Driving home from dinner with friends near Highpoint on Sunday night, I noticed a warm glow from a shop. With a quick swirl of the head, I spotted tables and shiny red chairs under a big sign that read '6 Grams'. My heart was already beginning to sing when a quick Google search revealed it was indeed a new cafe about to open on Tuesday.
So it was that I drove excitedly back to check it out yesterday afternoon. Now being that it was their first day of trade, I am not going to critique every detail of the experience, especially given that I was rushing to get elsewhere and forgot to take a photo of my order (poached eggs on sourdough toast. I know, gotta get one of the more adventurous options next time but I can't get enough runny poached eggs since not being able to eat them during pregnancy).
Five Senses Coffee
In any case, it is the freshly fitted out interior and decor that I find satisfying. Its got that industrial vibe that's so popular now, though I'm still thrilled at spotting all the little touches. I love the huge central table with yellow lettering down the legs that nods to a colourful, albeit very different, past. Old traffic signs, vintage telephones and garden walls keep me enthralled while I wait. Not overdone, just enough to keep it interesting. The aforementioned red chairs play a big role in the overall good cheer of the place, as do the yellow tiles splashed on the huge counter at the front.
Back dining room with peek holes into the kitchen
But what's a cafe without people - namely the service they provide and, of course, the food they put in front of us? To begin, the people here are warm and friendly, happy to chat and looking for feedback to help them improve whatever they can. Manager Vittorio tells me they'll be introducing specials connected to Africa to retain a little of their heritage. I'm sure he sounds Italian and I must look a little confused because he tells me not many people believe a white man with an Italian accent can be African!
Turns out Vittorio is from Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, a country bordering Sudan, Ethiopia and the Red Sea. Eritrea was an Italian colony for about 50 years up to 1941 so that explains the accent! Vittorio spent six years running The Abyssinian, a restaurant in Racecourse Road serving traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean food. 6 Grams is definitely more a modern cafe with a little nod to Africa. With very few options for a caffeine-fix in Maidstone, Vittorio is keen to fill the gap for those who don't fancy sitting in a shopping centre cafe at nearby Highpoint. I, for one, am keen to return to linger a little longer and try something with an African twist.
6 Grams menu