The Sydney Grind
The Sydney Grind is an Aussie cafe owned by a real Aussie, Rima Mograby, who is herself originally from Sydney.
They’re baking hard-to-find Australian treats from scratch, like their takes on Lamingtons, Anzac cookies, Hummingbirds and fairy bread.
Mograby worked on the minimalist yet warm interior design with Architecture for All, the same people behind Page One Cafe.
The space used to house a wedding cake shop, the owner of which passed on her biscotti recipe to Mograby, who’s the primary baker here.
Said biscotti come in unconventional flavours like Skor and butterscotch, or fig and walnut.
Sydney Grind prefers local roaster Propeller’s Turbo espresso, though they do have their decaf as well.
A shining La Marzocco espresso machine presides over the shop, Nuova Simonelli grinders alongside.
There’s a display atop the pastry case of the vessels you can expect to receive your coffee in, macchiatos not Starbucks-style but served in true form in tiny espresso cups. However, you might not get the level of latte art associated with other Toronto Aussie cafes like Baddies or Library.
For instance, an Aussie-style dark chocolate mocha ($4.75 or $5.25) is usually a little more elegantly presented but flavour-wise it does have a nice sweet chocolate-y flavour and Sydney Grind does uniquely stock macadamia milk for smooth, dairy-free versions.
A piccolo latte ($3.25) is also from the “fancy” section of the coffee and tea menu (as opposed to “classic”), a shorter version of a standard latte.
Lamingtons ($3.50) are jumbo-sized in old school fashion. I’ve been excited to try these ever since seeing them on shows like Netflix’s bingeable Zumbo’s Just Desserts, in smaller sizes with jam in between.
Apparently this is an OG Lamington, palm-sized yet astonishingly light, a square of sponge coated with chocolate and coconut, the main sources of flavour here. They seem intimidating, but they’re not overly sweet and perhaps too easy to finish on your own.
Fairy bread ($3.50) in its original form is typically served at kids’ birthday parties, just a slice of bread with butter and sprinkles. Inspiration is taken from this Australian treat for the mini pound loaf with sprinkles and buttercream frosting.
Hummingbirds ($4) are often served as whole cakes, but get the mini-loaf treatment here as well. Comforting but full of texture thanks to coconut, pecans, banana, chunks of pineapple and cream cheese icing, this is something we Canadians desperately need more of.
Anzac cookies ($2.75) are usually crispier, having started out as less perishable gifts sent out to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). These are chewier, a basic mix of coconut and oatmeal.