If you havent been to Ristretto Espresso before, finding it amongst the hustle bustle of what is known as Perth’s CBD can be quite a challenge – specially if you are a little bit navigationally challenged like me and you brought along someone who doesnt frequent the CBD.
Of my days as a bum, I have nothing else better to do than to hop around Perth and its suburbs to familiarise myself with this amazing city. So after reading rave reviews about how great the coffee is here, I took out my trusty Iphone to confirm the address of this little cafe. It says 160 St Georges Terrace. I was strolling along Hay Street and turned right onto William Street and Iphone says that I am not too far away from my destination. Upon further research I have noted that Ristretto is located in Central Arcade. Note to self, Central Arcade. Not Central Park. My equally lost companion and I walked into Central Park and saw this little cafe inside the lobby. My gut feeling tells me this wasnt it and it turns out that I was right. So we walked all the way back to St Georges and after a few steps we realised that we had walked into 158 St Georges Terrace. Er, should’ve looked at the numbers before walking huh? Well the good news was that 160 is right beside 158 so into Central Arcade we went. It looked really old inside and I, for one, would not have imagined Ristretto to be here. Finally we reached Shop 18 and there was Ristretto Espresso. A tiny shopfront serving only coffee, some sandwiches and muffins. I was craving for a slice of cake to go with my coffee so it was very disappointing to see that they do not even have a cake fridge!
Referring to themselves as “espresso specialists” suggests that their only specialty is really just coffee so 2 skinny lattes were all we ordered. They do not actually have seats per se but there is a food court right next to it so you can sit there then. Most patrons are busy business people so coffee is served in takeaway cups. The small cup costs $3.50.
The roast is Ristretto’s own blend and the first sip was really strong and a tad bitter for my taste. It reminded me of Toby’s Estate coffee blend. But after a teaspoon of sugar and a few more sips later the latte grew on me. All it took was a little sugar to get rid of the bitter aftertaste and it was almost perfect. The milk was beautifully crafted (but the photo above is clearly not doing it justice because someone inadvertently stirred my coffee before I had the chance to capture it!).
I brought the coffee along to Miss Maud’s a few shops away on Hay Street to have it with a chocolate eclair. Somehow the eclair made the coffee taste weird. It was a taste I cant even describe. The closest definition would be that it was tarty. The coffee was so much better by itself that I actually regretted having that eclair.
My rating: 7/10