Daymaker Espresso – Good Food Gold Coast

About three years ago,  Daymaker Espresso popped up on the southern end of Pacific Avenue.

Owners Andrew Madgwick (ex-52 Espresso) and Dylan Nesbit (ex-Barefoot, Elk, Blackboard and Paddock) had done their time in the hospitality trade, serving their apprenticeship under some of the best on the coast. After waiting for the right site, they made a commitment to Miami for the long term, signing a six-year lease on the former ‘pet op shop’ site beside the Pacific Ave Fruit and Meat Market.

Looking around, it’s easy to see their passion. So different to slick overblown fit-outs, the venue is clean and spare, with greenery and recycled wood popping colour against the polished concrete, exposed rafters, slate grey and white walls. There’s a story behind every piece of wood, every table top and painted wall.

“We got the recycled timber from Lloyd’s Auctions, got rid of the asbestos and opened up the ceiling. Only then did we realise how much light we could get in here,” Dylan tells us, outlining the guys’ months-long journey to opening.

They scoped their demographic and suppliers out as well, conscious of the surrounding gym culture and the health food consciousness driving day meals on the coast. Many diners choose to sit alfresco facing the street, locals chatting to each other as they down their coffee. It’s ‘the local’ (and only) cafe in the immediate area. Walk in, or drive and park curbside just around the corner, knowing that this is food and coffee far above the average; healthy fare that’s a great start to the day.

Opening with a base menu of eight breakfast dishes and four lunches, a year later Daymaker has boosted our choices for both vegans and carnivores, the brekkie menu now running at fourteen items plus a kids’ menu.

Our meals arrive smartly from the kitchen: the ever-popular Green and Gold Smashed Avo, served with saffron labneh, golden beet puree, poached egg, lemon and mixed sesame seeds. a vegan Thai Green Mango Salad (to which we choose to add chicken), and the Full Plate Big brekky. Featuring their famous hash brown (the item carb-free diners still can’t live without) as well as chorizzo, bacon, mushies, eggs on sourdough and wilted greens, with a side of relish, it’s a giant of a dish that’s fodder for the truly hungry.

Sourcing hormone-free meat from Nobby’s Beach Butchery, bread and pastries from Burleigh Bakehouse (who only employ French bakers, Dylan tells us) and Sol Cleanse juices (whose excess by-products are pulped and given to local farms), and local produce, the guys are super-conscious of local, seasonal and sustainable principles.

What is not local, however, is their rich yet mellow coffee from Melbourne’s Axil roastery, their first outlet on the coast.

Daymaker. The name can easily resonate with us as ‘make my day’ or even ‘a punchy start to your day’.

First impressions count, and what we notice most of all is the staff energy. Intent on customer return, there’s full table service, a dying art.

“We’ve learned from experience that you have to meet customers and make them feel welcome,” says Dylan. “It’s really important that staff are confident and willing to have a chat so people enjoy being here.”

Good food, great coffee and welcoming service… It’s a bit like a warm embrace – a great place to start your day ‘eatin’  food & sippin’ coffee’.

Daymaker Espresso, 44 Pacific Ave., Miami, Open: Mon – Sun 5.30am – 3pm

NOTE: Daymaker runs a seasonal menu, so check menu items at time of dining. On one occasion Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Daymaker Espresso.

Daymaker Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Elk Espresso – Good Food Gold Coast

Elk Espresso wins friends, first of all, for its simple but funky interior you could be excused for thinking was an art studio. There are retro chairs and tables on the sanded concrete floor, overseen by the stencil of a giant elk standing in splendour on the limed wall. There’s a timeless verdant simplicity to the venue that says ‘I dare to be different’.

Opened in mid 2011, Elk took the neighbourhood by storm in its former location before moving to the beach end of The Oasis Shopping Centre in 2018. Throughout its life, Elk has consistently topped the charts as one of the Gold Coast’s favourite cafés.

Serving T2 teas and Single O and Killerbee blends from Single Origin Roasters, the barista’s running hot with coffees to drink in and takeaway. A range of clientele frequents the café, from teens and young families to retirees. Everyone is happy, whether inside the café reading the paper or at tables spilling out onto the pavement, relaxing in the morning sunshine. There’s a bright beach holiday feel to the place, as though the working world is far away.

Elk 11B

The well-chosen, eclectic menu is retro with a luxe modern twist; one of the best daytime menus we’ve seen.

Changing with the seasons, some brekkie standouts when we visited included Blueberry and coconut breakfast panna cotta with granola, summer fruits and cinnamon yoghurt (there’s also a completely GF DF panna cotta available), as well as the Brekkie Tacos, indulgent Violet crumble waffles and Vegie bowls for winter with your choice of protein added.

Lunch dishes skirt around the world, picking up bold flavours along the way. Jalapeno, lime, pickled peppers and harissa add an edge to Middle Eastern staples such as labneh, dukkah and hummus. In most dishes, there’s an element of surprise. Expect scrumptious salads and hearty burgers filled with unexpected combinations of on trend ingredients such as pearl barley, fennel, hazelnuts and wild rice. Leave room, if you can, for a House Special drink – they’re simply wicked!

