Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S

Devon on Danks

Hello Everyone and welcome back to yet another Review Sunday on the blog! Devon Café is one of those that I’d never fail to go back to for a nice Sunday brunch, well besides the Potting Shed at the Grounds though – I can’t pick between the two! So recently, I think somewhere in mid-November, Devon Café expanded their brand and opened up a new venue over on Danks Street in Waterloo. I quite honestly did not get into the hype of it until late December, after Christmas, before New Years – not that I wasn’t into it, but I just wanted to wait until the hype died down a bit. Knowing that this is Sydney, the hype never dies down! The first time I went here wasn’t that bad though, we managed to get a seat straight away but even so, the place was pretty packed. If we had arrived any later we could’ve easily been standing outside waiting for at least 10 minutes or so for a table for 3. Don’t even get me started on how packed it was on ‘Straya Day, but lucky again we managed to get a table for 2 with ease, but I did feel sorry for the others who had to wait out in the rain for a table.

Devon on Danks: 'STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
‘STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
Medley of tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, and soft-boiled egg, on toast ($16.50)

As mentioned above, this dish was only available during Australia Day. I ordered it because it’s one of their specials and it won’t be on their menu ever again (maybe)! It was a difficult decision because I was eying their ‘Naked’ Bruschetta at that time as well. I actually have no regrets going for this dish because it blew my mind. Yes I know, some tomatoes and avocado on toast – really? The dish was just so flavoursome and fresh at the same time. The crusty white bread added that crunch texture to the palette and was excellent for soaking up the olive oil. The disappointment in this dish though was that my egg was not at all soft nor runny liked I’d expect it to be. Would’ve loved a runny yolk to compliment the crusty bread to soak it all up. Also, $16.50 for this dish? A bit too much in my opinion.

Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S
BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S
Miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63˚ egg, radish petit salad, and kewpi mayonnaise ($24.50)

This dish is probably Devon’s signature as it appears in both menus at the original Devon and Devon on Danks. My Instagram newsfeed always features this dish from other people’s brunches. I never really had this dish for myself to consume, but I did manage to have a bite from my friend’s plate. According to her, the salmon was cooked to perfection and I can definitely vouch for that statement. The egg was perfectly cooked, and flavour combinations worked well together. She overall liked the dish.

Devon on Danks: LITTLE LOST BREAD
LITTLE LOST BREAD
Brioche French toast, fresh and freeze dried strawberries, balsamic and strawberry gastrique, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and Arnott’s biscuit crumble ($16.50)

Again, I did not have this dish to myself, but I did manage to have a small bite. My friends, who at that time share this dish as a dessert, really loved this dish, but it was a bit sour for my liking, which I think mainly came from the balsamic. But otherwise, the brioche French toast was amazing, and so was the ice cream that topped it. What I found interesting was that at the end of the description for this dish it said “add bacon $4.00”. BACON? I was so confused and intrigued at the same time, but my friends didn’t want to get the bacon with it.

Devon on Danks: DR SEUSS's GREEN EGGS AND HAM
DR SEUSS’s GREEN EGGS AND HAM
Thick cut bacon, crispy potato, 63˚ egg, green tomato ketchup, pea purée, soybeans, pea tendrils, and jus ($19.00)

This again was a dish that was predominately popping up on my Instagram newsfeed. I think what is attractive about this dish is its name. It brought back many childhood memories and this was a dish that I really wanted to indulge in, but unfortunately lost the battle with Marissa. She told me to order the same thing but I was like NO that’s not point! Because I write a blog, I actually hate it when people order the same thing, because then that means that I have one (sometimes two) less dishes to write about. Which also means that I have to again visit the café/restaurant so that I am not just reviewing two or three dishes. Anyway, tangent aside, the bacon was delish, cooked to perfection, and paired well with the other components in the dish. Marissa seemed to love it too!

Devon on Danks: SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
Crispy soft shell crab with sichimi pepper, wasabi mayo, tobiko, nori, pickled cucumber, daikon, carrot, and shiso ($19.90)

Originally, this dish was meant to be a soft shell crab roll. I don’t know what happened, like whether they ran out of rolls or whatever other reason, this time when I came back with Tara, they had blacked out the ‘roll’ on their menu and changed it to a salad. Despite it not being a roll anymore, the dish was beautifully presented and was very flavoursome. The soft shell crab was crunchy and was packed with a lot of spice, quite possibly from the wasabi. That was on point for me. The salad was flavourful, but in the end I kept thinking that the dish looked really small, and for roughly $20.00, it almost seemed that you didn’t a good value for your money. I’ve had soft shell crab salad elsewhere before at a Japanese restaurant and it was about $11.00 for more than just ONE crab.

