Tucked away on a side street beneath an apartment block in Strathfield, JC&Co. Espresso is a pastry lover’s multi-coloured dream.
The oh-so pretty-in-pink patisserie is home to Sydney’s new favourite mille-crêpe cake, a glorious creation comprised of an impressive 24 layers of crêpes with just the right amount of mascarpone and cream in between.
At the moment, husband and wife team Jeff and Cindy Lee are serving up an eye-popping rainbow crêpe cake as well as the more understated cookies and cream and black sesame versions.
“Crepes are something Cindy always liked and missed in Korea, even though they’re traditionally French,” Jeff says. He notes that she was inspired by the now iconic Dore Dore cake shop in Seoul as well as Lady M, an international chain known for their en pointe crêpes.
Jeff and Cindy are originally from Korea but met while studying hospitality at TAFE and both went on to work for Serge Dansereau at the Bathers Pavilion, an experience that helped shaped their culinary philosophies.
“We’ve always been keen foodies,” Jeff says. “But working with Serge had a huge influence on the way we appreciate food.”
“It’s pretty consuming being around such passionate people – it really taught us a lot. If you’ve got the right ingredients, you don’t have to do too much.
“And that’s really what we want to represent in Cindy’s desserts: nothing is too sweet. It’s a certain style but it might not be for everyone!”
Despite the very Instagrammable nature of the JC&Co. treats, they’re far from being a sickly sweet fad; Cindy says her palette steers away from anything too rich or sugary.
Instead you can expect the distinctive flavour of a matcha mousse cake with blueberry jelly on matcha chiffon, a Taro ice cream Affogato, or mini Earl Grey macarons—plus classic buttery croissants, pain au chocolat and fresh fruit danishes.
Coffee is by The Grounds and there’s homemade lemonade and grapefruit-ade on offer.
Sydneysiders and out-of-towners alike have been lining up to try JC&Co.- even K-Pop rapper Heize stopped by last month. But don’t expect the menu to stay the same, with chef Cindy constantly unveiling new inventions.
“I get bored,” she says. “I can’t make one thing for too long, I like to change all the time.”
Cindy tests out new ideas on her toughest critics: their three children, aged 15, 14 and 10.
“I started cooking cakes for them originally, and they can be critical,” she laughs. “The first time I made them muffins, they did not like them.”
But the first mille-crêpe cake she made was an undeniable winner. “They loved it. And now every time I make a new one, they ask, ‘Oh can I try it?’”
Luckily, it doesn’t look like the iconic crêpes will be leaving the menu any time soon.
JC&Co. Espresso and Patisserie is open Mon 7am - 9pm, Tue 7am - 5pm, Wed, Thur & fri 7am - 10pm, Sat 9am - 10pm, Sunday 10am = 9pm. Shop 8, 23-31 Morwick St, Strathfield.