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Surfboard-sized sambos a specialty as Colin’s makes a splash in Fortitude Valley

Drool-worthy sandwiches are all over Instagram these days – but we’re not complaining. While we aren’t gambling folk at The Weekend Edition, we’d bet our bottom dollar than soon we’ll be seeing sandwiches from Colin’s Specialty Coffee popping up on our feeds with regularity.

The newest concept from the Paddington Social crew is bursting onto the scene with a menu headlined by seriously impressive sambos, from surfboard-sized panko-crumbed schnitzel sandwiches and oozy mushroom melts to sangas bursting at the seams with smoked brisket, sauerkraut and special sauce. Oh, and there’s also sublimely silky coffee, classic pastries, fresh salads and brunch plates on offer as well. Colin’s is now open and it’s proving that big things do come in small packages.

Jun 29, 2023, updated Jun 29, 2023

Paddington Social has built a name for itself as one of the inner-west’s most popular brunch spots. The multi-hyphenate locale – a cafe, patisserie and pop-up Thai kitchen all housed within a converted Queenslander on Given Terrace – has been going from strength to strength since opening in 2019, to the point where its masterminds felt that conditions were perfect for expansion.

After noticing a spike in demand for Paddington Social’s cabinet sandwiches, the cafe’s brains trust – Gibb MookachonpanTyler Sargent and Lek Senee – agreed that it was an avenue worth exploring further. Earlier this week, the trio quietly opened cafe and caffeinery Colin’s Specialty Coffee at the 1000 Ann precinct in Fortitude Valley.

“We always think we can do more than what we are doing at Paddington Social,” reveals Gibb, “Everyone loves our sandwiches but Paddington Social might not be the most suitable venue for that. So that’s the reason why we started to look for a venue where we can sort of bring it out to the public.”

The compact corner space, previously a Cocobliss outlet, has been given a facelift to better suit the comforting chow on offer. Light pours through the street-facing windows, over a slender cushioned banquette and cabinetry before splashing across exposed-brick walls. Earthy terracotta tones are juxtaposed with teal VJ panelling along the coffee counter, while artworks from local talent JORDACHE add other colourful accents to available wall space.

There’s room for 20 guests inside, with more outdoor seating expected to offer perches for 16 more sets of cheeks. Its compact but cosy – a place one could find themselves lingering in for a while as the world passes by outside.

On the food front, Gibb, Tyler and Lek have made catering to the time-poor Fortitude Valley commuter and office crowd a priority. The cabinet is chock-full of ready-made sandwiches (including four kinds of bagel sandwiches), a rotating selection of salads, a clutch of classic Paddington Social pastries and sweet treats.

Coffee is sourced from Melbourne roaster Zest Coffee, with the brand’s Corcovado and African Mailman espresso blends on offer alongside decaf, batch and cold brews, tea, and house-made fruit lemonade. Colin’s selection of made-to-order hot sandwiches will undoubtedly by the drawcard for many.

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These whoppers, exclusive to Colin’s, see the crew gunning for our pleasure receptors with a six-strong selection of two-hander options. A bacon-and-egg roll and brekkie bagel will have early birds fuelled up from the jump, but we suggest clearing your schedule around lunch so you can tackle one of the big three. A gooey sauteed mushroom melt with garlic, truffle and Swiss cheese, chicken sandwich with panko-crumbed thigh, herbed mayo, cheese and lettuce, and the house-made smoked-brisket sandwich with mustard relish, sauerkraut, pickle, cheese and special sauce are absolute show-stoppers.

“We just want to make like simple sandwiches with good ingredients,” says Gibb of the crew’s humble intentions. “From our Colin’s special sauce and house-made tomato relish to the freshly baked bread, house-smoked meat and really juicy chicken.”

Fans of Paddington Social’s sensational brunch will be thrilled to know that Colin’s is serving a short list of its greatest hits, including the spiced sweetcorn fritters with coriander yoghurt and the chorizo Scotch egg with crushed avocado and hollandaise sauce.

Colin’s Specialty Coffee is now open seven days a week. Slip over to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and links to socials.

This article was written by James Frostick from The Weekend Edition

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