Tuesday, 5 October 2010

SIFF 2010 Let's Do Brunch - Cafe Ish, Surry Hills

The only "Let's Do Brunch" event that I'm booked in for this year is at Cafe Ish in Surry Hills.

First thing first, after I set down my bags on the chair, was to walk over to the counter and tip toe over the tall glass display - trying to catch the chef/owner's attention.

"Hi, do you mind if I take pictures here *fingers mimicking shutter pressing*"
"Sure, go ahead. Thanks for asking."

Permission granted *phew* 
Now I can gather pictures for the blog without the fear of being told off. 
It is an unwritten rule here at the cafe, they don't mind you taking photos IF you have asked for permission first. So folks, please ask the chef / owners / staffs before whipping out your camera :D

Wattle Macca-cino 

To start of the brunch, we were served the signature drink of Cafe Ish, the Wattle Macca-cino.
Staying true to their philosophy of using native Australian food (bush tucker foods, would that be the correct term ?), coffee beans is replaced with wattle seeds and macadamia nuts. Wattle seed has been commonly used as a coffee bean substitutes as it has a similar chocolate and coffee aroma but without the caffeine content.
The wattle macca-cino is quite sweet, more like a mocha than a regular cup of cappuccino. Please have a sip first before you add more sugar to it :) Add more if you like it much sweeter of course.
Like every other cups of hot drinks here, this cup of goodies was accompanied by a mini round of buttery shortbread.

Breakfast Triffle 

Next up is the breakfast triffle, layered goodness of "Lush" yoghurt on the bottom, topped with native berry compote and then final layer of crispy toasted muesli.  
The native berry compote is quite interesting, I recognized the Rosella Fruit and the rest I have no clue what they are. The compote if eaten on its own is quite tart, so I found it best to mix them all in and you get a balanced flavours and textures. Eating it made me felt so healthy, my day to day breakfast usually comprises of large coffee and chocolate croissant LOL

Soft Shell Crab Omelette 

I was not expecting to be served a full sized soft shell crab omelette during this special brunch. When just reading the menu, I was imagining more like a "degustation" style brunch, so a bit of everything. So having a full plate was a pleasant surprise !

Cafe Ish beside using native Australian ingredients is also incorporating Japanese flavours to their menu.
At dinner time, the cafe is transformed into an izakaya style dining with a great range of sake on offer (from what I can see on the board).
Inside the omelette we have the deep fried soft shell crab, chopped avocado & shallots, lemon myrtle, then topped with a garlic,chilli, soy & ginger dressing. Served with half a lime (whose's bottom has been sliced a little to make it sit still on the plate, SIT Lime !) and some watercress.

Peek-a-boo ! I see you !

The omelette is not the fluffy, creamy type but more of the basic style, egg crepe like I suppose. Which is good otherwise the dish would become too rich. My friend who sat next to me asked, "You think they put a whole crab or just half ?". Counting the legs I had on my plate ..1..2..3...I'd say it was a full crab in there. 
The crab was crispy without being too greasy and the avocado added something fresh to the dish.
Overall it was a tasty dish, but the sauce was a tad too salty to my liking. Half of our brunch group agreed that it was too salty for them as well.
A spritz of the lime and a scattering of pepperberries did the trick in cutting back the saltiness.

Trio of Salts ; Old Coffee Pepper Grinder

To accompany our mains, the waitress brought over the salt & pepper, not your ordinary salt & pepper though.
The Trio of Salt consisted of Murray River Pink Salt, and the house blended Green Tea Salt & Chilli Salt. The green tea salt despite being so brightly green, didn't have a distinct matcha flavour, it has more lemon or lemongrass taste, Lemon Myrtle perhaps ? Keeping with the native Australian theme ?
In the old grinder you have the Tasmanian Pepperberries, not as hot as regular pepper I found, but still have the peppery aroma. 
I have no idea what I've done wrong, but I couldn't get the pepper ground properly, kept getting whole berries or half cracked berries in the drawer hahahahahaaha ! I'll stick with normal pepper grinder :P

Special Board

For $25 you get the cafe's signature drink, a healthy breakfast triffle and the signature soft shell crab omelette - full size !
The omelette itself would have costed us $23 on the regular menu, so during the SIFF,  $25 will get you that and 2 more items - it's a STEAL  !

"Let's Do Brunch" @ Cafe Ish is held during the month of October on Weekends only from 9am - 2pm.
Booking is recommended.

Cafe Ish on Urbanspoon


  1. Manners will get you everything...:)
    will get my coffee grinder technician to fix that grinder.
    Cafe Ish

  2. josh : didn't expect you to stumbled upon my post so quickly ! that would be the 1st ever pepper grinder that require maintenance I've ever encountered lol thanks for stopping by...

  3. that sounds like a great deal and it's the 2 things i'm wanting to try :-)

  4. by the way does everyone at the table have to order the special or can just one person order it and the others order other things from the menu?

  5. hi simon : then you should drop by the cafe before you leave for the USA :) I'm not sure if the whole table have to order the same though, best to ask Josh :D

  6. Mmm... that was on my SIFF plans too. Did you book for brunch?

  7. Hi Tina : we did make a booking as there were 8 of us :) but just in case, I'd book ahead :)

  8. definilely need to book.
    We only take booking for the deal other wise we have a no booking policy, please remeber i only have 30 seats and eight hungry staff to support..:)
    josh ish

  9. hehe we ordered the exact same thing as you! yes the $25 is such great value! the only thing was that my wattle maccacino was kinda weird? mine was bitter like normal coffee, not a tad sweet which i thought was strange. it tasted like my usual latte so i told the staff and she was like..nah its def wattle...hmmm.

  10. vivienne : very good value indeed :) hmmm....that's weird, so it's either you or us that got the wrong wattle maccacino ? one way to find out is to go get another cuppa to confirm lol !

  11. Great review and awesome pics. I saw this in the program and thought it'd be good and your post has just confirmed that I MUST go. That crab omelette looks delish!

  12. anita : hehehe thanks :) quick, call and make a date with the crab omelette !

  13. Oh wow! You get the full sized soft shell crab omelette too? That's awesome! I love brunch at Cafe Ish!

  14. hi betty : yeah, whole crab with all 8 legs ! was not expecting to get a full sized one :)