Coffee-swilling jazz aficionados this one's for you: The Local Mbassy has opened in Ultimo. It comes with de riguer exposed beams and bulbs, but a point of difference is found in its larger-than-life feature mural of a prohibition-era Sydney hoodlum by local artist Sid Tapia. "We were paying homage to the revolutionaries and local hooligans of the 1920s" creative director and designer Korolos Ibrahim explains. "We were trying to get the Australian vibe back into today's subculture".
Grub-wise, patrons can expect a "fusion of fine dining and cafe food" from head chef Tamer Gorge, formerly of Quay and Aria.
There's an all-day breakfast menu featuring a full English breakfast ($18) or try something a little off-kilter like red velvet pancakes with strawberries and cream ($15.50). For heartier meals, the crispy skin salmon fillet with braised eggplant, Asian greens and ginger garlic soy dressing ($26) sounds lightly satisfying.
There's also a variety of $16 burgers while tangy organic sodas ($4.50) and flavourful smoothies like cherry pistachio with goji berries and vanilla ($7.50) round out the menu.
But, it's Campos coffee that anchors this relaxed, boiler room-style space.
Ibrahim hopes to "create a destination store" and "start a trend" in Ultimo. Compared to the well-caffeinated residents of neighbouring suburbs Glebe and Chippendale, Ultimo locals would no doubt welcome an injection of coffee culture. The Local Mbassy is doing just that, with a lick of style and refined food to boot.
If nothing else, the jazz, blues and funk soundtrack, featuring greats like BB King and Aretha Franklin, will have customers toe-tapping in no time.
The Local Mbassy, 310 Wattle St, Ultimo, Mon-Fri 7am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun.