Australia, Sydney, Sydney - North

Burnt Orange (Chatswood)

IMG_2605A

Building on their success in Mosman, Burnt Orange has recently opened its second cafe inside Chastwood Chase.

IMG_2599A

Even though the cafe is in the open area of the walkway, the use of vines and arches actually makes this cafe feel like an oasis within the business of the shopping centre.  The inclusion of a dark wooden counter with a marble top in the middle of the cafe gives this cafe an atmosphere of gracefulness.

We arrived in the afternoon, and was only able to try the desserts.

IMG_2580A

Yuzu and Lemon Meringue Pie ($12)

This was an elegant dessert. Visually it looked amazing with a vast array of colours.  Taste-wise, the citrus flavours from the yuzu and lemon penetrated through the sweetness of the meringue, which made this dessert not overly sweet, and it was perfect for our palates.  The use of different meringues in this dish, including those that were more set than others, allowed for an interesting contrast of textures from crunchiness to soft.  This is a must try dessert for anyone visiting this cafe.

IMG_2588A

Banoffee Pie with Maple-Roasted Pecans and Belgian Chocolate Ribbons ($12)

For those who are not familiar with what a banoffee pie is, it is a dessert pie that is made bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk.  This was the first time we tasted a banoffee pie, and it did not disappoint.  The odd combination of banana and toffee produced a surprising harmonious flavour.  The sweet nutty flavour from the maple-roasted pecans, as well as the use of chocolate as the base for the pie, further enhanced the positive experience from this dish.

IMG_2584A

Pomegranate Cake with Mascarpone (Special of the Day, price unknown)

We would like to thank the staff of the cafe for giving us a complimentary piece of this cake after they saw us taking photos of the food with our cameras.

The cake itself was quite dense, but the softness and sweetness of the mascarpone provided the perfect compliment for the cake, making it feel less dense in our mouths.  The use of pomegranate seeds and nuts provided an interesting texture to the dish.

IMG_2543A

This is a place that is suitable for everyone who may want a break from their shopping in Chatswood.  The staff here is very friendly and helpful, and their desserts are great.  We will definitely come back again and try the other items on their menu.

Burnt Orange Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burnt Orange (Chastwood)

Website: http://www.burntorange.com.au/

Address: Level 1, Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

Phone: (02) 9411 7200

Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 9:30am to 5:30pm

Accepts all major credit cards

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

Cafe Oratnek

IMG_7038A

Operating out of a little Victorian terrace house, in the inner city suburb of Redfern, Cafe Oratnek is the solo venture of Kentaro (Kenny) Takayama, the former Head Chef of Bills, Darlinghurst.  The cafe is an embodiment of Kenny, with the name of the cafe being “Kentaro” spelt backwards, and the food on the menu being Australian food with an Asian inspiration.

IMG_7029A

IMG_7042A

The interior of the cafe has brick exposed walls, with subway tiles and  timber furnitures.  There is also a courtyard area where customers can sit among the flowers and herbs that are growing.

IMG_7004A

Fizzy Oratnek lemonade ($6)

The homemade lemonade was full of fizz and had real lemon flavour.  A refreshing drink for the summer time.

IMG_7011A

Sandwich – 200g pork fillet katsu, cabbage, Japanese bbq sauce, mustard ($12)

The pork katsu was done to perfection, with the crumbed skin crispy, while the pork was still soft and juicy on the inside.  The softness of the bread was also a good contrast to the crispiness of the outside of the pork fillet.  The flavour of this dish was a combination of the pork juices of the fillet, and the kick from the mustard, which made this dish very enjoyable.  The only slight disappointment to the dish was the cabbage, which was drenched in sauce, and this covered up its crunchiness and freshness.  But despite this, this is a dish that we would come back for again and again.

IMG_7016A

Miso bbq boneless beef short rib, san choy bow, coriander dip ($21)

The dish was presented nicely, with an abundance of greens on the plate.  The meat was very tender and tasty, and it literally melted in our mouths.  Even though there were a lot of greens, the flavour of the meat still empowered the whole dish.  The addition of the kimchi and the sauce on the side provided a good kick to the dish.  The only drawback to this dish was the difficulty to eat this dish as a traditional san choy how, as the beef pieces were too large to wrap with the lettuce.  But despite this, the flavour of this dish was fantastic.

IMG_7021A

Overall, Cafe Oratnek is a unique cafe, with its Asian inspired flavours, set in a trendy suburb.  The dishes we have tried were all very tasty.  This will do for us!

