Leaf Cafe offers a relaxed atmosphere in local shopping villages

Coffee and chocolate are the perfect partners, and even better when found at your local suburban shopping centre!

Last year, I reviewed Leaf Cafe & C0 at Stanhope Gardens Shopping Village, which opened in September 2013 (see pictures and review below). This year, they’ve changed their name from The Leaf Cafe to Leaf Cafe & Co and now have another cafe nearby at the newly opened Ponds Shopping Centre.

Leaf & Co The Ponds Interior

Birthed as a Cafe and Restaurant in North Sydney in 2009, Leaf Cafe & Co is an Australian owned franchise bringing corporate quality and culture to this Western Sydney growth area, home to lots of young families. With a motto of “Simple, popular food cooked exceptionally well with service that always exceeds your expectations”, Leaf & Co delivers on this promise. The food and coffee is consistently excellent, and well priced, while their staff always offer prompt, helpful and friendly service, which is easy to see why they are  becoming rapidly popular with locals.

Brownie, Friand, Nutella Scroll, Apple Crumble, Cinnamon Scroll, Gluten free TartThe Ponds store opened in May 2015, and has fast earned a loyal following from the locals. With a good deal of outdoor dining in addition to their indoor space, patrons are able to bring their dogs along, and parents can easily navigate prams to enjoy a much needed coffee.

While the coffee is good, I find the biggest draw card in winter is their northern aspect – capturing all day winter sun, whether dining inside or out, and giving a very comforting dining experience.

Their menu is contemporary and considers healthy options as well as rich indulgences.  Breakfast is served all day with a range of egg choices – with smashed avocado, covered in hollandaise as benedict, or with bacon on a roll, burger or wrap. Granola and a range of toast options round out your breakfast selection.

Poached Eggs with Bacon and spinach on brioche toast with hollandaise sauce

Lunch starts from 11 and includes burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads like the poached chicken and pumpkin salad with roast pumpkin, rocket, cherry tomatoes, mint, fetta, pepita seeds, olives and a lemon honey dressing.

I find it hard to go past the beef burger served on a light brioche bun with lettuce, grilled pineapple, caramelised onions and aioli. Served with my favourite beverage of Belgian Mocha Frappe, this makes for a very satisfying meal.

beef burger served on a light brioche bun with lettuce, grilled pineapple, caramelised onions and aioli

The range of beverages is extensive from juices, smoothies and frappes to teas and great coffees including cold drip which is extracted over six hours and served in a glass with ice. Their hand brew Hario V60 pour over coffee is served at your table and most importantly, they still have their well known Belgium hot chocolate, served with coffee as a mocha, over ice or blitzed into a frappe.

Leaf Cafe & Co is a popular local spot in Western Sydney and will be opening more cafes in St Clair and Auburn during 2015.

Leaf Cafe & Co
T12 The Ponds Shopping Centre
Cnr of the Ponds Boulevard & Riverbank Dr
The Ponds NSW 2769
P: 0430 370 943
E: purple@leafcafe.com.au
Open: Monday to Saturday: 7:30am – 4:30pm, and Sunday: 7:30am – 4:00pm



Leaf & Co Stanhope Gardens
Set up as a Kiosk in the southern end of the Stanhope Village, the cafe provides a comfortable stop down in this busy shopping centre. Being located next to the kids play zone and pet store encourages a real family atmosphere, making it very popular with parents and grandparents during the week. Before the shops open, commuters and local workers enjoy the convenience of grabbing a great take-away coffee and bite for breakfast before starting their workday.

Their coffee is exceptional and you can tell the owners have had a long history in the coffee industry. The Leaf’s house blend is specially crafted from Colombian and Brazilian beans, while the seasonal espresso blend consists of beans from Ethiopia, Kenya and Papua New Guinea. They also have a boutique decaf which comes from Mexico! All Coffee is roasted every week by a professional team located in Sydney. The beans are roasted in small batches and kept no longer than 14 days after roasting, and are then freshly ground on the premises.

Leaf & Co Stanhope Gardens Coffee

As a dessert cafe, there’s a big focus on Belgian chocolate which is available hot or iced, both as either just chocolate or as a mocha. The melted chocolate is also fantastic on waffles with or without lots of fruit, and can be supplied as a pot for dipping strawberries into. There’s also range of cakes and slices available, along with frozen yoghurt – offering a daily changing flavour with optional toppings.

belgian waffles with banana strawberries and melted chocolate

The rest of the simple menu consists of sandwiches salads and all day breakfast, but the fresh ingredients, generous servings and attention to detail is what makes this cafe a bit above the rest.

For a healthy breakfast try the Quattro Muesli, with layers of low fat muesli seasonal fruit low fat yoghurt and Manuka honey. Deliciously filled with a variety of seeds, nuts, whole dates at least four varieties of fruit, this is an incredibly substantial meal. A great brunch or lunch option is their B L A T of bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato on Turkish bread. Offering generous amounts of everything between thinly sliced bread and nicely toasted on the grill, the added kick of sweet chilli really gives this sandwich a flavour hit. Table water is freely accessible and family friendly specials like the kid’s mini muffin or mini croissant with juice or milk for only $4 demonstrate why this place has become a parent’s oasis.

seasonal fruit muesli nuts manuka honey

The Managers are always researching for the best quality ingredients and asking customers about new menu options. They are currently thinking of adding a breakfast muffin range to their menu in the future including favourites like bacon, egg and cheese, and a vegetarian option of avocado, tomato and feta, which can easily be enjoyed on site or on the go. The ample amount of seating does fill up quickly during busy periods, making take-away a great alternative option.

Leaf & Co SignBeing part of a shopping centre atmosphere means the only thing missing is outdoor ambience, however the local pet store usually has a bird or two tweeting next door, helping to bring some level of nature indoors. Overall the easy, relaxed, appetising and inexpensive nature of The Leaf provides a good coffee break for the local community that is only a quick hop from home.

Kiosk 8 Stanhope Village
2 Sentry Drive
Stanhope Gardens NSW 2768
P: 0411 313 742
E: stanhope@leafcafe.com.au
Open: Monday to Saturday: 7:30am – 5:00pm, Thursday: 7:30am – 7:30pm, Sunday: 8:30am – 4:00pm