Australia, Sydney, Sydney - North

Burnt Orange (Chatswood)

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

 

Sydney, Sydney - CBD

Kansas City Shuffle

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar

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A cafe without coffee in Sydney?  Welcome to The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar!

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Recently opened in the inner city suburb of Redfern, this place is all about tea.  All the tea here are blended in-house, with the theme of tea evident from the sculpture in the middle of the cafe that is made from teabags, to the installation of beer taps to deliver sparkling tea, and even to the food items on the menu.   The cafe is a conversion from an old warehouse, with white-washed, exposed brick walls and splashes of gold in its fittings, which makes a very contemporary and artistic setting.

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The artistic nature of this cafe is also reflected in the use of gold cutlery, a chemistry flask to serve sparkling water, as well as using playing cards as indicators for orders.  The cups all have a small rabbit tail on the side, which ties in well with the name of this cafe.  These are all very trendy and nice small touches.

We came here on a weekend during lunch time and the place was packed.  Food and drinks were ordered first from the counter, and a playing card was received which we have to place on our table to allow the wait staff to bring out the order for us.

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Rabbit Hole Chai Latte ($5.50)

This was made with their signature chai.  It was rich with subtle flavours from the spices, with a hint of honey providing an appropriate amount of sweetness.  Unlike other places, cinnamon flavours did not dominate the tea, and we were able to taste the other subtle flavours from the spices used in the tea.

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Matcha Latte ($5.50)

This was a bitter-sweet experience, with the right amount of matcha to provide the right balance between bitterness and sweetness.

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Green tea soba noodles with ginger-sesame chicken & pickled carrot ($16)

This was a nice Asian-inspired salad, with nice sesame and ginger flavours throughout.  The pickled carrot provided some vibrancy and freshness to the dish.  The soba noodles were cooked to perfection. We would have preferred more ginger flavours in this dish to give the dish some more “kick”.

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Pork with spicy mango, red cabbage and cucumber slaw on milk bun ($14)

The bun, with the use of mango jam, was sweet and soft.  The cabbage and cucumber slaw was fresh and crunchy, while the steamed pork provided the backbone to counteract the sweetness from the bun.  This dish was enjoyable, and although it was more on the sweet side, we felt that it was a healthy kind of sweetness due to their abundant use of slaw in the dish.

 

Overall, this place works.  The setting, the drinks and the food are all of a reasonable standard.  It is refreshing to see a different type of cafe being opened up in Sydney, and hopefully this place can help change the attitude of people towards tea in Sydney.

 

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar

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

Address: 146 Abercrombie Street, Redfern

Phone: (02) 9310 2207

Opening hours: Tue to Sun (except Thurs) 9am to 4pm; Thurs 9am to 6pm

Accepts all major credit cards