Australia, Sydney, Sydney - CBD

Cafe Cre Asion

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“Matcha” green tea originated from Japan and because the entire leaf is ingested in powder form, it is known as the most potent green tea in the world.  Imagine a cafe in Sydney where matcha is put to good use.  Well, tucked away in a small lane at the edge of Surry Hills, there is a hole-in-the-wall cafe called “Cre Asion” that is doing exactly this.

The cafe has been opened for a few years already, but previously it was known for its macarons.  The menu has since been expanded to include other food items.

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The cafe is small, and there is only enough sitting for around 10 people.  The tables and chairs provided are quite low, so sitting  there for prolonged periods of time is very uncomfortable.   However, despite all of this, there is always a queue at this place, so we tried out the food to see if it lived up to its hype.

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Matcha Latte ($5)

The latte is milky and frothy, full of true matcha flavours.  It is not overly sweet like other green tea lattes in other cafes, but the taste of this latte is better described as a bitter-sweet flavour, which is very soothing and calming.

Matcha & Macadamia Cookies ($2 each, or $10 for 6)

These cookies are again full of the bitter-sweet flavours of matcha, coupled with the crunchiness of the macadamia nuts.  However, the texture of the cookies are a bit hard for our liking, and the cookies would be more enjoyable if they were of a more crumbly texture which would provide a good contrast with the crunchiness of the nuts.

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Matcha Muffin ($4.50)

The most surprising element of the muffin is the filling of cream cheese and red bean paste inside the muffin.  The combination really works – the sweetness of the red bean paste is balanced by the bitterness from the matcha in the muffin, while the cream cheese provides a layer of complexity to the flavours of the muffin.  However, the overall texture of the muffin is very dry, which makes the muffin not very enjoyable.

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Matcha fondant ($8.50)

This is Cre Asion’s signature dish.  It is very well made.  The outside is soft, while the centre is filled with warm molten dark chocolate and matcha, and you are able to taste a sense of intensive bitter-sweetness as the centre oozes out.  One of the most enjoyable dishes we have tried at this cafe.

 

Overall, the concept of this cafe is interesting, and it may possibly fill up a niche in the Sydney cafe market, as evidenced by the regular queues here.  However, this is not really a place designed for people to hang out or chat, and is more tailored for individuals who want a quick matcha fix on-the-go.
Café Cre Asion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Cre Asion

Website: http://www.creasion.com.au

Address: 101/21 Alberta Street, Sydney

Phone: (02) 8021 1629

Opening hours: Mon to Fri 8am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 4pm

Accepts all major credit cards

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - CBD, Sydney - Inner City

Orto Trading Co

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Orto Trading Co is a cafe situated in the quieter part of Surry Hills.  The cafe’s name, “Orto”, means “kitchen garden” in Italian.  The use of glass panels around the cafe, allowing natural light to permeate inside the cafe, makes the place look like a living greenhouse.  The theme is enhanced by having herb pots on the outside, and the placement of various plants and gardening tools on the inside.  The simple wooden furniture, with an exposed brick wall, gives the cafe a simple, down-to-earth vibe that is welcoming and inviting.

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Arriving here on a cool Saturday morning, the inside of the cafe was already full, so we sat outside on one of the tables.  The lack of heaters on the outside proved to be an issue, as we were quite cold from just sitting there.

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Southern Fried Chicken Bene ($18) – Orto’s English muffin, hollandaise

The star of this dish was the chicken – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with nice seasoning and a good kick from the use of chilli powder in the marinade.  However, the rest of the dish was underwhelming – the muffins were too sweet and dry and did not compliment the chicken, while the eggs were overcooked and the texture was too dry.

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Brekky Joe ($16) – last night’s chilli beef, bacon, fried egg and brioche

Pure comfort food suitable for brekky after a big night out, the dish was dominated by the flavour of baked beans.  We expected more of a spicy kick to come from the chilli beef, and we had to add some Tabasco to achieve the spiciness that we were looking for.  However, the bacon was crispy and enjoyable.

 

Overall, this seems to be a nice place to hang for a long brunch, but their food was only “so-so” in our opinion.  Maybe we should have tried their vegetarian dishes instead.

 

Orto Trading Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Orto Trading Co

Website: http://www.ortotradingco.com

Address: 52 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills

Phone: 0431 212 453

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 7am to 4pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 3pm

Accepts all major credit cards

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

Cuckoo Callay

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Located at Newtown station, this small café is like an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the business of King Street beneath.  The small herb pots outside the café, with its friendly staff inside, is the ideal place to chill and relax when you want to be away from the crowds on the main road.

