If it’s trying to remain inconspicuous, then Piccolo Espresso would be better off in the bushes opposite their current location at the Swinburne campus. Having heavy drapes to cover its frontage from the passing traffic surely isn’t enough to hide this cool hipster cafe. I was pleasantly surprised to see the dearth of a Sunday brunch crowd when I recently dropped by. One would have half expected the crowds that populate the handful of cafes around the corner on St Edmonds Rd and Izett St to diffuse towards High St. However, this was clearly not so. Perhaps it is the lack of an open countyard or sidewalk tables that don’t offer you a spot of warm road dust; Piccolo Espresso feels better suited to those who want to get out of the sun or rain.
The service here is warm and friendly, and it is quite the comfortable peace to park yourself here. Easy listening music on the background, none of that blaring noise other places tend to use to attract the annoying sun-glassed younger crowds. Yes, you can have unperturbed conversations here with living room tones! When you find the time to break away from your coffee and conversation, the menu does need a fraction of your mental capacity to gauge the description of the dishes. I can’t explain the menu with off-centered names like Ministry of Sound, but the European and Student’s breakfasts seem like the popular choices.
You can really feel the richness of the highly buttered up scrambled eggs building you up, and as you allow yourself to slump back against your chair, take the time to wonder about their choices of interior wall decor. The Student’s breakfast is exactly what we used to whip up on a daily basis. Scrambled eggs, sliced up leftover sausages heated up really quickly on the hot pan after you have fried your bacon. While the food is alright, it will obviously struggle to standout in a competition, but if you’re not the picky sort, then just read your paper and be content to fill your stomach.
I think they would benefit from greater presence on the internet, at least providing a listing of some menu items for viewing on their facebook page. Perhaps advertise their coffee there too?
Overall, Piccolo Espresso has got a great easy-going feel to it and is worth a visit for a fuss-free cup of coffee. The breakfast options are fair and should quench most hungers for a reasonable bite. Parking is easily available opposite the road at Swinburne, or around the block at Chatham St. I’m sure this place is busy on weekdays, but if you want a quiet one on Sunday, then do consider Piccolo Espresso.