I had meant to write about Secret Trees Coffee some time ago, but a flurry of other happenings meant that that got lost in the fray. The post on Hash Speciality Coffee reminded me of it though, with the Hash hot chocolate..
This unasuming little cafe is located in a row of suburban shops in Robertson. Situated near some other asian restaurants (between Deep Fry Master and The Red Claw), it isn’t really a hipster hangout. It does, however, have some surprisingly creative offerings.
The name and the decor of the cafe are taken from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro. The secret trees are where Totoro, a forest spirit, lives or comes from. Secret either because of the mysteries they hide, or because they can’t be seen unless the forest spirits want them to be. In the cafe, there are cute figurines at each table, of characters in the movie and miniature artificial trees. The light walls and stained wooden tabletops and seats also give it a light, natural feel.
On offer at the cafe are coffees, other coffee-related drinks, and house-made cakes. This is definitely a cafe in the more traditional sense of the term rather than a serious eating place. As mentioned though, they do their coffees and drinks with a twist.
We were there on a weekend afternoon, probably a quiet time of week for them. Their rainbow cheesecake had already sold out by then, and the other cakes in the cabinet didn’t immediately appeal. You order at the counter after picking what you would like from the laminated menu at the table.
We ordered a flat white, and requested a picture on it, having seen instances of their latte art around. When the cup was brought to the table, it had a good likeness of the titular character on it. The coffee beneath also had a good strong flavour, without bitterness.
I had considered a fairy cloud coffee, but in the end couldn’t go past the cloud shot affogato. A scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass, with a fairy floss cloud over it. A shot of espresso is served on the side, and you pour that through the cloud onto the ice cream. This was striking in appearance when brought to the table, and was a fun and interactive drink/dessert. Rather than pour the entire shot in at once, we put the coffee in teaspoonful by teaspoonful, and watched the droplets melt the fairy floss threads away and create spiral pathways through the cloud, and then rain down onto the ice cream below. It threatened to be a bit messy at times, as the fairy floss cloud became less structurally sound and sagged, and wayward drops picked paths that ran down the outside of the glass. In the end though, it all combined into a lovely, rich, subtly sweet treat.
Secret Trees is worth making the detour away from usual haunts to try out. The internet tells me they are now doing flowerpot tiramisus as well..
Price point: I forgot to take a photo of the menu for later reference, unfortunately, and their menu doesn’t seem to be available on the internet.
Food (more accurately drinks in this case): 3/4
Address: 7/17 Barrett Street, Robertson Village Shopping Centre, Robertson
Phone: 07 30616098
Website: Secret Trees Coffee