Mug Life, Pyrmont
The café with some serious street cred
Located 308 Harris St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
What do you get when you mix exotic teas, doughnuts, orgasmic cheese toasties and the sounds of Tupac? Why, Mug Life of course! Opening up in Pyrmont just two weeks ago, Mug Life is the latest addition to the suburb’s growing list of popular cafe hotspots. No longer defined by the Star Casino, Pyrmont is springing up with innovative new cafes that breath that much needed bit of originality and entrepreneurial spirit.
Mug Life was founded by the creators of the famed Dr Dough Doughnuts that first made a name for itself at the Deliveroo one year anniversary. What makes Dr Doughnuts so addictive is in its springy texture that doesn’t feel too dense to eat. The toppings are of an eclectic variety from Wonka’s nerds, fruit loops to toasted marshmallows with an edible pocky stick as a skewer.
We headed to Mug Life after alighting from the light rail at the Sydney convention centre. Only a short walk from the stop, we were warmly greeted by the co-owner Kirsty and the cafe staff as we entered through their wood panelled doors. The cafe itself is cosy, with benches along the right and the counter taking up much of the space with its delectable array of doughnuts, refreshing drinks on tap and of course the coffee machine. At the back, there’s a basketball hoop that locals and customers are free to use. Shoot a few hoops while you’re waiting for your order. If you’re just a local, swing by just to play a round of bball!
My dining companion and I first sampled all the drinks on offer. One highlight from the menu was the West Side Cooler, which was noted down as sparkling strawberry tea. In my opinion, this drink can only be described as a “sophisticated bubble tea”. The carbonated water is infused with a strong strawberry flavour — a step above the Earl Grey, Black and Green tea that finds it way on the menus of ChaTime and Easyway. It was topped off with lychee balls that burst in the mouth when bit into. The syrup from the balls combined with the sparkling strawberry flavouring made for an unreal combination!
As for their coffee, the most unique beverage was the N.W.A. They brew the coffee for over 10 hours before it is served as a drink on tap. The N.W.A (aka Nitro Coffee with Attitude) is irresistibly smooth — which is surprisingly hard to come by as iced long blacks never quite deliver that palatability as their hot counterparts. Mug Life certainly proved us wrong with this drink. If teas aren’t your thing, then I’d highly recommend you sample this drink.
Mug Life has three core flavours of tea, which they serve in a variety of ways. One of my favourite flavours was the Marigold, Pineapple and Safflower. A rich yellow tea mix — this combination can be served as a regular tea, a tea shake or a hot latte. Since it was a rather hot day, I personally loved it served ice cold as it was refreshing to the palette. The tea was blended with milk to create nice milky latte. Patrons can also choose to have whipped cream added as a topping for an extra $2.50. This is not just your run of the mill whipped cream from the can but is flavoured in and of itself. We chose the beetroot and hibiscus cream, but customers also have the option of matcha!
We then decided to try out some of their famed doughnuts. Since the owners of Mug Life are also the founders of Dr Doughnuts, it’s no surprise that there was a versatile array of Doctor Doughnuts on display. We opted for the Nutella Donut and the Smores Donut and paired it with one of their matching milkshakes. The folks at Mug Life use the core ingredients of their doughnuts to make complementary milkshakes that pack a real punch of flavour. It’s a creative idea that was executed brilliantly!
Finally the savouries! Having filled our belly with drinks and doughnuts, we decided to try out the cheese toasties on offer. They have a selection of toasties with lots of different types of fillings, but we specifically requested to sample the crowd favourite. We were presented with the “Cheezy E” which was perfectly grilled with a golden exterior and cheese that oozed from all sides of the sarnie. It was even more flavoursome with the incorporation of truffle mayo and grilled onion which delivered that inexplicable unami taste. Super delicious!
Mug Life has serious street cred, with locals flocking through the door to order one of their irresistible toasties or their addictive doughnuts. The café, itself, oozes personality and I think this is what makes the café unique and different. The RNB theme is alive in all facets from the food names, to the events to the basketball hoop out back. Not to mention, the staff here are incredibly friendly. They always strike up conversations with the customers with a smile and are more than happy to give you samples of doughnuts or drinks on tap whether it’s to try before you buy or to pass the time while you wait for your order.
Verdict: Drool Worthy
Gourmet Gumbo and friend dined as a guest of Dr Dough Donuts.