Teneriffe coffee spot Sippy Tom evolves with refreshed digs and an elevated menu of eats
For most of its existence, Sippy Tom has built its reputation on its offering of, well, sips. While we’re not suggesting a name change, these days you could get away with referring to the Teneriffe cafe as Snacky Tom thanks to its brand-new brunch menu. The charming character-filled cafe, which sits at the base of the Winchcombe Carson Woolstores, has undergone a bit of an evolution. In addition to a spruced-up interior, the cafe now has a sensational food offering designed by an ex-Nodo chef that’s on par with Sippy Tom’s already phenomenal caffeine supply.
Since opening in October 2019, Sippy Tom has enjoyed roughly five months of pandemic-free existence. Despite its arrested adolescence, the cafe has emerged as one of Teneriffe’s most popular coffee spots thanks, chiefly, to its killer caffeine offering and the personable nature of its team. Sippy Tom’s owner Thomas Sharpe has spent the past two years navigating lockdowns while grappling with the limitations of the space, yet never wavered on his vision of building the venue into a cafe that hits all essential bases – caffeine, chow and comfort. As Tom bided his time gradually planning the concept’s evolution, he committed to delivering a considered coffee offering paired with simple fare (think house crumpets, smashed avo on seeded toast and a range of toasties). In late-October, Sippy Tom temporarily closed – the cafe entered a chrysalis of evolution before emerging last week with a new aesthetic and a new menu created with the help of some terrific culinary talent. Sippy Tom’s Vernon Terrace home, long constrained by a lack of adequate power supply and extraction equipment, has received the upgrades necessary to operate a fully equipped kitchen. The interior dining space has also received a cosmetic zhuzh, now boasting a striking aesthetic scheme of blood orange and white tones, light timber, tiled banquettes and greenery.
To help oversee the enhanced kitchen and shape the menu, Tom has enlisted the skills of ex-Nodo chef Mitra Abbasipour, hospitality consultant Freja Dunnell (Elska, Freja’s Cafe) and ex-Black Hide chef Johnny Walker. Together, this brains trust has collaborated on a list of eats crafted with a farm-to-table approach in mind, utilising the best of Southeast Queensland’s produce (from suppliers including Big Michael’s Fruit and Vegetables, Gluten Free 4U Bakery and Wholly Crumpets) to turn out an offering that caters to Teneriffe’s mixed-bag community. Of the seasonal selection, early stand-outs include buttermilk waffles with blueberry gelato, Urban Valley mushrooms on sweet-potato rosti, slow-cooked brisket with house-made hummus and flatbread, and a pork ‘head sausage’ breakfast burger with black-garlic aioli – gluten-free and vegan options abound, too. Sippy Tom’s coffee service remains as stellar as ever, though the crew has invested in a new machine to better cater to demand (the team estimates it moves 60 kg of coffee a week). St. ALi’s Orthodox blend is on deck for milky brews, while all of Sippy Tom’s black coffees are made on single-origin beans. The rest of the drinks menu features a summery selection of teas, smoothies and juices. Tom is still looking ahead – long-term plans include obtaining a liquor licence, allowing locals to use Sippy Tom as a spot for both morning pick-me-ups or leisurely arvo catch-ups.
Sippy Tom has officially reopened to the public. Click here to view operating hours in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.