‘Moto’. Choose your meaning: ‘motorbike’, ‘motorcycle’, ‘motivated’, or ‘in motion’. In a way, the café is all of these.
Espresso Moto was the brainchild of business partners Jordan Stubbs and Shannon Baier-Dry who, with their partners Nikki and Krista, came up with the idea of melding a bike shop and café – a first for the Gold Coast. While the bike shop part faltered, the cafe has only gone from strength to strength.
Now more than four years down the track there have been some changes to our ‘Temple of Enthusiasm’. New owners, and tweeking of the menu brings a fresh feel.
But many things are the same as well. The cafe’s ‘Palm Beach friendly’, with a greeting for everyone as they enter.
“How ya’ doin’ guys?” The waiter’s almost skipping. Like I said, motivated!
Great coffee’s #1 essential for cafe survival. Espresso Moto uses Allpress Espresso’s air-roasted Supremo House blend, which we love – earthy and sweet with flavours of cocoa. There’s also a single origin on offer as well as cold brew and Nutra Organics lattes. The exotic tea choices are enticing too: Jilly tea including Sencha Green, Rooibus, Ginger and Lemongrass, and their own House chai.
Still retaining the inexpensive but effective fitout, it’s a very masculine space, light and clean; a breezy beach industrial feel with corrugated iron, wood and steel held together by plumbing pipe.
But it’s not the fitout which impresses us most; it’s the positive attitudes to service and food. Jordan’s still around steering the action, which is great to see, the air of familiarity remaining.
Water arrives as we’re seated, poured as our waiter whistles, gets the coffee orders, leaves a menu before returning to chat, a friendly smile firmly in place. There’s the same positive attitude throughout: locals greeted by name, typical beach-friendly banter, waiters finding work to do, unhurried but always occupied in the open kitchen. It’s heaven to watch, and our day feels brighter.
We check out the all day menu, then order and pay at the counter. When our meals arrive, they’re all high on the interest meter. The Truffled mushroom croissant is a decadent delight, packed full of garden herbs and parmesan snow to help it along. Plenty of truffles evident as well.
‘Not your standard melt’ veers towards an exotic loaded croque monsieur, with chimichurri marinated chicken, chorizo, roast capsicum, cheddar and onion toasted off between two pieces of ciabatta. it’s accompanied by rustic kipfler rounds and a generous helping of the luscious chimichurri sauce (so good we steal some to have on the other dishes).
I’ll have to admit that I’m the generation who makes a pretty damn good avo smash at home, but Espresso Moto’s ‘You All Know Me A.E.P.’ is next level, and one of my favourite dishes on the menu. Avo, edamame and peas get treated to a side of beetroot hummus, bull’s eye beets and chick pea bombs, all served on sourdough. It’s a shakeup in texture achieving different levels of crunch, texture and interest, at the same time boosting the protein levels.
“Everything’s fresh, mostly made in house – the beetroot hummus, tomato sauce, aioli, preserves, relishes and chutney, onion jam and mayo. What we can’t make, we source locally or from Brisbane. We’re using top quality ingredients,” Jordan says.
Now with Chef Rodney Anlezark in the kitchen (ex-Siguenos and Substance Espresso), we see a Breakfast Quesadilla on the menu for the first time, laid flat and loaded with the goodies: house made beans,potato, chorizo, turmeric cauli, topped with a fried egg, lime-cured onions and jalapenos. We’d love to see it spiced up even more with extra green chilli sauce served on the side to get that metabolism working overtime!
“It’s healthy wholesome food, roasted on the grill rather than deep-fried. We want to make ‘homestyle’ freshly baked food – simple food that locals can eat every day, food that’s not out of their price range,” says Jordan.
“There’s a saying: ‘Service as good as your coffee and coffee as good as your food.’ That’s what you go out for: a dining experience. We want the café to be transparent, so that you can watch the action in the kitchen to see what the chef and barista are doing.”
That’s exactly what we’ve experienced: a transparent establishment trying to bring us the very best they can source, thoughtfully prepared with loads of positive vibes. No lip service here! The cafe is a living, breathing demonstration of the passion housed within. It’s a tribute to great food and coffee. Stop in, and you’ll be unlikely to be racing off anytime soon!
Address: 1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach, Ph: 0401 911 990
NOTE: On one occasion, Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Espresso Moto.