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Tuesday
Jul292014

Single Origin Roasters Mothership, Botany

Single Origin Roasters Mothership, Botany

Single Origin Roasters. 28B Cranbrook St, Botany. I’ve been going to the original Single Origin Roasters shop for at least eight years, and it’s evolved a lot in that time - growing, spawning an extra cafe just for selling takeaway coffees, and moving its roaster off-site.

This new store represents their latest development, bringing their signature approach to food and coffee sales to some spec at the front of their roastery. When we arrive on a rainy day, it’s near empty, but by the time we leave, it’s filled up.

Single Origin Roasters Mothership, Botany

Food and coffee are to the usual high standard, though the prices are also premium. Worth a visit.

Wednesday
Jul232014

How to Order Pizza, Delivered, Online

When I was approached by menulog to try out their service, and was offered a voucher so I wouldn’t have to actually pay for my dinner, I thought “this is an offer too good to refuse”.

I mentioned menulog to a friend who is somewhat younger than me, and not only was she aware of it, she is a regular user (as it saves trips to the supermarket late at night when there are no groceries in the house).

Had my suspicion of online ordering been depriving me of something that could make life much simpler? Perhaps. There have been a few occasions where I had wanted to order some kind of home-delivered food, but hadn’t had enough cash on hand, and so I’d have to go out to an ATM anyway…

Menulog helps get around this by letting you pay with a credit card, or even with PayPal (as I was paying with a voucher, I haven’t tested the latter, but it’s listed as a payment option).

menulog order confusion

The mobile website is very comprehensive: go to the page for your capital city (e.g. Sydney Food Delivery), type in your postcode, and you’ll see a list of restaurants. I was surprised by how many restaurants there were. Out of the ones that would deliver to my suburb (just choose the suburb from the drop-down when you enter your postcode), there was a lot of Thai food, and quite a few pizza places. I chose pizza this time around.

Looking at the mobile website for a while, I felt that installing the app would be worthwhile, and tried that instead. It’s fast and intuitive, with a few moments of confusion towards the end: when you try and tap the top of the screen (an iOS standard move for “scroll to the top of the list”), it takes you back to the menulog home screen instead.

At times, the mobile app was a little confusing: when you have completed the process, it tells you your order has been placed, but then has a pop-up to try the app - this is clearly something they will work out in time.

menulog - app confusion

Ignoring that minor confusion, the rest is super easy. Moments after placing the order, you receive an SMS confirmation including the delivery time and contact details of the restaurant, and then - ten minutes before they were due - the food arrives at the door like magic.

menulog notification

And here we have the finished product: pizza, ordered online (before the restaurant had even opened for the day), delivered to my place when I wanted it, ready to eat. Thanks for the chance to test out your service, menulog!

menulog - the pizza

Tuesday
Jul152014

Hatch Espresso, Chippendale

Hatch espresso, Ultimo espresso di manfredi coffee.

The Grounds Espresso. 10 Little Regent St, Chippendale. Next to the Mercure hotel near Central Station, in prime position to take advantage of foot traffic waiting for a bus is a hole in the wall, that’s big enough to hold a full kitchen.

Where the magic happens - Hatch espresso, Chippendale

When I first visited a couple of weeks ago, they were doing a $3 happy hour from 8am-10am, but this has stopped now - they’ve transitioned from Espresso Di Manfredi to The Grounds coffee, and upgraded their espresso machine.

Hatch espresso - now serving grounds coffee.

Sadly, their prices are back to a level of being competitive with other nearby providers of coffee, but it’s certainly competing on quality. Worth a look, especially if you have a craving for the Grounds coffee. And  they have a dedicated decaf grounder.

Tuesday
Jul152014

book: the hard thing about hard things

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

The trouble with being a CEO is there’s no rule-book to follow. Horowitz outlines his experiences running companies during the dot com bubble burst, and provides lessons on what it looks like to run a well-structured tech start-up, from garage to IPO and acquisition. 

Friday
Jul042014

pod coffee and digital rights management

Beyond the ecological nightmare of pod coffee, and the reduced quality from fresh-ground: now there’s the notion of coffee digital rights management, of a sort, to stop people using unofficial pods in their machines.