Whether you stop in for an early morning breakfast, leisurely lunch or a decadent afternoon tea, Elk has a welcoming charisma all its own, calling you off the beach to the fern forest beyond.

Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Ave., Broadbeach Ph: 07 5592 2888

Mon – Sun 6.00am – 4pm.

Elk Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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Worth travelling for: Circa Espresso review ‘Sydney’s best eggs’

Forget the age-old riddle. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first.

What matters is that the eggs keep coming. Because I am going to need the team at Circa Espresso to make me Ottoman Eggs for the rest of my days.

Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, Circa Espresso is a Parramatta institution. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Eggs, which debuted on the menu three months after the café’s 2010 launch, have become an institution in their own right.

Take two free-range eggs, poached to perfection. Sit atop a lip-smacking stack of crumbed eggplant, garlic labneh, and chilli and sage butter. Add a generous sprinkle of crispy fried leek, serve with housemade focaccia – et voila! Sydney’s best eggs. Hot tip: save some bread for soaking up every last skerrick of Middle Eastern flavour.

Circa Espresso

Circa Espresso is a Parramatta institution. Picture: Circa Espresso

The dish has evolved over time, but “no longer requires any amendments”, according to Circa’s founder and the man behind the menu, Aykut Sayan. He says the secret is a combination of simplicity and precision.

“Because the dish is so simple, each element needs to be perfected before plating,” he explains. “A lot of time and effort goes into the prep of this dish each day to ensure the standards are met day after day.” 

Sayan is inspired by his Turkish heritage, as well as his passion for classical French cooking and cuisine. Both are apparent when you’re tucked within Circa’s narrow interior, surrounded by French-themed bric-a-brac and the rich aroma of fresh coffee.

“I feel that food should always reflect the owner and should tell a story about the person who owns the place you’re eating,” Sayan says.

“The food at Circa tells a story of my history, where I come from and what I enjoy.”

There are other dishes on the Circa menu, which changes seasonally. Sometimes I even consider them. But my loyalty is firm. These are the best eggs in Sydney. In fact, the Ottoman Eggs would make a strong case for the city’s best breakfast. Sure as eggs is eggs.

Circa Espresso

21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, NSW.

Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 8am – 2pm.

See also:

The lemon tart with a national following

I found Australia’s best banh mi

The steak worth travelling more than 600km for

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Morena Espresso – Good Food Gold Coast

Every tribe has its favourite places, and nowhere is that more evident than at Morena Espresso.

‘Morena’, meaning ‘brunette’ in Spanish and ‘good morning’ in Maori reflects the Latin-Kiwi heritage of its owners Bel Pesantes and Stefan Bradley.

Situated on an ‘awkward’ corner of the Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach, you could almost miss it driving past were it not for the bright murals by Fa Bio and Barbara Farias Lama on the outside of the shop. Morena is not afraid to be seen, resplendent in its bright Spanish colours.

In another way, though, its location is great. Morena is located at the entrance to the T-shaped Cronulla and Karen Streets cul-de-sac,  a perfect spot according to owner Bel, as the streets house a cultural precinct including businesses such as 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, The Borrowed Nursery, The Studio Entertainment and KoKo Coffee Roasters.

The café serves many functions: café and coffee house, co-working or learning space, chill out zone, free swap library and gallery shop showcasing local artwork and wares from independent makers of clothing, hats from Ecuador and beanies, jewellery, Mexican blankets, floor mats, candles, decoration items and homewares, about twenty labels in total.

Food on offer is mostly simple with a noticeable South American slant, the most popular item being empanadas, but you’ll also find homemade toasties, bagels, açai bowls and smoothies, locally made vegan and gluten-free cakes and treats and fresh croissants.

Coffee is a highlight, the smooth Morena blend from a local roaster, with Green Caffeen cups to put it in or vintage and hand-painted collectibles.

Cascading across two levels from the street down to the open back courtyard, there are plenty of nooks to relax or work in, as well as a huge communal table down the centre of the space. Stefan has made most of the recycled tables, recycling being a big goal for the pair. It’s a work in progress for its owners, the kitchen about to be renovated, and new murals soon to grace the walls.

The space is flexible enough for a multitude of functions, such as yoga and salsa classes, with Spanish classes held weekly. Events and installations all add to the space’s saleable assets as a place for hire for events such as engagement or birthday parties, workshops or brand launches.

“We sell experience most of all,” says Bel. “Morena is not your normal café. It is cosy corners, awesome tunes, perfect coffee, yummy treats, cheesy toasties, art and gifts. What you see is us.”

Bel herself is a large part of the attraction, knowing many of the customers by name, relaxed enough to stop for a chat, and savvy enough to leave them alone, whatever their need may be. She’s the ‘alpha female’ of the tribe, genuinely present and welcoming, making sure that everyone knows that this is their place as well as hers. After all, she is ‘Morena’.

Morena Espresso 2550 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach Ph: 0421 486 915

Open: Mon – Fri 6am – 2pm, Sat 7am – 1pm​

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