Crema Espresso is a fantastic shopping centre cafe that is the ideal spot to refuel the shopping batteries when you are attempting some retail therapy with kids or if you are after somewhere to go on a rainy day with your offspring. See the best thing about Crema Espresso (beside their yummy coffee and food) is that they have there very own playground for kidlets!
I had walked past the bright red Crema Espresso a couple of months ago after we had had a disastrous breakfast in another cafe in Westfield Parramatta. I remember thinking that I had to come back and try it out and then that thought disappeared into my foggy brain. Luckily a lovely reader mentioned it to me after I had posted the list of rainy day cafes in Sydney on facebook - it was her favourite place to go when it was wet and I can see why! Crema Espresso is actually a chain cafe out of Qld and even though I'm not normally a fan of chain type cafes, I think Crema need to open up more cafes in shopping centres in NSW, because they have the perfect child friendly formula.
When my little mate and I popped in after the school drop off, the cafe already had quite a few mums and their babies in there, sucking back their caffeine like only mothers of newborns can! Crema Espresso is an ideal venue for mothers groups as there is easy access for prams and loads of room to park them. High chairs are available, toilets are not too far away and toddlers will love the soft play playground that is fully secure. Add to this the friendly staff who are willing to help out parents who are struggling with a baby, pram, nappy bag and getting a toddler into the playground and you have a haven for stressed out parents.
Crema Espresso's motto is "it's all about the coffee" and they do indeed make a very decent brew. The coffee menu explains exactly what each coffee is. For example a macchiato is a shot of espresso "marked" or "stained" with a dollop of creamy textured milk! Anyway regular size coffees will set you back $4, which is definitely on the expensive side for Sydney (but Westfield's rents are probably astronomical). The babycino is also a wee bit expensive at $2.00 but it was made perfectly - pure warm froth (apparently this is what textured milk is according to the coffee menu) and it came with 3 marshmallows! I think we scored an extra one because we waited a little while for it. By the way, spiderman was added by my little dude.
What isn't expensive is the Crema Kids menu. There are 4 options - fairy bread ($2); spaghetti on toast ($6); cheesy toasted fingers & 3 chipolatas ($7.50); and a free range egg on toast ($6.50). You can choose between white or wholemeal bread as well which is fantastic. If none of those options tickle the taste buds of your little ones there are also quite a few options on the main menu that children will love to eat.
Crema Espresso's main menu is huge, there are about 20 options on the breakfast menu alone. Everything from toast ($4) to the Crema Royale ($18.50) - grilled vine ripened tomatoes, poached free range eggs, mushrooms, bacon, smashed potato, grilled haloumi, spinach, pesto, tangy tomato relish on toasted sourdough - phew that's a lot of food! I sampled the breakfast bruschetta and it to was a mountain of a meal and would sustain any shopping marathon. At lunch time you can enjoy burgers, melts, salads and deluxe sandwiches and the most expensive menu item is $17.50. The cake cabinet is full of mass produced treats that you can enjoy with your coffee at morning or afternoon tea time.
After our meal the 5 year old decided to road test the brightly coloured play area. The rules on the front gate say that the area is for 8 years and under - I think it probably should be more like 5 years and under. Whilst my babe did have loads of fun in there, he grew bored after a wee while and actually needed to wee too, so I grabbed him out of there quickly! There are things to crawl through, climb up and bounce on, so it's ideal for little ones finding their legs. There is a nice long bench seat that runs the whole length of the play area for parents and carers to sit on. I loved the mural on the back wall which used coffee beans and teaspoons to create flowers.
Fully recharged after your sojourn at Crema Espresso you can hit the shops again. Westfield Parramatta has some gorgeous kids stores (Baby Gap, Bardot Junior, Betts Kids, Blue Sky Kids, Bonds, Cotton Kids, Pumpkin Patch + more) - I did attempt to take my little dude shopping but failed miserably - he told me all the kids clothes in Gap were lame!!!
Lvl 2, Westfield Parramatta (next to Myer)
159 -175 Church St, Parramatta
02 9635 8528
Open Mon - Fri: 9.30am - 6pm;
Sat: 9.00am - 6.00pm; Sun; 10.00am - 6.00pm