Sometimes, your food news feed explodes with a new cafe/restaurant that’s opened up. That’s when eating out becomes a mission, rather than just a meal. My twitter and instagram feed were absolutely flooded with food from Devon Cafe, and I knew I had to make the trip into Surry Hills.
Now I don’t live/work/have activities near or around Surry Hills, so this was a special trip into the city for me. I brought a hungry tummy and a skeptical dining partner, and ordered three dishes between the two of us. I wanted to order one of the specials, but they were sold out.
Breakfast with the Sakuma’s (pictured above) was the first one out of the bat. With a grilled miso king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63C egg, kewpie mayonnaise, and a radish salad, I had very high hopes. A dusting of furikake (Japanese rice topping) over the top? I’m just jumping at the bit to take a bite.
Well, it might be all the hype, but this particular dish was slightly disappointing for me. I found the salmon to be slightly overcooked – I think that salmon should be cooked to medium and this was brought all the way, so it was a touch dry – and the yolk didn’t really have that much ooze. I put a fork through the egg and it separated easily and nearly solidly.
The second dish we had was the Ogre’s Happy Meal, and after the last dish, I was trying to temper my excitement a little.
I felt like this dish was very nicely presented, and was everything that it was advertised to me. There was a certain playfulness to the dish – I thought that it kinda looked like Shrek’s swamp – and you could just tell the technique that was put into the creation and execution of this particular ‘happy meal’. The flavours were dark and comforting in a grumpy sort of way – like an ogre would want – and textures were also of a similar fashion. The ox tongue pulled apart in the mouth without being mushy, and the only criticism I could think of is that there wasn’t just that little ray of sunshine in the flavours – everything tasted so rich and dark that I almost felt like I wanted a kick of acid to maybe lift the dish a bit. Not that an ogre would want that, so it’s just a personal preference.
The last out of the kitchen was the Citrus Cured Salmon.
This is the highlight of the brunch for me. Light and delicate, the salty-tender flesh of the salmon is balanced by the wafer thin slices of apple and fennel, and the creaminess of the soft boiled egg. Simple and satisfying.
In all, it was an alright experience. The food didn’t quite live up to ALL the hype, but it was very good fare. The prices were decent too, but the service fell slightly under par for me. I understand that it was a Sunday brunch and they were really busy, but for the waitress to constantly not hear the other people at my table (we were at a share table) while they were desperately trying to get her attention, and then to take so long with a coffee order that they had to cancel it was kinda not cool. That, and the sourdough for the Heirloom Tomato special at our table was forgotten, (twice!) and the scrambled eggs ordered by someone at our table came out looking overdone.
It was a bit of a touch and go experience for me. Have you tried Devon Cafe? How did you find it?
We ate at:
02 9211 8777
76 Devonshire St
Surry Hills, NSW 2010