Kofi Beans, Croydon

I have a confession to make. I’m apparently a terrible driver. I got my Ps when I was 21, only after constant pestering from my parents and during this time, I’ve managed to crash my car a number of times (big and small crashes), although not all were my fault. When I went for my test, my instructor specifically picked an examiner who was ‘easy’ and he didn’t even ask me to park my car. As a result, I received full marks but to this day, I’m still terrible at parallel parking. My parents have also said on many occasions that I accelerate and break too fast so they don’t feel ‘safe’ in my car.

Now I’ve made myself out to be a bad driver. I don’t think I’m all that bad…really…

Since I’ve been staying at Yuye’s house lately, I no longer needed my car as much so I’ve left it at home. Mum drove it out to the new house where constructions are still happening one day and I receive a text from her one afternoon. The contents of the text were as follows (translated from Chinese):

“Your car has been hit. It’s quite serious.”

My eyes went wide and I almost jumped out of my chair. I quickly called her back, stressed out whether she was safe. She said with a laughing voice on the other end of the line, “I just wanted to make you scared, dear.” But the truth was, an old lady from across the street had backed into the front of my car while it was parked on the side of the street. What are the chances of that?

For once it definitely wasn’t my fault, although I still had to take it in for repairs!

I thought the only good thing that came out of this whole ordeal would be the meal. As the AAMI repairer was so far away (Croydon) I thought I could make up for the drive if I dined somewhere nice nearby. This happened to be Kofi Beans on the main shopping strip on Main St.

Upon entering the restaurant, I felt like my surroundings was instantly transformed into a Middle Eastern market. There was bustling patronage and bright and shiny decorations everywhere in sight, on the walls, on the tables, even on the ground (not the people, the home wares).

I could tell that the restaurant was understaffed. There were takeaway customers lining up next to the counter, there were uncleared tables and many waiting to order or for their dishes to arrive. In fact, we had waited for over 20 minutes before we realised ourselves that menus were actually in a box by the door. It was then a huge job to get someone’s attention to eventually take our orders.

Once the orders were taken, the food came out a lot faster. First of course I had to order coffees as I was sure the name of the restaurant ‘Kofi Beans’ meant something. I was a bit disappointed with what we received. The coffees (mine a cappuccino and Yuye’s a latte), were hot which I liked but had a bitter burnt taste which obviously shouldn’t have been there. Perhaps the water was too hot?

I’m in love with Middle Eastern flavours at the moment and a dish on the specials board sang out to me. It was the sweet spiced roast lamb rump with a warm eggplant, rocket and tomato salad with tahini labne ($20.90). I was expecting a big chunky rump of lamb so when the dish came out, again I was a little disappointed. Although the lamb pieces looked small, it was cooked quite nicely being tender, juicy and pink. I liked the flavours on this dish a bit more than Yuye did. I thought it was quite refreshing although slightly under seasoned. The eggplant was absolutely beautiful and made the dish for me.

Yuye ordered the Middle Eastern free range beef keftas with sweet saffron rice, cucumber salad and tzartziki ($22). Just like the lamb dish, the keftas looked quite small. The hero of the dish almost looked like salad and for $22 I expected a bit more. Despite this, we quite enjoyed the taste of the dish. The slightly sweet saffron rice went very well with the beefy keftas and refreshing salad.

From the ratings on Urbanspoon I expected a little more. The coffees were burnt, the service was less than optimal and the dishes were a bit small for the prices we paid. Despite all this, the flavours were there and I did enjoy the meal in the end. However, if I wasn’t in the neighbourhood (which I hope I wouldn’t be because it means I crashed my car again!) it’s not a place I would drive there for.

The home wares were quite interesting and pretty, although nothing really stood out for me so I didn’t buy anything, shame!

Question time: Do you think you’re a good driver? Has anyone ever crashed into your car when it’s parked?

