Few people wear two hats as skillfully as Alan Thompson. The international DJ famous for his Ministry of Sound Housexy and Clubbers Guide compilations and tours is fast becoming revered for his brand new homegrown café, Bangbang in Reservoir Street, Surry Hills.
"My plan was to move to Australia from the UK, get my residency and open a café," says Thompson. Clearly this guy likes ticking off his ‘to do' list. Bangbang swung open its doors in Reservoir Street seven weeks ago and has experienced a great lunchtime weekday rush and phenomenal weekend breakfast patronage since its modest debut.
Thompson has put his personal touch into everything, from the menu through to the décor of this inviting little café. His trademark as a DJ is literally set in stone - in a mural depicting oversized headphones on the café's main wall that evokes a sense of urban chic.
Bangbang's menu is warm and inviting. Old- school favourites have been given the Alan Thompson once over and are served up with homely flair. "We make almost everything on the menu from scratch," Thompson assures us. His signature ‘posh fish fingers' offer a refreshing upgrade from Birds Eye. Here, Thompson serves up lightly crumbed strips of fish fillet with aioli on sourdough that is both tasty and filling for under $14. Bangbang's generously sized wagyu beef burger is another must-try and is delivered in a sweet little basket with a serve of crisp potato chips on the side. The Brits just love their crisps!
Bangbang is very well priced, affording locals a regular place to lunch. It's not uncommon to find competitors in the 'hood charging more for a whole lot less, so when it comes to value for money Reservoir Street's newest resident gets a gold star.
Thompson had more than 120 applicants for the position of head barista at Bangbang and tapped the award-winning Phil Capdor for the task. Capdor's latte was one of the best hits I have had in some time and given that this young barista took out fifth place in the 2007 Pura Milk National Latte Art Competition, I wasn't quite sure if I should frame the coffee or drink it.
While communal dining is becoming increasingly popular around the traps, there is enough space between tables here to ensure even the most severe claustrophobic dines comfortably.
Bangbang ticks plenty of boxes, the main being great tasting food at sensible prices, but its real strong suit is its home-made authenticity. There is plenty of passion behind this little gem that will ensure its future as a much talked about destination café and local favourite.