Co-owners: Kit Tran, Roy Yu and Bruno Koo (incorrectly published by Broadsheet as Bruce) run Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously, (which is a mouthful so I just call them Haven) the only cafe in Sydney I know of that allows you to personalise your coffee.Haven is a spacious cafe with green foliage and inviting decor. Blues music playing in the background adds to the already inviting atmosphere. I fell in love with the blues as a teenager and I absolutely approve of the tracks they play here.
Bruno is overseas but Roy is overseeing the tables and Kit mans the coffee making. Roy explains that customisation can be done very efficiently so customers need not be concerned about wait times. Here is a self-explanatory chart from their website on how to customise your drink:
Head chef Thomas Taylor (ex-Ampersand) created a largely Asian menu blended with ‘healthy’ ingredients, like quinoa, kale… and features a series of tea-inspired dishes.
Between them, Roy and Kit have 35 years of barista experience, on why they chose Australia to set up shop, it was because the culture is laid back.
You should know that I only drink coffee if I have to be up early and need to be alert ASAP. That being said, I know what I like and I prefer a brew that isn’t bitter. My customisations are a mocha with normal sweetness and less acidity. This mocha feels smooth and velvety in the mouth with no bitterness whatsoever. It’s a nice, strong cup of coffee which looks good too with the chocolate criss cross pattern on top.
Pork belly kimcheese burger – five spices roasted pork belly, kimchi, bocconcini cheese, grated apples, kale, sesame omelette, shaved radish $19
On weekends, demand for this burger is very high, they estimate about 150 are sold overthe two days and looking around, practically every table have ordered this dish. The burger arrives in two brioche halves but I decided to make it look like a conventional burger and ate it like so with my hands.The pork belly pieces are unctuous and pull-apart soft, which on its own is very fatty but combined with the pickled sourness from the kimchi and sweet grated apples, it avoids becoming too rich. The springy texture of the kale helps to lift this burger to another level too and the thin strips of sesame omelette provide a dose of sesame flavour. Altogether this was a winning burger, the size of it is also appealing, it’s very filling and so satisfyingly tasty.
I enjoyed my first visit to Haven so much I had to return with Ash. The coffees (aside from the mocha) are all accompanied with a little bowl of flavour enhancers. Our coffees are tailored with extra sweetness so we have tiny, dry and shrivelled sultanas to enhance the fruitiness of the coffee. I personally think it doesn’t need them but it’s a unique concept which you associate with the Haven experience.
Genmaicha tea roasted chicken burger with fried cabbage and flaked almond $14
This is another really tasty burger from Haven, succulent chicken pieces smothered in a caramel coloured genmaicha sauce. I couldn’t detect much of genmaicha and the sauce was creamy, tasting very mayonnaise-y to me.
The winter hash is a comforting dish, reminiscent of winter. There’s a poached egg on top of a decent chunk of soft lamb with crispy bits, perched on creamy celeriac remoulade, undercut by sour pickled cabbage. It’s a simple plate of food but consisting of nice flavours and textures.
Only a few minutes walk from Central station, Haven Cafe’s accessibility by public transport is an added plus for those without a car. So give the place a visit, drinks some fabulous coffee and say hello to the lovely Haven guys.
The first visit was courtesy of FBCA and Haven Tailors Coffee Joyously. The second visit was paid for independently.
Mon – Fri:7am – 4pm
Sat & Sun: 8am – 4pm