Saturday, 27 July 2013

Café Omega, Moree

When we pulled in to a motel to overnight in Moree, in central New South Wales, on 29 November 2012 we had no idea that the morning would reveal a vibrant café scene. Having travelled through Moree many times in the past we were dubious that this country town of not totally salubrious reputation would deliver anything worth reporting on. But these days it seems that there are a number of proper cafés in town, including one run by the Aboriginal community. We checked the internet to find somewhere to have breakfast, and one place in particular stood out -- Café Omega.

We really liked the nod to Australian heritage with the corrugated iron wainscoting.

We were delighted to discover that Café Omega has been thoroughly and professionally conceived, from its layout to its menu. It is a striking step up from any of the other inland cafés we set foot in. For a start, the interior isn't a deafening cacophony of chairs scraping, screaming steam injectors and ever escalating conversation. Someone has thought about the acoustics and got it right.

Might have to steal this idea...

Second, it was obvious that a wide range of the community uses the place, from young women with children, older women with their mothers, and the most significant social shift of all in Australia, older men coming in for a coffee rather than repairing to the pub for a beer. Customer and work flows had been carefully thought out so that they worked smoothly and there was a central aisle to the L-shaped counter at the back. Beyond that were toilets and the terrace (which was too hot to consider using the day we were there).

Grilled bacon, tomato and cheese strips on good chunky white bread with strong café latte. This was the only good bread experience I had in Australia. Bread in Australia is still generally ghastly, but the bacon seems now universally superb (a completely different product to when we left Australia in 1997).

Finally, and most importantly, the food and the coffee were excellent, and came in reasonably priced, generous servings. The story of how this place came to be in this unlikely setting is told here, in a newspaper article. It must have been a tremendous risk at the time, to upstakes from more civilised parts and return to Moree with the idea of opening a café, but Charles Budway's vision has been achieved. We wish him bonne continuation.
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Ile de Ré Reflections: A view of harbourside buildings at Saint-Martin-de-Ré.
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Farming News: The wheat harvest must have begun, as the main thoroughfares of Preuilly have spilt red grain scattered all over them and there is a steady stream of trailers full of grain being towed to the silos in town.
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Weather News: Another big 3 am thunderstorm this morning, this time with less sound and light, but more lashing winds. Instead of being over in less than an hour, this one lasted at least 3 hours. I spoke to Charles, one of our wine growing friends yesterday, and he said they were very happy. They may have lost 50% of their harvest to hail in June, but now the weather is hot and it is raining at night with no hail. Perfect for swelling and ripening grapes. They want this weather to continue for another couple of months, and I don't suppose too many people would argue with them.
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Yesterday's Quiz: The answers are now added to yesterday's post. No one was awarded any points!

1 comment:

  1. I slept through most of it...
    including the loss of half of one of the original old trognes [pollards]... and branches everywhere!

    A trailer cover that ducks could swim in... and... the weather station decided to give up the ghost!!
    But the plastic rain tube has 22mm in it... and given the wind, that is what it caught!

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