How to choose a good coffee and food cafe/restaurant
Melbourne is known for some good cafes and restaurants. But there are also a few dodgy ones around that will make you get sick and maybe you might need special consideration. Our guest reporter Katherine Chiu gives out a few hints here.
Restaurants and other eating establishments:
1) Don’t ever go to franchises or companies such as McDonalds or KFC. They are known for shit food, bad customer service and most of the time dirty restaurants. In NSW alone quite a few of these establishments were fined for dirty places. They only just want your money.
2) If there are no customers and its supposedly a busy time, ask yourself why. There is usually a good reason for this.
3) Check out what other people are saying about this place by logging into Urbanspoon.com
4) Are the wait staff trained properly in food hygiene. If not, then run.
5) Are the wait staff happy? Or they look like they are depressed/understaffed? If so then run. Sally and I have both been to these sorts of cafes before.
6) Does the staff ask for no pictures? If so then this is good sign that food is really bad. Pictures tell one thousand words about a place. If staff don’t mind pictures then that means that they open to criticism. If so run to the next cafe.
Cafes that mainly serve coffee
1) Pick up an Age Good Cafe guide for $5 at selected newsagents. Here they list all the good coffee (and chocolate places) that you should check out in Melbourne and in the suburbs. They also talk about new brews and define some of the coffee terms that you may not have heard about before.
2) Are the coffee machines and equipment such as the portafiller clean? If not chances are that your coffee might be burnt and that it might also be contaminated with germs.
3) Is the milk frother clean? If not then you might just end with some very burnt milk.
4) Do the cafe staff know what you are talking about when you ask for “ristretto” or “Piccolo latte” or some other different types of coffee? If not then run.
5) Don’t get to the cafe half an hour after opening time, as the machines take time to warm up to make that perfect coffee. Give it an hour or an hour and a half.
6) Don’t get there half an hour before closing time as the wait staff will be thinking about home and not focused on their job.
7) Don’t get to the cafe in peak hour- go at 11am or 2pm. The wait staff will be less busy by then and more focused on you.
8) Do the staff just insert the frother into the coffee and not mix it? If so then go to another one.
9) Is the tamper plastic or metal? If it plastic its unhygienic. If its metal then it is great. The tamper is supposed to be metal not plastic and it needs to weigh about 15 kgs.
10) Do the staff just froth the milk everywhere in the cup or do they do it in a particular spot? If it is in particular spot, chances are that your milk is nowhere near perfect and that it is possibily burnt. Milk needs to be silky to be perfect.
hope this helps