Shingle Inn Opening – Macquarie Centre

Gold ballooning ‘FREE coffee with slice of cake’ promotion was at Shingle Inn, Macquarie Shopping Centre today.

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Oh hang on. Rewind. How much are their cakes usually? Around $6.80-$7.90.

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I wouldn’t say this is one cheap deal because I normally even hesitate to spend $3 on a coffee and only restrict myself to only 2 coffees a week and ONLY if I’m catching up with friends. Yes, I’m quite disciplined like that so even paying even $4 for a Strawberry and Pistachio Cheesecake is a huge step for me.

Working at Macquarie Centre means that I see shop assistants go and get their early morning coffee before each day’s opening. It’s the same for business workers, tradies, and even high school and uni students!

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There have been 2 identified as good competitors: The Coffee Club and Chantilly’s -but how does Shingle Inn compare?

The huge lamps glowing directly on each table inject precious light to this small café. There isn’t really a ‘wow’ factor here except the red and white intricately patterned chairs at its front as seen in my previous blog.

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Walking in, there seemed to be a small crowd around the counter. I counted 7 staff and a fully stocked window display. Good to know they had plenty of staff up and running. And on the plus side, I heard other customers asking about the contents of their sandwiches, salads and other items on the menu and the person on the register seemed to have learnt the menu well.

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Cakes included (L -> R, top to bottom) carrot gateau, choc mud cake, flourless choc torte, orange and almond cake, lemon meringue pie, New York cheesecake, tiramisu, French vanilla slice, mince tarts, strawberry and pistachio cheesecake, charlotte royal, baci gateau, and lemon cheesecake.

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It was so overwhelming I had to go back to my manager and ask to see if she wanted to change her mind!

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I ended up getting the Strawberry and Pistachio Cheesecake with my usual skimmed cappuccino. My manager had the Chocolate Mud Cake and cappuccino.

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Strawberry Cheesecake $6.80: Unlike the cupcakes we had yesterday which tasted of mix, this is incredibly delicious! The cream cheese filling is quite creamy and the glazed strawberry topped with pistachios gives it that raw nutty edge but I wished there was a bit more perhaps in the cheesecake itself? But my mum absolutely LOVES it.

Chocolate Mud Cake $6.90: According to the manager I work with, she said that it was light and fluffy and not too sweet. I’m not sure if that describes a real choc mud cake..? In my head I picture a dense and moist chocolate thick cake with intense chocolate icing. Some like it hot, some like it cold, so it might be the case here for those who are opting for a lighter option.

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Coffees: both my manager and I agreed that it wasn’t the best coffee but it wasn’t too bad either. I must say, I’ve had better but at the same time this is only their first day of trade. Might give it another punch later. It normally costs $3.70- dearer than a standard cup of coffee.

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While I was there a lady came in and asked if there were any ‘senior discounts’. She was right in a sense that there are a ton of cafes in the Centre and she could easily get a cheaper coffee. However, if you aren’t fussed this place isn’t too bad to sit down, read the newspaper or a book and enjoy a cup (or bowl!) of cuppa.

Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (cake and coffee): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =D

Value: =(

Would I buy another cake and coffee special? Don’t think so.. it is quite a bit of money and I can easier buy a whole apple pie from Woolies for $4.71 (I did that today for tomorrow’s Annual High School Christmas Party)

Would I spend $10+ on the cake and coffee? Probably not unless I’m catching up with a good friend and we are either in a very good or very sad mood to eat and drink our happiness or sorrows away.

Highlight: Those chairs outside really make Shingle Inn look fancy and chic. All staff were nice and friendly too!

Suggestion of Improvement: Have a better (or less expensive) opening special? Cake may have been more than what a customer wants to spend. Just a reminder that there are students (Epping Boys, Ryde Secondary, Riverside Girls, Macquarie University, Robert Menzies College) around and they are worthy target markets. Another thing is that everything is quite dear on the menu.. Both my manager and I couldn’t seem to answer both those questions… but then again, I am cheap (and that’s why I blog about freebies).

Angela Bee

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