Prahran’s latest resident opened in the first week of May, and it’s the second café brought to us by Eugene Ye & Alan Ng. Many may know their first venture, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, which is located on the northern side of the Yarra River in Cremorne. Sideshow Coffee has a whole new feel, style, and approach to The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The fit out is carefully curated to match the areas renowned fashion culture, and pays homage to the Chapel Street Precinct. Designers, Zwei interiors & architecture, set out to create a space that references the fashion catwalk. The concrete columns along the window are adorned with banded red and blue fabric, and upholstered seating provide for a lounge like experience. Further reflective of the fashion spectacle, is the colourful street art by Mike Maka, which the windows look out onto. Mike is famed for painting the Berlin Wall and River Ganges among other things around the globe, and his art is engrossed with the interface between man, beast and machine. The mural he created was inspired by the Peregrine Falcon, and vibrantly brighten up the laneway. It’s not only visually stimulating, but a serves as a colourful contrast to the concrete walls behind the coffee bar.
Back inside, coffee graces the theoretical red carpet. With the focus exclusively on quality coffee, both local traders and visitors to the Chapel Street Precinct are allowed the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a selection of brew methods and single origin beans, in a laid back space. Speaking to owner Alan, I quickly learnt of his depth of experience in the industry, having made his first coffee 16 years ago. He loves that each coffee has its own unique profile, which challenges a barista to never become complacent. As the old adage goes, variety is the spice of life. I too must profess, the endless array of coffees on the market keeps life interesting for a coffee enthusiast. No two beans are ever roasted or extracted the exact same way. Each person who handles the beans- from crop to cup, expresses their own take on coffee. At Sideshow, the expression hails from the roasters at Code Black. Alan uses both his La Marzocco Strada EP and pour over gear, to articulate his own take on coffee. All milk based coffees are made using the 3056 blend, which is balanced and characterised by its malt and chocolate tones. Single origin beans rotate fortnightly, and I enjoyed a short black made from the Costa Rican Finca Paritilla. This naturally processed Caturra is from the Tarrazu region, and as an espresso was dominated by hazelnut tones.
The Colombian Edilma Piedrahita was available for filter brew, which is a washed lot from the Pitalito region of Huila. If you like the taste of baked Granny Smith apples, then you’ll enjoy this as a pour over.
Sideshow is open 7 days a week, from 7am to 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 3pm weekends. It’s tucked away quaintly on a side street, mere meters from the corridor that is Chapel Street. You can fully immerse yourself in the stylish surrounds, taking a pause from window shopping, respite from work, and simply indulge in that much needed coffee, while sneaking in pastry from Mill and Bakery.
30 Chatham St
Prahran VIC 3181