The Left Bower Cafe, Sutherland, NSW
Its decor, facade and ambiance can be unique. Except for the coffee equipment, I am thrown back to the 70s or early eighties. It does not over emphasise coffee, though it is the main product. You walk into a lifestyle. You can delve into intimate details of coffee and learn much as to where the origin of all this used in this place. It can be an unassuming place, but hey why are there headlights at the front of the shop? You can take your coffee through a ice cream van-like counter. You could be at a beach or camping ground, but no, you are in the Shire.
I find the coffee slick, mellow and stimulating. I am offered a choice of whether I want my brew hard and strong, or smooth and easy. The coffee beans come from two places in Australia, one near Byron Bay and the other from Mount Warning. The barista can be the same person as the roaster. What's so good about home grown coffee beans? The breakky and lunch menus support Shire providers and suppliers.
Left Bower is open on Saturdays (not on Sundays) and is not difficult to locate, being along East Parade near the rail station and not far from the Sutherland branch of Mike's Bar and Grill. This Sutherland cafe has connections with Jack of Harts in Engadine, a suburb located further down in Sydney's south. Left Bower has woodwork creations of Ken Phillips, who in another life phase, was a boxer, but I am told that Ken made the rosewood panels at Parliament House. Staff are usually friendly, but some may be quiet on early mornings before 7 am. There are deck chairs outside to slide in - one can feel right at home fast. This is modern Australian with a village and community feel. And to remind us that it can be so nice to be with mates and family as we hit out on the caravan in January.