EATDRINK: In The Annex

in the annex“EATDRINK: In The Annex”, The Thousands, June 2013.

If an annex is meant to be an addition to something, then I would like In The Annex to be attached to my life. Permanently, if possible – heck, I’d move in if I could. This café is a very welcome newcomer to Forest Lodge, which for those playing at home is a suburb squished between Glebe and Annandale. I wouldn’t say there were tumbleweeds in the streets, but if you were looking for amazing coffee you probably would have gone elsewhere.

At In The Annex there is a strong focus on looking good, and everyone at our very large table kept pointing at things, as if we were on some sort of static safari – succulents in teacups, a sugar bowl with feet, collectible spoons. The drinks arrive in an assortment of vessels: a milkshake with cocoa, malt and sticky caramel sauce in a huge jar with a wax straw; fresh oj in a recycled bottle; Ttotaler teas and Umami coffees in tea cups, crumpled ceramic mugs and science beakers. And that coffee, let part-owner Ed tell you about it. He has two piles of beans: one is a blend for milk based espresso, the other is of single origin beans roasted lighter for black coffee. And both are damn fine.

But that seasonal menu by Joey Astorga, former head chef at El Capo… let me tell you about it. There are staples like eggs on toast, but go for the more interesting combinations of fresh produce that begs to be shared; I rate the purple potato, zucchini ribbons and aged cheddar. And the house cured smoked trout disappeared quickly. Much too quickly.

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