We love our coffee in Newcastle, but sometimes on a weekend you just don’t have the time to mosey on into your local hipster café, navigate the cramped space to get a table, then pick a meal from a spreadsheet masquerading as a menu. Sometimes you’ve got to make good to your contractual life obligations and do some DIY supplies shopping or Christmas shopping, or replace that washing machine that blew up the other day. And it’s for those reasons we stepped outside the traditional café square and headed to Gamble & Brown in the Kotara Home Centre, just opposite the mecca that is Westfield.
Just over the road bridge that joins the two halves of this homemaker’s delight, there’s a café. The signs are literally huge. Inside the architecturally designed, timber-clad eatery is a very substantial display fridge full of easy-to-eat, chef-prepared meal items, such as a delicious Rueben on sourdough, beef and red wine casserole, asparagus walnut quiche, chocolate cranberry pistachio slice, and much more.
On the coffee machine is the local roasting legend, Sprocket Roasters. The coffee at G&B polarised the group somewhat; some found it exotic and flowery, loving a flatty, while others enjoyed the piccolo but felt it needed a bit more of that coffee kick to break through the milkiness. One thing that is assured is the fast, friendly service of staff that always have a smile to spare.
Groups are more suited to the al fresco area, which puts you in the thick of carpark negotiations with roads just over the hedge from your table. The large timber tables are great at providing the home dinner table feel of everyone gathering around for a relaxing brunch, although on a warm spring day, protection from the sun’s rays was hard to come by. Inside is a long bench suitable to smaller, more intimate catch-ups, or those with super-sensitive skin. The gold light features and open kitchen help you forget that outside of this you’re surrounded by chain stores all vying for your dollar.