Somewhat of an enigma, Joe Black X is a tiny hole in the wall café wedged in a small opening on the side of a heritage listed building on King Street. There’s no signage, no seating, no website or telephone – just a curbside blackboard reading “coffee made with love” scribbled in chalk.
With its blink and you’ll miss it location, follow your nose to the wafts of freshly ground coffee beans and house baked muffins – be quick, they sell about two dozen of the morsels before midday – and stop when you see hordes of office workers clutching keep cups in one hand and Blackberrys in the other.
You’ll be greeted by the ever-enthusiastic barista (and co-owner Grant Pitstock) pouring out cracker coffees using their own house blend, roasted by the lovely folk at Toby’s Estate.
Peruse the blu-tacked butcher’s paper menus and choose from staple breaky items like muesli and granola, paninis, muffins and a knockout croque monsieur (not even the most chronic hangover stands a chance against this cheesey concoction). For lunch, it’s all about the sambo – warm roasted free range chicken with tarragon and lemon mayo; tuna with Sicilian olives, globe artichoke, preserved lemon and parsley; caramelised onion, French goats cheese, thyme, rocket, lemon and parmesan.
Look beyond the bags of organic sourdough and watch the teeny kitchen whipping up an array of house made goodies including toasted muesli, bircher, yoghurt and muffins as well as roasting beef and chickens, and baking their own ham.
Find your way to itty-bitty Joe Black X. One little fella you won’t judge on size.
Joe Black X
70 King Street, Sydney 2000
Open Monday – Friday, 6.30am – 4.30pm