Coffee lovers in Thredbo rejoice. Central Road 2625 has arrived.
I have a love hate relationship with coffee or rather, caffeine. I go off it for months at a time then find it creeping back into my veins. Just the one, I will say and before I know it the one becomes two.
A recent trip to Thredbo and Perisher wore me out more than I dare admit. Caffeine slipped in to boost me up in time for first lifts and sugar kept me there. Neither of which I had consumed for months.
But enough of me, let’s discuss what we came here for. Coffee.
I have never had a good time with coffee at the snow. Let’s not even bring up the USA, that has already had a blog of it’s own.
You see, I drink soy in my latte and any soy drinker will know that the only soy worth drinking is Bonsoy. It is the preferred choice of Australia’s best baristas, which by the way are some of the best in the world.
Aldi Soy, Vita Soy, Sanitarium So Good, well, they and their preservatives or additives just don’t cut it. They ruin the coffee taste and if the coffee is bad to start with then the result is diabolical.
Yes, yes, this is a privileged skier problem but let’s be honest about who goes to the snow in Australia, those who can afford it and most of those are from the city with a barista of choice they visit daily.
I bought a coffee in Cooma that went straight to the bin, another at the Ski Tube that did the same and another in Jindabyne that could easily have passed for anti-freeze. I used to think ask a local to find the best coffee, which is what I did in Jindabyne, but the trouble is locals get used to what’s on offer and rarely have the reference point you do.
Thank god for Central Road 2625. I first spied the tell tale yellow Bonsoy carton from afar, convinced I was hallucinating from snow blindness.
Please dear coffee god let the beans be good, please, I begged.
Central Road is new this season, next to Rip Curl in the old Altitude space. This is prime pedestrian traffic property. Paul Antone and his partner Gosia Ostaszkiewicz have worked in Thredbo for many seasons in many roles including head chef at Bernti’s and now they have a place to call their own in the village.
There has been talk of a Thredbo village refurbishment across the village for years, and it certainly needs it. Word is that Rydges will eventually become a QT Hotel that will be ski in ski out and that the village will be modernised. But then Perisher’s eight hundred bed village has been talked about for twice as long.
The Thredbo Alpine Hotel have certainly upped their game in recent years making the most of what they’ve got with the Mumm Lounge, Rekorderlig Hot Pools for apres, the Thursday night skate park at The Keller and now this year a new refreshing Italian style menu at Segreto with altered fit out.
But let’s not digress.
Central Road has been fitted out with a faux exposed brick and wood feel, metal bistro chairs, quirky hollow books to deliver the bill and menus attached to metal clipboards.
“I wanted to create a Brunswick cafe style feel” says Paul from the kitchen pass, a kitchen that has one of the best views in Thredbo straight out onto the mountain which must be torture on blizzard days.
One sip of the coffee and I knew where I would be spending my mornings. It helped that Zoe, a new season worker to Thredbo, was also a trained barista and knew how to work that bean.
Hats off to Central Road. All we really want when skiing is decent honest food with flavour that’s made as close to from scratch as possible. If I wanted canned food I would have packed my opener.
Breakfast here is hearty with pancakes, eggs and usual mountain fare with gluten free and vegetarian options.
Lunch is gourmet paninis, baguettes, Reuban sandwiches, daily specials, comfort curries and soup served in a bowl as big as your head. I had the pumpkin soup with felafel and licked the bowl clean before starting on my friends.
You could easily get away with a tasty breakfast or lunch for under fifteen dollars, which is a big deal in the snow region of Australia.
Admittedly it was the start of the season, mid snow blizzard and staff were still friendly, attentive and buzzing, even going that extra length to hand deliver Reuben sandwiches to the boys at Jindabyne Sports.
From this end I’d say Paul’s onto a winner. But it’s not rocket science. Food outlets that provide value for money with real honest flavours always do well at the snow.
Where’s your favourite place for coffee at your favourite ski resort?
Rachael Oakes-Ash paid for herself and was not hosted by Central Road.