While Box Hill is known for its delicious dumplings, oodles of noodles and amazing Asian fare, it’s not a suburb people usually associate with specialty coffee…until now. The Penny Drop is out to bring considered coffee to the east, delivering a caffeine experience that’s straight out of Fitzroy.
With a belief in Box Hill’s potential for transformation, Mary Lai and Steven Liu put their hospitality backgrounds to good use, creating somewhere locals could enjoy specialty coffee and inner city-style cafe fare.
The Penny Drop opened in mid-2016 and has been busy from day dot. Located at the base of the Australia Taxation Office building, the cafe’s name plays on the concept of the ‘penny dropping’ from pockets above. The name also suggests that, in time, the penny will drop for residents of Box Hill as they become more excited about the potential specialty coffee brings.
The coffee is taken care of by baristas, Will Tao and Kevin Liu, who use dc Specialty Coffee Roasters’ B-Side blend to create an excellent cup with every pour. Made up of beans from across South America, the blend boasts flavours of cacao, raw sugar and nectarine, making for a creamy and silky coffee with a chocolate finish.
This blend beautifully matches to sweet and savoury options on the all-day dining menu, which is heavily influenced by Asian flavours. You’ll find a selection of interesting fusion creations like the yuzu panna cotta with peach, goji and cashew granola, as well as a portobello mushroom burger with miso glaze, sriracha mayo and pickled cucumber. Even the smashed avocado receives a makeover – whipped avo is served with heirloom tomatoes, chilli pepita oil, shiso and Yarra Valley feta.
Its location across from the train station means weekday mornings can be madness. Luckily, baristas Will and Kevin are unmatched when it comes to pumping out delicious coffee at rush hour and customers can wait at a beautiful, rounded marble bench – just one of the many standout features of The Penny Drop’s custom design.
Mary and Steven believe that the better the design, the better the dining experience for customers. For this reason, they worked alongside Melbourne designers, We Are Huntly, and Pop & Pac, to create something truly unique. The result is a combination of high ceilings, muted earthy tones, light timber and copper circles, flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Offering expertly prepared specialty coffee and fun and flavoursome fare in a unique location, The Penny Drop is certainly putting Box Hill on the map for a completely different reason.