 

Cafe Oratnek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Oratnek

Website: http://www.oratnek.com.au

Address: 4 Pitt Street, Redfern

Phone: (02) 8394 9550

Opening hours: Mon to Sat, 7am to 4pm; Sun 8am to 4pm

Accepts all major credit cards

 

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

Luyu & Yum Yum

IMG_2308C

Walking up a flight of stairs into this restaurant is like stepping into the forgotten world of ancient China.  With its high ceilings, wooden panels and rows of tea themed ornaments, this is a recluse from the hustle and bustle of the main street outside.

IMG_2307D

Located in Newtown, the restaurant’s name is inspired from the name of the person, Luyu, who wrote the first definitive work on cultivating, making and drinking tea, coupled with “Yum Yum” which refers to the dumplings, and this inspiration of the partnership of tea and dumpling is seen throughout the menu.

 

IMG_2307B

We visited this restaurant on a Sunday night without making a booking, and the staff was friendly and was accommodating for our large table with adults and kids.

IMG_2319F

Duck Pancake ($17.80 for 4 pieces)

This entree consists of pancakes wrapped with duck, spring onion and cucumber.  The pancake was a bit dry, but the duck was very tasty and had the right balance of fat.

IMG_2315E

Manga Dumpling Hedgehog ($12.80 for 3 pieces)

The flour dough in these dumplings are baked with king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, fungi, carrot and coriander inside.  When served, they looked like mini hedgehogs complete with spikes and eyes.  The pastry was sweet and soft, but the filling inside, being predominately mushrooms, was a bit bland.  These dumplings needed some dipping sauce to bring out their flavours.

IMG_2325I

Caviar Dumping ($14.80 for 4 pieces)

The rice dough in these dumplings are steamed with prawn, carrot, coriander and celery inside, and some caviar is sprinkled on top of these dumplings.  Visually, they looked stunning, as they were in the shape of money bags, with the caviar on top looking like coins.  In fact, they looked alot like the money bags from the computer game “The Legend of Zelda”.  Taste-wise, these dumplings were nicely cooked and elegant, with the flavours of the prawns and caviar melding well together.

IMG_2323H

Mr Luyu Mixed Steamer ($18.80 for 6 pieces)

This steamer consists of the Herb Dumping, Fungi Dumpling and Starburst Dumpling.

The Herb Dumpling is made from steamed rice dough filled with prawns and chives.  This dumpling was nicely done with a good ratio of prawns to chives, so the freshness of the prawns shone through.

The Fungi Dumpling is made from steamed rice dough with king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, fungi, carrot, coriander and celery inside.  The texture of this dumpling was interesting, where in one mouthful, there were elements of softness, crunchiness and chewiness.  However, similar to the Manga Dumpling Hedgehog, the taste was a bit bland, which again required some dipping sauce to bring out their flavours.

The Starburst Dumpling is a modern take on the traditional Xiao Long Bao, replacing the pork filling with chicken filling.  The steamed flour dough is infused with fruit, with the filling being chicken and homemade soup.  Visually, this dumpling was impressive.  It literally looked like a large starburst, with different colours illuminating its wrapping.  One bite, and the soup inside bursted into our mouths, creating a wonderful sensation, and this was balanced by the subtle fruity flavours of the wrapping.  This is a must try for anyone coming to this restaurant.

IMG_2320G

Mr Yumyum Pot Stick ($10.80 for 4 pieces)

This consists of chicken, ginger, shallots and Chinese cabbage in seaweed flour dough which was pan-seared.  This dumpling was very tasty, with a nice ginger flavour.

IMG_2327J

Truffle Dumpling Skewer ($18.80 for 4 pieces)

This dumping is made from pan seared flour dough with chicken, prawn, ginger, shallot and truffle inside, served on skewers.  It is a modern take on the Siu Mai being sold on the streets of China, replacing pork with chicken and adding a touch of luxury with the truffle.  This was a very nice dumpling.  The truffle flavours was fused perfectly with the subtle flavours from the ginger and shallot.   Another must try dish.

IMG_2330K

Salt & Pepper Squid ($24.80)

This consists of fried squid with spring onion, garlic and serrano chilli.  A fairly average dish with the texture of the squid more on the limpy side, but the serrano chilli provided a nice kick to this dish.

IMG_2307M

Steamed Fish ($26.80)

This dish is an orange roughy fillet steamed in shallot and ginger.  The taste was spot-on, but the fish was a bit overcooked.  The sauce was really tasty and if we had some steamed rice, we would have mixed the sauce with the rice and gobbled it down.

IMG_2339N

Mama’s Chilli Chicken ($22.80)

This consists of chicken, beetroot, serana chilli and honey coated walnut.  A modern take on the chicken stir-fry, the flavours were nicely balanced, with the spiciness of the chilli balanced by the sweetness of beetroot, while the walnut provided the crunch which contrasted with the softness of the chicken flesh.

