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C H James

Been to Fairfield lately? If not, then you wouldn’t know about this café steeped in the area’s history.

C H James is named after Charles Henry James, a businessman and local member of the Legislative council back in the 1870s. He is said to have been a supporter of the Fairfield community, and went so far as founding the Station Street Horse tramway in the 1880s.

The owner of CH James, Theo Krambias, was so inspired by the great man, that he named his café in honour of him.

Walking into this well designed venue, it’s not hard to notice the attention to detail that’s gone into its layout. A takeaway window serves customers while they wait at the side of the cafe, while inside you’ll find a spacious dining area, and kitchen at the rear. Vintage agricultural implements hang on the wall, reflecting the venues link to the past. A relaxed vibe permeates the venue, and the courtyard along the side that separates CH James from the church next door, has a generous shaded dining area with planter boxes nurture an edible garden; creating a sense of community. You could say, it’s the type of place Charles would have frequented if he was still around. I learnt that Theo’s parents actually tend to the outdoor plants daily, that’s when they are not in Cyprus enjoying a European summer.

Speaking of Cyprus, CH James sponsored its Head Chef and Barista to visit Cyprus earlier this year, where they went on a journey of discovery to see where their much loved haloumi is made. It’s featured heavily in the menu, which is simple, yet rich in flavour and substance. Options include Smashed Avo with Panko egg and Dukkah spice; Eggs Benedict with pressed smoked hock on an English muffin with choron hollandaise; and Beetroot and Halloumi Fritters with almond dukkha.

Small Batch supply the coffee, and the Golden Ticket blend was used for my Long black today. My cup was balanced, with nougat and chocolate tones.

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