We have been to this café a few times, and below are some highlights from the menu of this café.

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The chemex ($5) was a rich flavoured coffee, which has been infused for a longer time, to achieve a smooth consistency.  It was served in a really nice glass flask, which looked like a wine decanter.  The taste was elegant.

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Everybody loves Ramen ($19) consisted of bacon and egg noodles with a 63 degrees egg, speck, shitake mushroom, bacon dashi and shallots.  This dish had a distinctive Asian style to it with an element of Western fusion with the use of bacon and speck.  The broth was very flavoursome but was not too strong as to overpower the other flavours of the dish.  The amount of broth was also adjustable as you had to pour it yourself.  The noodles, however, was a bit too soft. This was the perfect breakfast on a cold winter’s morning.

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Trout Pout ($22) came as a stack with smoked trout fillet, potato, leek and fennel cake, grilled fennel, horseradish cream, sorrel and a 63 degrees egg.  The egg fell off to the side as the wait staff served the dish to us.  There was a mirage of flavours with this dish, with nicely infused Eastern and Western styles.  The trout was nicely seasoned and not overcooked.  This is a dish that is worth trying.

Overall, we really like what Cuckoo Callay is trying to achieve with its menu, with inventive fusion breakfast food items that are different from the other cafes in the area.  A must try if you are in the area.

Cuckoo Callay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Cuckoo Callay

Website: http://www.cuckoo-callay.com.au/index.html

Address: Newtown Railway Station, Newtown

Phone: (02) 9557 7006

Opening hours: Mon to Fri, 6am to 4pm; Sat 8am to 4pm; Sun 8am to 3pm

Accepts MasterCard and Visa

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - Inner West

Foodcraft Expresso & Bakery

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Foodcraft Expresso & Bakery is a huge social media sensation lately, thanks to their newly invented Tella Ball Shake. We just had to come and try this place out on an early Sunday morning.

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The café is located at the ground floor of the “Erko” residential complex in the hip inner-city suburb of Erskineville. The café is small internally, but has a large outdoors space for seating.

We arrived at 8am, and waited about 20 minutes before being seated down. The wait staff responsible for the waiting list got our name wrong and the number of guests wrong as well. When we finally sat there, the first wait staff asking for our drinks order was very enthusiastic, while the second staff asking for our food orders had a Gen Y “meh” attitude.

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Tella Ball Shake ($10)

We tried two flavours – the Nutella flavour, consisting of a Nutella filled donut with a Nutella milkshake, as well as the Salted Caramel flavour, consisting of a salted caramel filled donut with a salted caramel flavoured milkshake.

The donuts were very dense and was the perfect complement to the shake as we sipped the drink up through the donut. The donuts were very sweet, and it balanced well with the more milky flavour from the shake. This was the ultimate comfort food, and we enjoyed our drinks immensely.

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Bacon & Egg Panini ($10)

This consisted of free range eggs, crispy bacon, provolone cheese, topped with house tomato relish and aioli. A very standard staple food and nothing special to report. However the mix of tomato relish with aioli was quite special, as it tasted like a creamy version of BBQ sauce.

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Foodcraft Big Brekkie ($20)

This included bacons, eggs, Italian sausages, grilled tomato, hash brown, grilled haloumi and field mushrooms on organic sourdough. Everything was done right, with nothing burnt or smoky. However, there was no elements of surprise.

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Haloumi Stack ($16)

This consisted of grilled haloumi, balsamic glazed tomato, poached eggs, baby spinach and avocado. The menu actually stated that there would be an organic sourdough, but there was no sourdough on the plate. The haloumi was not grilled properly, and there seem to be an overindulgence of balsamic in the dish.

 

From the items that we have ordered, the only item that is special and worth coming here for is the infamous Tella Ball Shake. All the other breakfast items we have tried are very ordinary. If you wish to try the Tella Ball Shake, you need to be here early, as they tend to sell out quite quickly.

 
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Foodcraft Expresso & Bakery

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Foodcraftespressoandbakery/info

Address: 33 Bridge Street, Erskineville.

Phone: (02) 8971 8817

Opening hours: Tues to Fri, 7am to 4pm; Sat and Sun, 8am to 4pm

Accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express