42 Whitmore Square, Adelaide
A few months back and seemingly out of nowhere, the tiny Café Troppo apperated into the base of a newly completed apartment block on the corner of Sturt St and Whitmore Square. I’d spoken about it with guys from a local design studio – the location, the operators, the cubbyhouse / lean-to aesthetic – but no one seemed to know quote what the deal was…
Turns out Troppo is an architecture firm who, in 2005 won a competition – the Adelaide Affordable Ecohousing Competition – to “design a medium density development on a corner of one of Adelaide’s 5 squares”. The building which resulted – apart from being one of the city’s most intriguing new erections – includes “Well insulated walls and winter sun-catching glass… balanced across the floor plate for best thermal performance” and aims to “flirt with the public and private interface.”* At the base of the complex and clearly tied into this eco-aware mindset, nestles Café Troppo.
Ours was a Sunday visit, and the chalkboard boasted “all day breakfast and Sunday roast from 12:30”. CAN YOU IMAGINE?? We seriously considered cancelling our plans for the remainder of the day (which included a friend’s wedding) and just camping out in a warm corner.
The breakfast / brunch menu is brief but varied (eggs, pancakes, French toast, muffins, smoothies, waffles, juice…) and their cakes and pastries were enticingly lopsided and homey. During the week their eats list is carefully selected to offer seasonal produce and changes accordingly. Expect to find a combination of pastas, pizzas, pies, salads, soups and baked things – or, none of these. Apparently late night wine / tapas / live music happens on Thursdays and Fridays too. Frankly, that sounds just about great. Oh, and did I mention Sunday roast?!
Troppo Coffee (courtesy of Magil roasters De Groot) is presented in handcrafted ceramic (a welcome deviation from industry staples) and in keeping with the business’ dominant ethos, takeaways are served in Biocups. The resident espresso-maker was certainly doing them proud, serving a heavy, dark brew typical of De Groot. A friend, having asked after gluten free bread, returned to our table wide-eyed at the response she received; “we’ve just baked a fresh batch”. It seems Troppo produce most things in-house, and prefer local or boutique producers for those they cannot (a tiny ‘barter board’ offers customers the chance to trade homegrown ingredients for food and service).
Timber furniture, the open kitchen and friendly, casual service all add to the experience of great, simple food served well. Brunches are bustling – so if you’re headed down on the weekend don’t expect to get a table straight away, but have patience. The atmosphere is unique and effortlessly welcoming – not an easy vibe to pull off. Kudos Troppo.
Thanks for stopping by. Be well, TV.
*quotes in this paragraph are lifted from this website