April 27, 2013

Kingston & Co

588 High Street, Penrith, NSW 2750.
(02) 4731 3703

This latest project from hospitality entrepreneur Fernando Drakos is a gem of the West. Kingston and Co. located in Penrith is the culmination of years of café experimenting from Fernando’s projects both in Australia and overseas. Fernando, a combination of Greek father and Spanish mother, was born into hospitality. He co owns several other café concepts in Sydney with Dish Espresso at Moore Park and Kingston and Co. at Belconnen in Canberra. The Penrith setup is state of the art, with a complete snub on the latest café look of industrial style fit outs. Kingston and Co. has given the design a warm majestic feel like the café’s cool name – on further discussion I found out it was the name of his beloved pooch. The café has a high-end franchise feel, with no tacky bits attached.

Fernando has brought his good friend Darryl Martin into his new project as Executive Chef to take care of the food offerings across all of his cafés. The highlight of my visit was the amazing food on offer, all being generated from the compact kitchen snuggled in the corner of the café. I settled on the sticky lamb ribs and came back the next day to wrestle down the pulled pork sanga.  The menu is restaurant quality, and well presented at a café price point.

The coffee was amazing and the small team of passionate baristas made sure I was appeased fully before my service time was complete. Fernando has been around coffee a long time and has fitted the blend well to the market. I also discovered this café king was part of an upmarket tea concept in London and has put a fair bit of his tea knowledge into this café, with some rare varieties on offer.

Kingston and Co. is well placed in Penrith’s newest shopping precinct, right at the funnel of both entrances into the Westfield Shopping Centre. The design also has a street window for quick takeaway service, which has already created a morning lineup for the well presented takeaway espresso.

One thing I really enjoyed about my experience at Kingston and Co. was the superior customer service. The staff all knew how to meet and greet, and everyone that entered the space was put at ease within a few seconds. It’s so nice to see this old fashioned service in a cool café environment in a busy city strip.

I am looking forward to seeing Kingston and Co. progress all around the country and will be enjoying seeing this great café concept outside of the traditional CBD locations.

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