Having visited a multitude of cafes over the years, I often wonder what makes them last the test of time. Wally Dabab and Jason Lay may have an idea, considering their Newport café Leroy’s has not only survived a once in a lifetime storm in 2016, but its managed to regenerate itself. Almost six year since opening, Leroy’s has become a stalwart of the Newport community. You just have to visit on any given morning, and see the locals flock to this Mason Street site. Many are on a first name basis with staff, including pets. If you’re anything like me, you’d be wondering who Leroy is at this point. Well, it’s actually a stray cat that floated around the site before their inaugural opening. Even the local cat has its role at this Newport café. I asked Wally what the key to such success was, and in the humblest of responses, he didn’t see any secret to it. Rather, constantly evolving, even if a facelifts is spurred by a freak storm; and becoming a part of the community, are essential. Leroy’s does this with their child & pet friendly spirit. There’s ample room for prams, a side courtyard that looks out onto a large playground, and even a play area for the kids that includes a sandpit.
More to the point, their recent renovation saw them do away with the industrial lights and dark timber furnishings, and carefully craft a modern venue, with a much fresher feel. With the help of Umbau and Tehcne, Leroy’s new look features black steel framing, natural timber tones, banquette seats, and a new courtyard out back.
The menu also had a revamp, with renowned chef, Sam Pinzone (West of Kin), stepping in to design each dish based on seasonal and local produce. Some cleverly named breakfast options include the ‘Dukk Dukk Dukkah’ with smashed peas and fried haloumi on sourdough; the ‘Newport Hollan Daze’ with hash browns, avocado, smoked bacon, and poached eggs topped with parmesan and rocket; and the ‘Magic Mushrooms’ served on a potato rosti, with Bulgarian feta and 60 degree egg. If you’re after something a little sweeter, there’s a Cacao Porridge with cacao nibs, and super seeds; or the OMG Pancakes with coffee cream, popping candy, and burnt fig ice-cream topped with chocolate fairy floss. Lunch starts at 12pm, with a selection of burgers and the Big Dog house made frankfurter sausage available, as well as a selection of healthy salads. There’s even a kids menu, and if you feel like washing Sunday lunch down with a glass of wine, there’s a few South Australian red and white offerings.
One thing that hasn’t changed, is their coffee. Campos supply them with both espresso and filter beans; and you can choose from Aeropress, V60, cold drip, or espresso. I couldn’t knock back a short black. Single Origin of the day was the Costa Rican Sangre do Toro, which is a honey processed Caturra, grown in the Valle Occidental region. Interestingly, this coffees name is a reflection of the quality of the rich red cherries. The name “Sangre de Toro” actually means “bull’s blood” in Spanish. My espresso certainly echoed the quality driven approach taken by the farmers. From its sweet juicy body, to its smooth chocolate finish, it hit the bullseye. Ryan was behind the La Marzocco Linea PB perfecting each shot, and methodically pouring latte arts as I glanced over intently. Regardless how busy it became, there was a noticeable ease in workflow, and staff obviously work well together. A testament to Leroy’s success.
5 Mason Street
Newport VIC 3015