I’ve been very lucky to have very good friends in my life. Friends who will brunch with you, and support you when you go,
“Hmmmm. Do you think we should order one of everything?”
Okay, so it’s not quite that extreme. But Christine did help me with my gluttony by coming with Alli and me to Devon on Danks – the younger sister of the cafe-award-winning Devon Cafe in Surry Hills.
Because she’s a good friend, that’s why.
Now I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience with Devon. My first experience wasn’t that great, but then the second was much better. Maybe third time’s the charm?
Mmmmmm all the fish eggs.
Well that Salmon Blini isn’t quite available anymore, and a lot of stuff has changed since. Between the three of us, we ordered the Bruschetta with extra soft egg ($17), Brunching with the Sakuma’s ($27), Annato Spiced Fried Chicken Fillet ($7), Kaya Cronnie ($7), and a DD Special ($12). Okay, so I was exaggerating when I said with ordered one of everything, but we weren’t too far off!
Bruschetta ($17) first, because it was as close as we were going to get to our 5-a-day in this brunch. Homemade burrata melted onto balsamic chargrilled sourdough gets topped with basil, and confit tomatoes and basil. Very luscious, full of flavour, but curiously lacking the creamy naughtiness that a bursting ball of burrata gives you. A great bruschetta, but WHERE MY BURRATA?!!
Oh, but I really recommend paying the extra $3 to order the soft egg. Not only does it give you great egg porn, but the yolk also soaks into the toast, giving you a squidgy, rich bite.
And besides, the soft whites look like it could’ve been a ball of burrata, so um, we can pretend.
Brunching with the Sakuma’s, $27
Then the dish that has caused a whole ton of debate in my circles – Brunching with the Sakumas ($27). The first incarnation, Breakfast with the Sakumas, had a smoked eel croquette, kewpie mayo, furikake (a Japanese savoury sprinkle that you usually have on rice) and a 63C egg. The salmon at the time, for me, was incredibly dry and overcooked, and for the new-hot-cafe-on-the-block, it just felt like an unacceptable thing.
I’m happy to report that this time, they’ve really upped their game. The roasted salmon is served in a thick piece, rather than a long, thin fillet, and this allows the inside to retain a silky softness, while giving you some serious crunch in the skin. Top points!
It also comes with potato noodles, clam and miso butter, onsen egg, and furikake. And you might be tempted to think that the potato noodles are made of potato starch, like other asian noodles? Nope. It’s spiralised potatoes, which should make the zucchini spaghetti lovers happy. It retained a slight crunch that polarised the table – and by that, I mean that I was the only one who liked it – but I think it provided a great body to otherwise soft textures on the plate.
Good show, Devon on Danks, good show. *slow claps*
Annato Spiced chicken fillet, $7
Christine had already tried The Manny P Burger, so instead of going to whole hog, we order just Annato Spiced Fried Chicken Fillet ($7), with a side of their chilli mayo. Annato refers to a red spice, often used as food colouring in some Spanish cultures, that comes from the seeds of the achiote tree.
But besides a bright orange colour, I’m not sure how much flavour has come across. The chicken didn’t taste unlike typical fried chicken, and not particularly moreish in itself.
Dat chilli mayo, tho. Tangy, salty, creamy…all the qualities you want in a good condiment. If this chilli mayo was on Tinder, I’d swipe right in a heartbeat, and then proceed to stalk it on social media. Trust me when I say that YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE.
On the sweet side, we got the Kaya
Cronut Cronnie ($7). Whoever said that round shapes doesn’t fit in square things was lying. LYING. Deep fried croissant pastry gets pumped full of kaya, which hails from my side of the world: South East Asia.
To call it coconut jam would really be too simple. Think of it like…like Coconut Dulce De Leche, made with coconut cream, egg yolks, and a shit ton of sugar.
Which could bother some people, but you’ve just ordered deep fried pastry. I don’t think the sugar matters.
Ah, this next one’s for the true connoisseur. Soft serve and salty chips are one of life’s great pleasures, and Devon on Danks has made a blue pea flower and jasmine soft serve for their DD Special ($12) this week. Blue pea flower is used in very traditional Peranakan desserts to add a sky blue tint, but it doesn’t have a lot of flavour, which is where the palate cleansing jasmine comes in.
The staff at Devon on Danks have a much more relaxed vibe than the original, probably because the cafe itself has a chill vibe to it, assisted by wonderfully lit wide open spaces, beautiful decor, and beautiful wood and enamel-coated furnishings. Price-wise, it’s um, not student friendly, but fairly doable if you’re in a large group and splitting the bill. And you know, if you’ve got some savings. The food is well executed, and the seasonal menu means that the chefs are ever improving, which can only mean good things.