While Melbourne is the laneway capital of Australia, if you look a little closely in Sydney, you can find some hidden gems in back streets and side alleys. Working in Downtown Sydney for two years, I came across an absolute godsend of a café. Tucked away in a useless alleyway that was nestled behind a car park and through another alleyway. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you wouldn’t know what you were looking at. The café in question was Cafe Cre Asion. A little corner shop, literally a hole in the wall no bigger than a shoe box that served coffee and tea and cookies and sandwiches and macarons to die for.
The whole shop floor is only about 4m x 4m. It’s tiny. The kitchen is where you are, you just have to order your coffee and sit back and watch as the staff makes a new batch of macarons or cookies or loaf of bread. The first thing you notice when you walk through the glass sliding door is the cabinet storing dozens upon dozens of tiny macarons, just waiting to be selected. Any time of day, you can see the staff refilling the stands with weird and wonderful flavours from salted caramel to charcoal flavour. And each one of them is so decadent and perfectly made. Coffee is brewed perfectly, and you can wait on an elevated concrete slab that’s adorned with colourful little stools and blankets to keep you warm while hiding away from the sun between towering concrete structures. It’s quiet enough to contemplate life or take a breather, to have a quick chat with a friend or just watch the day go by. Also made fresh in store are their cookies. Cafe Cre Asion had two versions of cookies when I worked near them. There was the chocolate and sea salt cookies which were absolutely delectable. It was an explosion of flavours in your mouth, with the richness of the chocolate and the saltiness of the sea salt. I’ve always been a fan of salt with chocolate or caramel but I feel like this place really cemented my love for it. The other flavour which I purchased a bit more often was Madagascar vanilla. Oh boy. That’s just one of the many packs of cookies I purchased over the time I was working there. They were the perfect level of sweetness to not feel sickly after, thick enough to be satisfying without feeling like you had just stuffed your face, and just crumbly enough to feel like a real cookie. I spent many a morning sneaking out the back door at work, across one road, two roads and hiding at the café for a good twenty minutes, covering up my own guilty pleasure by doing a coffee run for those in the office who also indulged in my habits. If you’re ever in downtown Sydney, definitely give this place a little shot. It’s well worth the search.