Outstanding Cafe Finalist, awarded by Bankstown Local Council, humbly sits on the furthest shelf from the entrance of Pod by Peter in Padstow, Sydney. The award is accompanied by several large tubs of Nutella, a small stack of books, rows of unopened Bonsoy cartons, dozens of imported Mexican Coco Cola glass bottles, and over ten varieties of T2 tealeaf boxes. Former Secondary school English and ESL teacher Vicky Michael, and plumber by trade, Peter Chrisafis, venture into uncharted territory to open their very first dessert bar in the southeastern suburbs of Sydney.
As soon as you walk in, the Pod crew greets you with a grin and wave. It is a vibrant atmosphere and as Peter and Vicky show me around, there is a story for every piece that brings warmth to the space. Peter’s aunty, Vena, has handcrafted a coffee mug pouring coffee beans in a saucer; the mirrors behind the bar are from Dimitri and Victoria Chrisafis, parents of Peter and the original owners of this space that was once Padstow Fresh Daily for twenty years. As we travel back two generations, Peter says, “My grandfather runs his own coffee shop back in Greece.”
A business flare for three generations, it is no surprise that Peter has come into the hospitality industry, and with fiancé Vicky, who first and foremost shares her gratitude for the locals. “Padstow and the community have just accepted us and let us in with open arms; it’s made our jobs so so so much easier.”
From coffee supplied by Double Roasters, homemade waffle mix churned fresh every day, and homemade gelato, these two don’t mess around. The soon-to-be-married couple made their healthiest dessert: The Boston Apple. A granny smith apple that has been rolled in copper home made caramel sauce, then rolled again in mixed nuts, drizzled in Belgium chocolate and peanuts and served with custard or French vanilla ice cream. After gazing dreamily at this dessert, I wonder one word to myself – healthy?
Telepathically reading my mind and facial expression, Vicky looks at Peter and answers quite sincerely, “If you’re after a health kick, this is probably the wrong shop” and with zeal she adds that eating at Pod by Peter “is cheat day. You come in for cheat day!” I laugh and take a bite of the hand picked apple, I am delightfully surprised with the harmony of contrasting temperatures between the cold apple and warm sauce; the dense thin caramel coating with the lightness of the apple; the custard and drizzled Belgium chocolate freshening the entire dessert with it’s rich flavour and moist texture. Folks, this is just the beginning. My eyes widen as I look up at Vicky, to which she responds, “I know,” and digs into it with me.
The menu ranges from rich flavours of their waffles, to PB&J home made donuts, bagels, brownies, cruffins, muffins, nutella and jam donuts, cinnamon and salted caramel scrolls, almond croissants, fresh crispy cronuts – and this is only half of the menu!
An atmosphere of nothing but a good old time, it won’t take long for you to realise this is the place for all things fresh and dessert. Drop by and say hello to Vicky and Peter, who always love a great chat, and know what sweet pressure points to press for satisfying your cravings.