[Sydney] It is not hard to like Devon Café, which has managed to find a unique voice in an ever-evolving café scene in Sydney.
Since it opened in 2013 at Surry Hills, Devon Café which is a short 10 minutes walk from Central Station, continues to be packing in the crowds.
It used to have a branch at Danks, but has shifted that outlet to the more commercial district of Barangaroo.
(Click PLAY for video highlights of Devon Cafe).
Devon Café at Surry Hills is narrow but deep down, full of character. The interior is designed by acclaimed Matt Woods, with graffiti art by Numskull, with a unique thin-blue line running over the tabletops and benches for a look of unity.
The wait can be long, say at least about 30 minutes during peak periods.
Owner Derek Puah and head chef Zach Tan (previously of Guillaume at Bennelong and Pier) helm the place, alongside pastry chef Markus Andrew with a resume from both Adriano Zumbo and Le Cordon Bleu. Zzzzzzumbo.
Chef Tan is from Penang Malaysia, one of those places that offer the best street food ever, and you may see ice cream flavours of pandan and kaya at Devon.
Devon Cafe is quite the bomb if you are looking for a café full on in terms of the unexpected.
The menu at both Surry Hills and Barangaroo branches differ slightly, and seasonal items are often introduced. Despite returning every year, I realised that their menu changes all the time, except for the few staples such as the “Sakuma”.
Now you have it, next time you don’t.
Over at Surry Hills, you get items such as the Tropical Chia – chia pudding, almond milk, fresh dragonfruit, mandarin, passionfruit, strawberries; Eggs Blini – Buckwheat blini, poached eggs, citrus cured king salmon, salmon caviar, broccolini, maltaise sauce; Yakuza Burger – Grilled chicken, mozzarella katsu, Devon’s secret sauce, cos lettuce, pickles, milk bun, seasoned chips; and Hojicha Cookies N Cream – Hojicha cream, Hojicha sponge, Hojicha crunch, Hojicha sauce, yuzu gel and mandarin.
Devon has a fine-dining approach to casual cafe food. The menu is one page of everything.
Friends scream for “Sakuma” all the time, while I think I must have had the cronut of my life here.
A friend had 4 Sakumas in a week. 4! That is enough Omega 3 there.
The famed Sakuma (AUD$26) contained miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63 degrees egg, radish petit salad and kewpie mayonnaise. It is on the expensive side.
EVERYTHING just works in their flavour, I mean favour.
The chunky, fresh, smooth, well-seasoned salmon which melted in the mouth, the smoked eel croquette lightly crispy and with smoky hints, and the perfectly cooked egg.
Though I must say in return visits, the Sakuma just wasn’t as big-pieced and life-changing as before, but still sweet and fresh.
What’s with the Cronnies aka Cronuts (AUD$6.50)?
The flavours change regularly, structured around 3 themes of Asian, traditional and contemporary. So you get anything from Milo, Black Sesame, Matcha, Pork Floss and Sweet Mayo.
We put it to the test and were delightfully excited upon hearing the crunch on the flaky outer layer (Disclaimer: we come from the incredibly humid Singapore, so many pastry items do not keep that sound.)
The inner layer soft, and flavours intriguing enough.
Coffee beans are sourced from Coffee Alchemy, a highly rated coffee roaster, using the house blend of Goodness Galileo.
Not to be missed is the Iced Orange Mocha (AUD$6.50), a cold pressed coffee with house made chocolate orange reduction. You don’t even get that all the time, especially when they run out or are short of people to squeeze the oranges. It’s true.
During the Truffle Season, Devon Cafe will likely introduce Cheese Truffle Super Fries (Surry Hills) and Truffle Soft Serve with Truffle Honey (Barangaroo).
76 Devonshire St Surry Hills NSW
Tel: 02 9211 8777
Opening Hours: 7am – 4pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 3:30pm (Sat – Sun), 8am – 3:30pm (PH)
(Kitchen closes at 3pm)
Google Maps – Devon Cafe
Devon Cafe Barangaroo
Shop 19, 200 Barangaroo Avenue Barangaroo NSW
Tel: 02 9262 4660
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 4:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9:00am – 4:30pm (Sat – Sun)
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