Australia, Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

Cafe Oratnek

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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.

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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.

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Fizzy Oratnek lemonade ($6)

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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