Cafe Review: Cafe Essen

When I arrived in Canberra, everyone seemed to say "let's go to Cafe Essen, it's really cool." And it's in a rather busy little cafe area, and always seemed to have loads of people, so I've given it a bit of a chance. But what a heap of crap! Seriously.

Experience 1

Invited by a friend, we were sitting outside. From my memory:
- The water they gave us had little floatie bits in it
- Scruffy looking boy smoked in my face
- Uncomfortable metal chairs

You smell horrible

Experience 2

This time we were sitting inside, but by the window. It was rather busy. The water had not floatie bits in it. A plus! Then the downsides:

- Hoping for loads of beautiful people at this place is a mistake. The place is fully of scruffy leftie types, like young Tims off Big Brother 5. Why can't the lefties there be good looking, clean ones, like Fop?
- They were all smoking. The worse one was a table full of them. Gawd they were ugly. I think they were Star Wars fans as they all looked very disparate but similar. They had some kind of box with a Darth Vader reference on it. There was a guy, I didn't see his face, but I assumed he was ugly, because he had icky black hair, with red at the front and looked pasty and was smoking clouds of disgustingness over the whole place. Other patrons were getting pissed off. I just coughed very loudly to draw attention to the issue. My coffee companion was suitably embarassed :)

Ridiculously awful hair

- I spotted a couple of things on the menu that I liked the look of, namely the New York Cheesecake and the Cherry Ripe Tart. When I asked about them the waitress acted like she hadn't heard of them and as though I was an idiot for suggesting they would ever have such things at Cafe Essen, despite the fact they're on the menu. She then went on some kind of rant to the other staff members "why does Chris put those on there bla bla bla" Yes, blame this faceless "Chris"!

Blueberry and Ricotta Cheesecake

Anyway we had the Blueberry and Ricotta Cheesecake, and admittedly, it was very good.

My dining companion made a very pertinent comment as we were leaving. "You would think that these "alternative" people who "care" so much about humanity etc wouldn't smoke, wouldn't you."

The trip to Civic was topped off by the usual bus trip, pleasant up to the point where the usual "Canberra bus traveller" gets on and stinks like fucking awfulness. I mean for fucks sake, they all smell the same. Like cigarette smoke, mixed with unwashedness, unwashed clothes, unwashed hair, and general stinkiness. It's very difficult to describe, other than that it's smoky and it's stifling. Get a peg if you want to travel on a bus. The older buses have no ventilation, and if you attempt to open a window, some cool dude will shut it. Excuse the rant.


tom said...

how do you know anything about the opinions of these so called 'alternative leftie types'?

did you discuss humanitarian issues with them? did you over hear them having a winge about george w bush?

just wondring.

popgoescanberra said...

Yes, they were rabbiting on about humanitarian issues and George Bush. Non-stop. It was a wonder I could hear through the thick veil of cigarette smoke. Lucky I have good hearing.

cfitzart said...

I was playing backgammon there last night and I thought it was alright.. well I suppose I might be a scruffy leftie type.. but I don't smoke though

mister z said...

oh god, essen! brings back memories. used to have passable coffee but then something went wrong - maybe cos I stopped going there after leaving clubs at 6am and wised up?

anyway it was always gus's the superior joint for my money. and my eggs benedict.

Munggorn said...

I guess i'll be the first to praise cafe Essen, first off by saying that Gus's is full of dark, evil looking waiters and staff. Essen on the other hand is full of mighty fine looking waitresses and their barista skills are supurb.
For a chilled-out, bohemian feel while sipping your Fair Trade latte or infused Chai tea try cafe Essen.
I agree with you about the goths who frequent this place, they are ugly and in my opinion the only reason they put so much crap all over their faces is to hide this ugliness factor. Sit inside to avoid them! and not by the window, sit by the beans (much more pleasant aroma there).

Abirame said...

Cafe Essen is awful... I ordered tandoori chicken and got chicken marinated in chinese bbq sauce instead. When I informed the manager about this, she just said insisted that it was tandoori and that my standards were too high.

Very very foul service and food...

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