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When you hear from someone local that there is a cafe on the Gold Coast which feels like it has been picked up from a little lane way in Melbourne, like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz, and transported to the centre of Surfers Paradise (which is more like the cubic zirconia city than the Emerald City), you think ‘lie’.
However hearing it repeatedly over a few months from other fun people who you know would not steer you in the wrong direction means that it’s probably worth a look.
We found ‘Black Coffee Lyrics’ online, and then played guessing games as to where it was situated down town. We finally decided to wing it and take a punt by using Waxy’s Irish Pub as our marker, and fanning out from there.
We happened upon the Centre Arcade (where the cafe is pinpointed on the online map) and remarked how much it felt like a mall in Thailand. My companion remarked ‘I would never eat at one of these places’, referring to the little Asian holes in the walls of the arcade. Personally I think these places are little treasures with their cheap udon noodle soups and even cheaper sake. Anyway, I digress….
When we looked up to the left of the staircase in the middle of the swarming mall, we saw the sign for ‘Black Coffee Lyrics’. We also saw some studded club chairs, and a red door leaning up against a wall that leads to nowhere.
If you were using your imagination and felt like going on a little flight of fancy, you could pretend that this door actually opened up and lead you inside, where you fell arms flailing down through the blingy rabbit hole and into the first cafe that I have felt comfy in since I’ve been on the coast that wasn’t attached to a hotel. If you were a realist, you would probably say that the door has no purpose other than colour and you get to the comfy cafe by walking through the very normal and functional doors at the entrance. Either way you looked at it, the result was magical.
From the club chairs, to the precariously placed book shelf, to the completely un-GC staff with their tattoos and cute faces, taking it all in I nearly let out an audible sigh. What a relief.
The staff were relaxed and well suited to the environment, taking our drinks order at the bar. We then took a seat outside in a couple of big old armchairs and watched the world go by. I ordered an Amaretto Sour (my fave cocktail) and this was no problem (mostly because my favourite bartender on the Gold Coast who used to work at another of my haunts appeared from behind the bar and put it together for me).
My friend waited for most of the lunch to get her vodka diet coke (after asking for it a second time, she was met with ‘no diet coke, no coke zero, just coke’), and it came just after this second order of the drink. We think that they forgot because my drink is a bit pf a pain to make. Has happened before, and will undoubtedly happen again.
We ordered the veggie burger with mango chutney, and a chicken burger with apple. They were delicious. It felt like food that you would make at home and sit and scoff without chewing properly because it was so delicious. If you were in the comfort of your own kitchen, you’d eat it standing up with the sauce dribbling down your chin laughing at how gross it was that you hadn’t stopped for a breath.
Luckily the environment at the cafe has the same relaxed feel so you can have a good messy lunch without feeling like you need to cover your mouth with a napkin the whole time. Our waitress was a cute little thing and very polite and helpful.
We had a wander round after we had finished and paid, taking pictures of the decor and just generally drifting about, and no-one batted an eyelid. This was the most Melbourne part of it. The place knew it was cool, so wasn’t frightened of you taking photos of it in case you stole some ideas. As I said before – relief.
You should go here – as long as you are not a pain in the ass (as I wouldn’t want to do that to the nice staff).
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