees including Aeropress and cold brews. The cold brew comes in a cute Salvage bottle and is served with a sphere of ice in a glass to keep it chilled.
The weekend menu has a selection of food for breakfast or lunch, and there are also some pastries on the counter if you feel like something sweet. All the breads and pastries are sourced from St Malo Bakery in Crows Nest. We see quite a few people ordering the Croque Madame so we follow suit and get one too. There’s a rich mix of Black Forest Gypsy Ham, gruyere, bechamel and Dijon mustard all sandwiched on St Malo Bread, and topped with a poached egg. It’s an awesome rendition of a simple toastie and gloriously cheesy with the gruyere and bechamel sauce.
The smoked ocean trout is a bright, healthy looking orange colour and is draped over some St Malo Sourdough, and served with a poached egg, pickled fennel and a perfect quenelle of creme fraiche with a single caperberry. I’m not usually a fan of fennel but the aniseed flavour is not as strong after the pickling treatment. All the flavours go surprisingly well together and it’s definitely something I would order again.
If you’re feeling like something more towards the lunch scale of the menu, go for the pulled pork roll. You can’t go wrong with the tender pulled pork, fennel, rocket and apple slaw with housemade BBQ sauce on a soft brioche bun.
As tempting as the pulled pork roll was, I couldn’t go past the smoked wagyu beef. The beef is sliced thinly and served with a poached egg, a slice of sourdough, eggplant cream and pine nuts. The eggplant cream is like an extra creamy babaganoush with a smokey flavour and a silky smooth mouthfeel. It’s addictive when slathered onto the ribbons of wagyu and I could see myself eating this for breakfast every day if I could!
Salvage is a great addition to the North Shore cafe scene and it’s proving popular with the locals. Don’t be surprised that with the limited outdoor seating available that you might have to wait for a table on weekends, but it’s well worth it with the amazing coffee and food that’s served there!
Salvage Specialty Coffee
5 Wilkes Ave
Artarmon NSW 2064
Open Monday to Friday, 6.30am-2.30pm; Saturday, 7.30am-2.30pm, Sunday, 8am-1pm