Food for thought as new eateries open
Teaching and learning is hungry work – but luckily there is no shortage of eateries on campus, especially with two brand new options to add to the mix.
Andrew Zaf prepares to open his new eatery on level 2 of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.
Café 80 – Dr Chau Chak Wing Building (levels 2 and 3)
Just off Mary Ann St on level 2 of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, customers at Café 80 will find their senses stirred – both by architect Frank Gehry’s distinctive polished stainless steel bar and the rich scent of seriously good coffee.
For owner-manager Andrew Zaf, whose family has a 40-year history in catering and hospitality, the iconic building has strongly influenced every aspect of his venue – even down to the choice of coffee supplier.
“We were determined to find a unique coffee for our unique space,” he says. “We wanted the best boutique roaster that was new to the area, and even though it took us six months to find White Horse coffee, it was worth it."
Even the "80" name and branding is a subtle reference to the building itself, being inspired by a bricklayer’s comment about how the building’s innovative brickwork impacted the number of bricks that could be laid per day in the more complex areas.
Both the menu and the fit-out of the licensed bar-restaurant inspire sociable get-togethers. Inside, which seats 38, square tables can be pushed together for large groups – and to accommodate the generous, Mediterranean-inspired share platters created by Zaf’s chef (and wife) Ali Lucato. The building's forecourt accommdates an additional 60 people.
Looking a fast feed? On level 3, Café 80’s satellite café has also recently opened. Located just off the soon-to-be opened The Goods Line and integrated into the student lounge, the café serves tasty sandwiches, croissants and other traditional café fare.
|Where:||Levels 2 and 3, Dr Chau Chak Wing Building|
|What:||Bar-restaurant (level 2 - opening soon!) and café (level 3)|
|Coffee:||White Horse coffee from $3|
|Best value:||Share platters from around $32 (serving 2–3 people); individual lunches from $8|
|Weekday hours:||Level 2 7am–10pm; level 3 8am–4pm (later during semester)|
Cornerstone Café (level 3)
A few streets away, tucked snugly into the student commons on the ground floor (level 3) of the new Science and Graduate School of Health Building, the aptly named Cornerstone Café offers a welcoming space that is quickly finding a relaxed groove after launching in late April.
The café-style tables have begun to spread outside and co-owner T.J. Balabanel is hoping to introduce lounges, high stools and even bean bags over coming weeks to enhance the eatery’s sociable atmosphere.
Meanwhile, plans are also afoot to expand the menu next semester. Currently, it centres on sandwiches and salads – made fresh daily on-site – as well the famous cronut (a croissant-style doughnut) and other sweet treats. However, cooking facilities about to be installed will enable a variety of hot dishes to be offered, including breakfast for early birds from 6.30am.
"Look out for a whole range of hot breakfast options in a few weeks, including a Turkish big breakfast," promises Balabanal. "We’ll also be offering burgers and other hot lunch dishes."
There’s no doubt that the Cornerstone team knows how to win over the UTS community. Their opening special saw 350 free coffees enjoyed by staff and students, and Balabanel – whose business partner runs the popular kebab shop at UTS – promises that good value will be an ongoing feature of the café.
"And good service," he adds. "Good service is always on the menu."
|Where:||Level 3, Building 7|
|Coffee:||Gabriel coffee from $3|
|Best value:||Tuna melt $5.50|
|Weekday hours:||6.30am–5.30pm (6.30pm during semester)|
So, whether you’re a fan of good architecture, good coffee or good food (or all three), why not check out the buildings and their new eateries soon? And don’t forget the other established food and drink options on campus, including the Towers Café and ActivateUTS outlets in the Tower, Building 10’s Café 10, Building 11's Penny Lane and Universal Cafeteria in Building 6.