Sell with Confidence
Read More

Local Shout Out | Colins Specialty Coffee

A new coffee and sandwich shop is winning fans with its lavish croissants that offer something outside the ordinary.

It seems you can’t swing a loaf of bread without hitting a cafe serving a reuben sandwich at the moment. As the number of sanga shops continues to proliferate, I’ve probably had more of the classic American deli number in the past 12 months than I’ve had in my entire existence.

Jumping on board the carb bandwagon is the newish Colin’s Specialty Coffee, Eats and Treats in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. After noticing a spike in sales of their cabinet sandwiches in their hugely popular west side cafe Paddington Social, owners Gibb Mookachonpan, Tyler Sargent and Lek Senee decided to expand on the trend and their business and open Colin’s.

Qweekend cafe – Colin’s Speciatly Coffee. shop 7/1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley Photograph David Kelly

The new operation is barely bigger than a hole in the wall, but that doesn’t stop the friendly team turning out a feast of freshly prepared bready wonders, from a ridiculously good-looking “breaky” bagel ($16) loaded with bacon, avocado, fried egg, relish and cream cheese, to a mushroom melt ($16) with a trio of fungi, garlic, truffle and swiss on sourdough.

There’s also a page of all-day breakfast favourites – like eggs benedict and a chorizo scotched egg – plus a cabinet of beautifully presented salads, bagels and pies, as well as Paddington Social’s cakes and croissants, brought over from the sister store each morning.

Inside the Breaky Bagel. Picture: David Kelly

With the tiny-yet-colourful and cute interior packed tighter than a hoarder’s house with diners on our visit, we take a seat on low stools outside opposite the Ovolo The Valley hotel, inside the Emporium complex, before going back inside to order at the counter.

It’s here that I completely lose all willpower, buying their monthly special strawberries and cream croissant from the display of fresh pastries eyeballing me as I try to order.

“Amazing choice,” says the effervescent waitress. “That is my favourite croissant ever.”

And I can see why she likes it: Paper-thin layers of crumbly pastry form a plinth for a swoosh of tangy strawberry cream cheese and freeze-dried berries that are like a healthy-yet-equally fun version of popping candy.

Strawberries and cream croissant at Colin’s Specialty Coffee.

But the pastry is just a bonus. We’re here for the serious stuff: that reuben. It’s not 100 per cent a classic version, with the traditional corned beef swapped out for brisket – rubbed with a secret spice mix and cooked for 16 hours. But all the other elements are the same: mustard relish, sauerkraut, pickles and cheese. And this version may just be better than the original.

The meat is stupidly tender and juicy, while the pickle and sauerkraut ratio has been nailed to balance out the fatty beef and American cheese. Add a signature sauce that is guaranteed to run down your arms with those meat juices, and you have a champion sanga.

It’s also great value at $18 considering the quality of ingredients and its proportions – the equivalent of two-and-a-half, maybe three Big Macs, and easily able to be split between a pair.

The Brisket and Pickle sandwich at Colin’s. Picture: David Kelly

Just be sure to order the chips as a side. While you certainly won’t need them, they are too good not to: golden brown and crunchier than comedian Effie’s hairsprayed wig.

Also impressively crisp and generously portioned are the spiced sweet corn fritters ($21). Described as “pakora-inspired” on the menu, the deep-fried patties boast a Mediterranean tan and are chunky with corn kernels and delicately spiced with curry powder. A poached egg balances on the mighty double stack, which sandwiches a thick disc of smashed avocado, with a zingy coriander yoghurt spilling over the lot. Terrific!

Colin’s Speciatly Coffee in Fortitude Valley. Picture: David Kelly

Just as important as the food at Colin’s is the coffee. There are four brews. We choose a cappuccino of the house blend, Corcovado – described as delivering milk chocolate, vanilla nougat and macadamia notes when served with milk – and the premium African Mailman blend, which claims to taste like blueberry, cheesecake and chocolate pudding. They’re both well made, have a great crema and resemble their tasting profile.

Also available is a variety of teas, house-made lemonade, lattes and kombucha, but it’s that blueberry coffee I’ll be going back for.

Paddington Social has become a neighbourhood favourite on the west side and now Colin’s is proving they’re no one-hit wonder, with this place a little gem.

Colin’s Specialty Coffee, Eats and Treats

Emporium complex, 7/1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

3075 6715


Daily 6.30am-3pm

Verdict – Scores out of 5

Food 4.5

Service 3.5

Ambience 3

Value 4

Overall 4