Kofi Beans
Phone: (03) 9725 3339
137-139 Main Street, Croydon VIC
http://www.kofibeans.com.au/

Kofi Beans on Urbanspoon

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13 comments… add one

  • Georgia July 6, 2012, 3:32 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, on the day I got my L’s, my dad decided to take me straight out for a drive…on the street…in peak hour. We all know what happened. Oh yes, I drove straight into a “Keep Left” sign. Not only did I drive *into* it, but I was on the right hand side of the sign – massive facepalm! Nearly 15 years later, he still blames himself for not taking me to a vacant car park like everyone else’s parents! lol!

    Reply
  • Libby July 6, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Haha that’s not too bad! I’m in my mid-late 20s and I’m still on my Ls! *hides in embarrassment* I AM taking lessons at the moment though just because I SHOULD and also because my Ls actually expire in a few months. Better late than never I guess. While we’re on the subject of easy driving tests, my boss’ husband was telling me at trivia night a few nights ago about how he knew someone who did their Ps test in the city during peak hour and pretty much just spent the entire duration of the test in stand-still traffic so they didn’t really do much actual driving, let alone parking hahaha.

    Also, I didn’t know that you could request a lenient examiner! I should probably ask my instructor about that at my next lesson… hrmmm.

    For some reason, this place made me think of Kofi Annan… heh.

    Reply
  • Choc Chip Uru July 6, 2012, 5:28 pm

    You deserve these gorgeous eats after all that my friend!
    I can totally relate though – I am currently trying to get my Ls hours finished (yuck!) and I love driving but honestly, changing a lane takes 5 yrs no joke :P

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  • Joanne July 6, 2012, 10:02 pm

    At least you got a delicious meal out of it! Talk about a silver lining. :)

    I like to think I’m a good driver, but my parents would beg to differ.

    Reply
  • yummychunklet July 7, 2012, 5:17 am

    What a great atmosphere!

    Reply
  • ChopinandMysaucepan July 7, 2012, 9:42 am

    Dear Jenny,

    It’s good that your mum has a sense of humour. I would also try to make a meal of a far away eating spot if I had to run an errand there, no pun intended.

    Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook July 7, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Your story reminded me that I failed my driving license test because I drove on the wrong side. As soon as I left the parking lot, I got on a wrong lane because there were no cars outside and I completely disoriented myself (Japan and US are opposite). I finally passed after practicing a bit, but since then I can drive, but I also have some scratches and some dent all over the cars I used to have. My husband is scared to lend me his car (and I did some damage to it, although it’s tiny, I would say). Anyway… lovely cafe meals and drink.

    Reply
  • tastyfoodsnaps July 7, 2012, 10:12 pm

    i love tzartziki sauce!! :)

    Reply
  • GourmetGetaways July 7, 2012, 10:50 pm

    The meals do look very delicious… even if they weren’t what you were expecting.
    I hope my 17 year old doesn’t get an “easy” instructor :0

    Reply
  • kitchenriffs July 9, 2012, 4:49 am

    Sorry about your car! At least you got to try a new restaurant, although it sounds as if it wasn’t the best value. Still, if the flavor is there, it’s a success in my book.

    Reply
  • Charles July 10, 2012, 6:15 am

    People in France (well, Paris at least) have an annoying habit of using the cars behind and in front as “markers” to tell them when they’ve gone too far when reversing into a parking space (basically if they hit the car, it’s “too far”). I’d just arrived home from work one day and pulled into a place. There was a space in front of me… this beat-up old van pulled up and started reversing in. I knew right away what was going to happen, so I just casually moved my hand over to the horn button. Sure enough, bump goes my car, and he gets a nice blast from my horn… I bet he didn’t think I’d be sitting in the car :D. He got out and scuttled off shortly after with his head down, waving me a little apology :D

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 10, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Oh poor you Jenny :( that you need to get your car fixed but like you said it’s not your fault and least no one is hurt ~

    A shame that the food and drinks weren’t as good as you expected :( and i hope you don’t need to go back either!

    Reply
  • choux choux July 10, 2012, 10:49 pm

    ahh I’m pretty sure I’m a good driver but my dad is terrified when I drive. He actually clings onto the arm rest! But my boyfriend says I’m fine! The food and restaurant looks pretty cool but shame about everything else! Hope everything is OK with the car!

    Reply

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