[Sydney] If you have ever wondered what a hipster café serving Singapore-Malaysian cuisine would be like, you can find it at Café Rumah.
“Rumah” means “house” in Malay.
This is a rather understated café located on Sydney’s Surry Hills – where all the great brunch and coffee places congregate.
To be really honest, I have walked past the shop quite a number of times but never had a strong urge to enter because… why have local food in a foreign land?
Also, it is not the type of cafes that serves up beautiful brunch food, but there is so much charm within this small space.
Café Ruman is owned by Riszal Nawawi who has Malaysian heritage, and a lot of the food is inspired by his memories growing up in Malaysia.
Some of the recipes have been passed down through the generations of his own, as well as his wife Yoon Yang’s family. They were both in the banking industry who decided to make Sydney their home.
It offers something different to your usual Aussie café which can be more predictable, for example the usual Avo Toast and Eggs with Bacon.
Café Rumah takes things to the next level and adds a twist on café favourites with Rendang Baked Eggs (AUD19) with house made beef rendang, free range baked eggs and sourdough bread; Chilli Pan Mee with pork ragu and mushrooms (AUD15); as well as Char Siu with free-range fried egg and roti (AUD18).
You can even order smashed Avo on Toast (AUD12), a favourite of Sydneysiders, with free-range onsen egg and nori seeweed, something you would be unlikely to find anywhere else in Australia.
Another highlight is The Kopitiam Brekkie (AUD7) with homemade kaya spread, created with a recipe originally belong to Yoon Yangs’ grandmother.
You can also try the kaya which are filled within freshly baked Madeleines (AUD6 or 8). The only thing is, as they are prepared in small quantities, they run out fast.
Occasionally, you MAY see the specialty of Laksa Rumah (AUD19) on the board.
The Laksa is made Nonya style, quite coconuty, slightly sourish-tangy, less on the spicy side.
An interesting feature is that it is paired with the Malaysian favourite of Lou Shi Fun aka “Mouse” noodles which are thin, fatter strands of rice noodles.
They take great pride in their food and use high quality ingredients.
Sydney’s coffee culture is big, and they use Cabrito Coffee here, which has a very good reputation for their high-quality beans and blends.
The teas are supplied by T Totaler, and for people that like a cold, fresh drink, you can choose from three different cold-pressed juices.
There are even artisan soft drinks available with flavours like yuzu and mint, and rose and milk.
For a Singaporean visiting such a café, it does feel like home as you can hear that familiar accent from behind the kitchen.
The food tasted comforting, yet they were some intriguing Australian twists which added some element of intrigue.
Other than the café staples with the South-East Asian twist, do not miss some of their Nonya Kueh Kueh which are out in limited quantities.
71 Campbell Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia
Tel: +61 02 9280 2289
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 4:00pm (Mon – Fri), 9:00am – 4pm (Sat), closed on Sundays
Google Maps – Café Rumah
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