XS Espresso’s North Parramatta branch is an extremely accessible 2.2km away from the nearest quaternary hospital, and a convenient 20 metres away from the nearest Officeworks.
This Happy Bowl ($21) is a reasonably healthy but also quite delicious bowl. The roasted pumpkin wedge is the star attraction, though the ample serving of chicken breast, fresh salad vegetables, poached egg, and beetroot hummus swirl also hold their own. While I did spend an extra $4 on sujuk, I didn’t need to, as there really was enough chicken to go around. Happy and healthy. I can recommend.
If the happy bowl is happy and healthy, the Cheesy Croissant ($18) is the absolute opposite. This cheesed up macaroni dish makes no apologies for its thickness and gooeyness, delivered straight from the plate into your coronary artery foam cells. This is a tasty but very heavy dish, and not recommended for anyone looking to live a long and healthy life.
This Beef Sausage & Egg Roll ($7.50) disappointed me. I mistook it to be a breakfast muffin, a la the amazing McLovin at Happyfield. It ended up very standard. The top bread bun was a non-necessary addition.
Taking a step backwards into health land, this Secret Chicken Sandwich ($12), lightly toasted with a large slab of chicken breast and plenty of salad, was a mild flavoured and reasonably good-for-you snack. Not bad for the LDL and wallet conscious.
Flash forward now to Monday the 11th of October 2021. NSW has just reached its 70% double-dose COVID-19 vaccination target, and we have just finished the third and last night in our week, having somehow managed to keep everyone in our little corner of the intensive care unit alive. I had a sense of great anxiety approaching our first post-nights breakfast in many months, sitting in the car as I surveyed XS’ other patrons and wondering if the potential for exposure to the largely vaccinated but still possibly unvaccinated masses of Western Sydney was truly worth it for an egg.
After anxiously consulting a few of my colleagues around the country I ultimately decided it would be pretty safe to have a quick meal in one of their outdoor dining areas. Concerningly they only checked the vaccination status of one of our scrubbed up party of three.
The Delicious Dean ($18) was my visually attractive, reasonably healthy, but otherwise a little disappointing choice. While the smashed avocado, bread, pesto, and tiny cut cherry tomatoes were just fine, the egg leaved a lot to be desired. I was extremely disappointed, after witnessing the perfect runniess of my colleague KS’ poached egg, to find that mine was pretty much cooked through. The difficulty of navigating the prosciutto added insult to injury, though that was mostly my own fault as sujuk was offered as an alternative.
While ultimately the breakfast offerings at XS tend to be only OK, it was just nice to be able to eat at a cafe after so long away.
XS Espresso North Parramatta
9A/2 Windsor Rd, Northmead NSW 2152
(02) 9890 9229