Bianca: Cucina Espresso has been a standard local for us, for many years. My parents live a 5-minute walk away from Concord’s main strip, Majors Bay Road. We do have our standard go to cafes and this has recently been challenged with the new kid on the block Paperboy.
I’ve been to Cucina numerous times but never really thought to write about it. So this is a bit of a compilation post over several visits.
I mostly find their Little Marionette coffee fairly reliable. But don’t be fooled, you’ll be waiting precious sweet un-caffeinated time for that coffee. They are notoriously slow! My standard Skim Capp was a little on the milky side. I find the service usually quite patchy but they do get very busy which is always a great indicator for a suburban local.
Mumma clearly off no relation to me, was taken by the sound of the Raw Organic Activated Buckinis Bowl –w/natural yoghurt, mixed berry, activated mixed nuts & honey $14.50. Let’s bypass the ‘activated mixed nuts’ completely shall we… This really isn’t anything I would ever order or eat. But if you’re a granola nut you’ll enjoy it. Mother did.
But it was their recent breakfast additions that drew me in. Namely, the Ricotta Pancakes –w/ricotta, maple syrup, fresh strawberries & mint $15. Despite my initial lacklustre first impressions, these were actually very very good. Two thick, fluffy airy pancakes, sandwiched by a deliciously sweet ricotta/cinnamon mixture. The fresh strawberries were a nice touch to add some varying flavour to the dish but the addition of crispy bacon (a godsend) is really the only way to roll. You’ll thank me later!
And back again to try more of the pancakes on offer. Mumma a fiend for Nutella, went with the Nutella Pancakes $14.50. I enjoy the flavour and texture of the actual pancakes themselves so they’re a great vessel for whatever is added. But, this was not a favourite. The vanilla gelato had an odd flavour (so we removed it entirely and mentioned it to the staff). But it really lacked that wow factor, Nutella, as we know, is amazing but slathering it on some pancakes by themselves really don’t make for anything memorable.
The Banana Pancakes $16 fared much better! I swapped out the vanilla bean gelato for the ricotta mixture (which they happily obliged) and thank god for that switcharoo. Out of the three pancakes, this was probably my favourite. The fresh banana really just added that extra dose of freshness and flavour. BUT make sure you get the crispy bacon.
And my final 3rd visit with Ness, baby Vincent and Mumma Squads in tow. We went the savoury route.
Ness had the Prosciutto Omelette $19 with generous lashings of velvety prosciutto and Persian fetta.
I really don’t know what on earth I was thinking when I ordered the Healthy Start – Egg White scrambled mixed grain bread $14 w/Crispy Bacon $4. I thought the price was rather high for scrambled eggs and two pieces of toast. There really wasn’t anything remarkable to make me order this again. The bacon on the other hand…. fab!
And to share between us, the Cucina House Made Banana Bread $5 w /Ricotta and Honey $2.50. I make a pretty mean banana bread on the reg and this was a pretty darn good version!
Cucina is a pretty reliable local cafe, a few hit and miss dishes. But the proof is in the pudding and they’re always packed!