Back in the day you went to Cardiff to get your licence (fourth time lucky), catch a train, or maybe visit the library. Now, thanks to a period of gentrification and big players like Woolies and Aldi moving into the ‘burb, it’s bustling with people who enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of Newcastle.
At the 34th door along Kelton Street you’ll find a café by the name of ‘Door 34’, which the Coffee Snobs visited on one of those stick-to-the-seat hot days. If you elbow your way through the people in activewear and get inside the door, you’ll be fronted by a big stencil piece of the café’s other inspiration: Jim Morrison of The Doors fame. You’ll also spot a few doors, lots of art in every nook and cranny, and a family atmosphere.
Tony and his wife Carolyn are buzzing around behind the counter and in the kitchen out back, while barista Sarah, who is an excellent mix of fun and serious coffee business, is undaunted by questions and picky requests. There’s the customary big window by the machine if you need your coffee on the way to somewhere not as interesting; however, we sat out front and absorbed the many characters of this town.
Thank heavens they’re serving up sweet, mellow single origin cold brew with big golf ball-sized ice cubes keeping everything chill. Pumping through the machine is a rare find: award-winning local roasters Silverskin Coffee. Tony also credits the guys behind Glee for coming by in the early stages of the bar, teaching him everything he knows about coffee and the business of it.
Almost everything edible that the light touches in Door 34 is made in-house. There are big tasty brownies, vegan slices that’ll give you diabetes, and fresh bread on an ever-changing menu driven by creativity and what’s in stock.
‘Black goodness crema’ is how one Snob describes the joy of her satiating long black; the lattes are strong in colour and flavourful from start to finish; and the funky chicken wrap hits the hunger spot.
To experience the calm chaos and tastebud teasers of Door 34, you have to see for yourself – because, in the words of Jim Morrison, ‘There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors’.