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

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

Pork’d

 

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Do you liked to get porked?  Well, if you enjoy pork in all your dishes, then Pork’d is the place for you.  Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills, in the same venue as where Red Lantern used to be, Pork’d is a casual dining restaurant, set up like a New York style cafeteria with small tables in narrow spaces, along with an open bar and an open kitchen.  On the walls are pictures with pig related themes, and this theme is carried through in all the dishes on the menu.

Pork’d is run by Pauline Nguyen and Mark Jensen, who has been inspired by similar concepts in the US, where a restaurant may specialise in one ingredient or only a few dishes.  Mark then transformed his love for pork into this restaurant.

Apart from the abundance of pork on the menu, the dishes also make use of special sauces from independent suppliers, which makes the flavours of the dishes more unique.  There is also a wide selection of craft beers to choose from so customers can wash down their pork dishes with a pint or two.

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We visited Pork’d as part of the Instafoodie gathering of around 40 people, and for a special price of $35, we were able to sample a number of dishes from Pork’d.  We have included the normal price for each item in our description below.

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We Rub You Burger ($12, or $15 with fries)

This burger consisted of pork pattie, roasted red pepper, jack cheese, McClure’s spicy relish, tomato, cos and We Rub You Korean hot sauce.  We were given a slider version of this burger to try.  Having pork pattie in the burger is quite rare, and immediately upon tasting this, we understood why this is not common, as the pork lacked the strong natural flavours of beef.  Therefore, most the flavours in this dish were from the sauce and the accompaniments, with the final result being a spicy and sour flavour with a nice kick from the hot sauce. The addition of lemongrass to the buns provided an element of surprise to this dish, making this an Asian fusion American style burger.

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Saucy Sugar and Spiced Belly Kebab ($12, or $15 with fries)

Char grilled cider belly, cabbage dressed in Lillie Q’s sauce, beer braised onions and sriracha mayo served in a charred pita, this was a lighter and more refreshing version of the kebab that we were familiar with.  The sauce gave this kebab a depth of flavour, however, the pita wrap was too dry for our liking.

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Pigsy Plate ($25), and Ribs served with Sauce and Salad ($27.50)

The Pigsy Plate usually contains a selection of pork cuts cooked low and slow, including Willie Smith Cider Belly, Smoked Porter Ham Hock, Hot Chilli Bacon, Cheese Stuffed Kransky, Pulled Pork Butt, Pickles, Beans and a Bread Roll.  However, we were also given a small serving of the Hoisin Hog Baby Back Ribs with it.

The ribs were the highlight – the ribs just melted in our mouths and the hoisin sauce really brought them to life.  The rest of the plate was also nice – the belly was soft and tender, the bacon was crunchy and cooked to perfection with a kick of chilli, the crackling was crispy but lacked salt, the other pork pieces were also tender and juicy, and the beans were tasty and well made (unlike the canned ones).  The inclusion of a choice of apple sauce and smoked BBQ sauce was very thoughtful.

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Maple Ice Cream with Bacon Jelly and Pandan Waffles (not on menu)

Who would ever imagine having dessert with bacon in it?  The combination of flavours worked well surprisingly, with the sweetness of the maple ice cream balanced by the saltiness from the bacon jelly, while the pandan flavours in the waffles provided a refreshing backdrop to this dessert.

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We really liked the innovative and unique concept from Pork’d.  We especially like how they are supporting small independent suppliers, through use of their sauces.  We are also encouraged by their attempt at promoting sustainable eating, by using most parts of a pig in all their dishes, so there is minimum wastage.  This is the place to try out if you are interested in trying something different from your average burgers, kebabs and roasts.

 

Pork'd Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pork’d

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

Address: 545 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Phone: (02) 9690 2298

Opening hours: Tues to Thurs 5pm til late, Fri and Sat 12pm til late

Accepts all major credit cards

 

Note: Special thanks to Pauline Nguyen for allowing us to take photos with you.  Also a great shout-out for two new up-and-coming bloggers, who are in the above photos with us, Michiellaneous Foods and Delicious Sydney.

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