Coffee date combined with a shopping trip? Sure, why not?
Location, location, location, real estate agents say it so it must be important. However, I don’t believe it can be overlooked when choosing somewhere to eat. I usually wouldn’t usually pick out a shopping centre food court as a likely location for a trendy, inner-city café, but here Paper Cup & Co. is, nestled right amongst the food court in Westfield, Geelong.
With à la mode milk proudly on display and more gluten-free options than you can shake a stick at, Paper Cup & Co. is certainly bringing Pakington like foodie sensibilities to the same audience that is more likely to visit the KFC that can be found at the other end of the strip. However, as I found last week with Red Noodle Canteen, perhaps being close to a KFC isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For one, being in a shopping centre gives the space a relaxed, welcoming feel, due to the lack of a door, Paper Cup & Co. invites you to take a seat and take a break from whatever it is you found yourself doing. There’s plenty of light to take Instagram photos, and with a collection of loaded cookies from The Cookie Bar, Paper Cup & Co. offers a promising package for those looking for a contemporary experience without so much of the intimidating exclusivity that can bring.
To test out some of the gluten-free options, I bought along a companion who just so happens to be allergic to everything under the sun, and even he was able to find a sweet treat to eat. A ‘Marz’ slice he said it was called, and although we were trying to have a real conversation, he couldn’t stop commenting on how delicious it was, perfect portioning for something so dense and incredibly dangerous he described it as I assume ‘incredibly dangerous’ was a good thing and not a cry for help because he also uses that phrase to describe apples.
View this post on Instagram
Since I was feeling rather naughty, drinking yuppie coffee in a shopping centre and all, I treated myself to one of the aforementioned loaded cookies. I picked out a Red Velvet Oreo affair and suffice to say, there was a lot going on. The cookie (calling this thing a cookie isn’t exactly accurate, it’s more like an entire cake) included several fillings, including a layer of custard and a gooey velvet paste, surrounded by a soft red cookie layer, and topped with a hard layer of icing which had various Oreo pieces stuck to it. To say this was incredibly sweet is an understatement, although what did I really expect from a red velvet cookie taller than most mugs.
Once the cookie had me out for the count, the lactose-free latte was much appreciated to wash it down with, just bitter enough to get some enjoyment from drinking it, but not so much so that I need tasting notes. Paper Cup & Co. uses the same trendy milk brand as my usual café so I appreciate the consistency or my stomach does I should say.
For those not looking to get a cavity over lunch, Paper Cup & Co. also offers a variety of brunch and lunch style meals with café classics like eggs your way on a bread of your choice, or perhaps some buttermilk pancakes with berries and ice cream, or a Southern-style crispy chicken burger if you’re down for something bigger. The Avo smash is a winner, served on sourdough bread with tomato, coriander, salsa, fetta cheese, lemon and poached egg, or the Vegan Jackfruit Poke Bowl is pretty damn tasty.
The options really are there for whatever you feel like, whether you’re after a light snack or a full meal.
Despite the interesting selection of cakes and a wide range of celiac-friendly food, I can’t help but feel that something is off. No doubt it’s the location, that being a shopping centre food court if you’ve forgotten. But for the army of retail staff that call Westfield home, I’m sure Paper Cup & Co. is a godsend in those 15-minute lunch breaks, without it, the only other options for coffee are chain stores and the supermarket, so having an independent option like this is certainly a welcome reprieve.
And as for those with a sweet tooth, Paper Cup & Co. is the only place in the CBD to access these sugary mountains and is certainly a sight to behold at the very least.