For this one, I was getting giddy before I even left the house…
To me (and, judging by the café’s normal opening hours, also to its clientele), Parx is a business-oriented venue. I began visiting it on the odd workday a while before COVID hit, for a treat-myself breakfast or lunch, both of which would always be much healthier than any place on Union Street (I stand to be corrected and will do so gladly!) From rye toast with salmon and scrambled eggs, to quiches with fresh seasonal salads – topped off with really tasty coffee.
But it was after the easing of the first lockdown last summer that this place really grew on me – just as I started experimenting with milk alternatives in my drinks. To that point, the experiment had been a huge disappointment, with my tastebuds screaming for whole milk, or at least sweetened soya. With the easing of restrictions, Parx had laid some tables outside, as well as modified the indoor area to allow safe flow of people taking food and drinks away. The food menu looked great as ever and the cake stands were calling… That memorable day I picked my lunch bits and upon hearing the different milk replacement options, I decided to go coconuts.
Instant regret – none of the store-bought coconut “milks” had made the grade by that point. ‘Too late’ I thought. Oh, how wrong I was… That was the best tasting take-away brew in my recent memory, and I just wanted to keep coming back for more!
At that point I was following a COVID-regime, so I stuck to flat whites to keep the calories at bay; but desperate second-lockdown times call for proper coffee measures.
With the memories of last summer vivid in my mouth, I strolled down the stairs to the re-arranged basement entrance area, where Parx allocated one window for placing orders, and the other for pick-ups – a good social-distancing one-way system. The food menu was still there and looked as scrumptious as ever; but my mission was clear that day.
I didn’t even ask for other milk options, just went straight for a coconut “milk” mocha. With it nearing their closing hours (which even in normal times would equal hardly any traffic in this area), there was no one before or after me, so overcrowding wasn’t a concern, and my drink was ready within minutes.
I’ve emerged back onto the street level and used the Rubislaw Terrace Gardens’ balustrade as a prop for the photo, and smiled when I saw the remains of latte art under the lid: high standards maintained, sit-in or take-out. Then, I finally took a sip.
If you like Bounty bar, you’d love it too. The Parx mocha was a perfectly blended, silky smooth concoction, tasting like a melted coconut chocolate bar. It was of the perfect temperature – even better! I sipped it for another 10minutes (how did I stretch it out that long? I must have been in awe) and it never gone cold in that time. The enjoyment truly lasted the full 12oz.
Parx is certainly not the cheapest but I have to admit, their prices are completely justifiable, with those homemade, fresh products they offer every day. To make a take-away coffee taste this good every time (as those repeat flat whites last summer would attest to) is a testament of commitment to quality regardless of circumstances. Not making excuses – just doing the best they can… and they are really good at it to.
A through and through 5/5 from me.
Coconut “Milk” Mocha: £3.40
Coffee – beautifully executed, from delivery to the final drop. A place that has shone for me throughout the pandemic!
Lear more on Parx Cafe website.