They had good reasons to. (Though I still rotate my coffee choices between the three of them, and more.)
This compact eight-square metre coffee place is almost a hole-in-the-wall, with just two benches on the footpath.
It sells coffee, a couple of croissants, and chats (just kidding on the last one).
There is always a steady stream of people getting coffee for takeaways, sit on the bench and have little chats, or stand somewhere around while they rest with their dogs.
“Neighbourhood” is quite aptly named. It is like the neighbourhood coffee place, and baristas Sean McManus and Marc Wiebe know the orders of the regulars, and have no problems engaging in small talk with them sincerely and confidently.
Beans are roasted by McManus and the team at Artificer, milk used is from John Fairley, and the non-dairy alternative is made from oats from Tasmania.
McManus didn’t like the taste of soy in coffee, and experimented with different milks from almond to macadamia that could work better.
After a blooper where espresso was spilled into his oat porridge, he accidentally found that missing link.
My friend Steph who would visit Sydney frequently quipped, ”It never fails.”
”It is good everytime.”
She added that there was anticipation and excitement every time she was on her way to Neighbourhood. ”The service is excellent, coffee is fantastic. It is exactly what coffee SHOULD taste like.”
The latte (AUD$3.80) was indeed a flavourful and rich cup, smooth with good milk. If you are up for it, try the oats milk version.
The Chocolate-dipped croissants are also probably a good idea here.
They are sourced from Penny Fours, and the owner Penelope Ransley was a former pastry chef at Tetsuya’s and Sepia – the top restaurants in Australia.
The bummer? They are not opened during the weekends.
Neighbourhood by Seán McManus
16 Buckingham Street Surry Hills 2010, Sydney NSW
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 3:00pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat – Sun
Google Maps – Neighbourhood by Seán McManus