IMG_2331L

Mr Luyu Fried Rice ($17.80)

This fried rice contains duck, egg, asparagus, shallot, coriander, baby corn and mustard seeds.  It has great mouth-feel when we took a bite, with a variety of textures cumulating in our mouths.  However, the flavours from the asparagus and shallot were too overpowering, and we were not able to taste the other elements in this dish.

Overall, Luyu & Yum Yum is the place to be for tea and dumplings as their name implies.  However, their other dishes need to catch up to the high standards they have set with their dumplings.

 

Luyu and Yum Yum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Luyu & Yum Yum

Website: http://luyu.com.au

Address: Level 1, 196 King Street, Newtown

Telephone: (02) 9519 9888

Opening Hours:
Mon to Thurs – 12pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 10:15pm
Fri & Sat – 12pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 11pm
Sun – 12pm to 4:15pm, 5:30pm to 10:15pm

Only accepts credit cards as it is a cashless restaurant

Sydney, Sydney - CBD

Kansas City Shuffle

IMG_2373B

The phrase “Kansas City Shuffle”, made popular by the movie “Lucky Number Slevin”, is used to describe a deception move characterised by causing the victim to look one way as you attack the other way.  What kind of deception should we expect in a cafe that takes on this phrase as its name?

IMG_2370C

The cafe is located near The Rocks area.  You may expect the area to be full of tourists or workers, but if you think this is the case, you have been deceived.  The cafe is actually located in a quiet street, with the closest office buildings being a block or two away.  It is housed in the former Cadbury Chocolate factory, where the space is divided into two, with the cafe and an open kitchen to the left, and a function area to the right (which is close to completion).  There are also two open windows in the front to allow people to order take away food or coffee.

IMG_2376D

The interior incorporates some of the old items from the factory, including the door from the factory.  This pairs well with the simple furnishing in the cafe.  However, the interior is actually quite stuffy as there seems to be a lack of air flow inside.  It was more comfortable for us to sit on the smaller tables outside on the street.

The menu is also deceptive at first.  We came to the cafe for breakfast, and was presented with a menu that included items such as Fried Chicken Sandwich and KCS Cuban Sandwich, items which we would expect to see in a lunch menu.  It turns out that the menu is correct, and that they offer their full range of item menus for breakfast and lunch.  This is a great initiative, as on some mornings, especially after a big night out, people would actually want a heavier breakfast than most cafes would offer.

IMG_2379E

Cold Drip ($5)

The cold drip came in a small bottle, and we expected it to be subtle in flavour.  However, this was again a deception, as the sweetness of the coffee was quite pronounced, and not as subtle or clean as we would expect.

IMG_2381F

Pancake, Lemon Curd, Blueberries, Cream Cheese Parfait & Smoked Almonds ($17.50)

The use of the word “Pancake” for this dish in the menu is a deception.  To us, pancake is either a English style pancake, which resembles more like a “crepe”, or an American style pancake, which resembles more like a “hot cake”.  However the pancake in this dish is very dense and thick, and resembles more like a large donut without the hole in the middle.

We did not enjoy the pancake.  Although it was crispy on the outside, the inside was dry and crumbly.  There was too much lemon curd on the pancake, and the flavour from the lemon curd overpowered the other more delicate elements of the dish, and we were not able to taste the freshness of the berries.  The addition of the cheese parfait (which deceptively looked like ice-cream) and the smoked almonds was thoughtful though, and they gave a level of depth and complexity to the dish.

IMG_2383G

Toasted Pumpkin Bread, Avo, Whipped Feta, Heirloom Tomato and Toasted Seeds ($18.50)

This dish screamed “freshness”.  The flavours of this dish were well integrated and each element was complimentary to each other.  The sweetness of the bread contrasted well with the sourness from the tomato and the saltiness from the feta, while the addition of the avocado and the seeds provided some contrast in texture.  However, the big drawback of this dish was the pumpkin bread – it was way too dry for our liking.

The dishes were all presented very beautifully, and looked very delicious and mouth-watering.  However, the presentation may be the ultimate deception of this cafe as the dishes still needed more improvement.  Overall, this place has potential, and if minor tweaks are made to the dishes, our experience here would have been vastly different.
Kansas City Shuffle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kansas City Shuffle

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kansascityshufflesyd/

Address: 195 Gloucester Street, Sydney

Phone: 0415 362 038

Opening hours: Mon to Sat 7am to 4pm

Accepts all major credit cards