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.
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.
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.
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
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