Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats (and drinks) around the country right now: Artificer at Saturdays NYC, Bondi.
New York brand Saturdays NYC has opened on Gould Street in Bondi and they've invited Surry Hills roaster Artificer along for the very smooth, very Zen ride. Artificer has a permanent coffee counter inside Saturdays NYC's flagship Australian store, so you can get all your caffeine (and grey leather "Derek") kicks in one fell swoop.
Artificer is the handiwork of Dan Yee and Shoji Sasa; Yee is the owner of Salvage in Artarmon, while Sasa has worked the beans at both Mecca and Single Origin. Under the Artificer umbrella, the pair focuses on ordering, roasting and brewing smaller batches of coffee, resulting in what they believe is a higher quality, more controlled cup. "It's the less-coffee-more-often ideal," says Yee.
At the Saturdays NYC counter, Artificer offers a monthly seasonal blend (at the moment it's a lighter mix of Ethiopian Hunda Oli with Colombian meseta Popayán), plus a few single-origin coffees and a specialty cold-drip on rotation. You can enjoy your brew in-house while you shop or grab it to go from the front window.
The serene and breezy fit-out was designed by Kelvin Ho and Linda Tjaturono from Akin Creative, and built by café-carpentry guns Porter and Maple, and Emac Constructions. It's very Bondi: blond woods, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, exposed concrete and crisp whites. The framed aerial prints of Namibia on the walls, by New York photographer Adrian Gaut, appear oddly reminiscent of the rockpools you'd see down at the beach.
It might be the first store in Australia for the brand, but the coffee angle is one Saturdays NYC has explored previously, collaborating with La Colombe and Omotesando Koffee for similar set-ups in their US and Japanese stores.
There's no food offered in the Bondi shop, apart for some Mast Brothers Brooklyn chocolate on the counter (more for stuffing stockings than stomachs, really), but you won't mind. Plonk yourself down at the central table or on one of the sun-drenched front benches and flick through a copy of Inventory or Saturdays Magazine, Artificer's co-branded cold brew coffee in hand.
Got a hot tip for our Hot Plates team? Let us know on Facebook or tag your Instagram photos with #GThotplates.