Devon on Danks: LUCKY DUCK
LUCKY DUCK
French buckwheat crêpe, crispy duck leg, duck liver parfait, fried duck egg, and blueberry preserve ($24.50)

This was the dish that I had that time I was out with Marissa and her friend Karina. Duck is one of my favourite meats which is why I had no doubts when having to select another dish after not being able to have my way with what I wanted in the first place. I regret nothing. This dish was top notch for me, despite me having doubts about the liver parfait. It actually tasted good together with the blueberry preserve and the other elements to the dish. I could not fault this dish, and unlike most dishes, this definitely was a great value for money.

Devon on Danks: CRONUT
CRONUT
Green tea matcha cronut with red bean filling ($7.00)

This was by far the best cronut I’ve had to date (not that I’ve had many anyway), but the flavour combinations happening in this one tiny cronut was to die for. The amount of red bean filling in this cronut might I add was very generous! It just oozed out every time we sliced into it for a bite. Though I did feel that by the 5th or 6th bite, I could feel that the red bean filling was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Devon on Danks: SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
Pandan soft serve, banana, rice and coconut krispies, kalamansi cream, palm seeds, and gula melaka ($11.00)

What I love about Devon is the Asian fusion that they bring into their cuisine. This ice cream, though Asian inspired based on ingredients and flavours, is nothing that I have seen at all in Asia. Pansan, kalamansi, palm seeds, and gula melaka, are all flavours that I am familiar with, but never did I think that they’d all work so well together as an ice cream sundae! Loved the flavour combinations in this sundae, better than the salted caramel soft serve. I only wished that it had been a very hot day instead of a gloomy ‘Straya Day the time I shared this with Tara because the cloddish weather and really cold ice cream did not feel right!

Devon on Danks: DD's SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
DD’s SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
with salted caramel ice cream, black salt, and hot chips ($10.00)

Ever since the opening of Devon on Danks, I have seen this pop up on my Instagram feed one too many times! It brought back a lot of memories of when I was a kid and how I’d use to dip my order of fries into my soft serve ice cream on a cone from McDonalds. I think it was everyone’s childhood memories for everyone had written about how they did that when they were kids when talking about this sundae. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this, there was too much salt going on for me. I was fine at first, but I struggled to finish the rest. Salted caramel ice cream, TOPPED with black salt, AND salted fries on the side. Salt overload!

I’d rate the food probably an 8 on a scale of 10, just cos of some minor issues I had with some of the dishes that were served. Service was on point and the waiters/waitresses were always smiling, friendly, and gave great recommendations when it came down to having to make a decision on what cronut we wanted to have for dessert. The ambiance was sort of like modern meets industrial which by the way is what I like most about cafés around Sydney who embrace this interior design style fusion. Value for money is variable – some dishes I feel were reasonably priced while others I felt that they were a bit overpriced for the amount of food that was on the plate. Then again this is my opinion, and I’m pretty sure others will have a different say to this. But overall, be it the original Devon Café or Devon on Danks, I will always pay a visit when I am in the mood for a pretty epic brunch date.

Devon on Danks
2 Danks Street
Waterloo, New South Wales
Australia, 2017

– Ally xx

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Hello Everyone! Knowing that Muffin Making Monday would fall on ‘Straya Day, I just knew I had to make these muffins. All I can say is that when I was out doing groceries over the weekend, I had so many doubts about this, and I could not even comprehend WHY I decided to do this. I even struggled to place the tiny jar of vegemite into my trolley of groceries. I just could not bring myself to, but in my head I kept saying, “just do it. Do it for ‘Straya Day” and I did (what am I doing to myself).

Besides lamb, vegemite is another ‘Australian thing’. Vegemite has appeared on my blog once before, but for those of you who don’t know, vegemite is like the Australian version of marmite, a popular spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets, crackers, and as well as a filling for various pastries. It is salty, slightly bitter, and apparently is similar to beef bouillon. You’ll either love it or hate it, and I did mention before that I am on the hateful side. The smell for me is a bit off-putting, and I know Vidhya hates it too, so I kept shoving the jar of vegemite up her nose whenever I had the chance to *cheeky grin*.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

I was too scared to bake a whole dozen muffins because I wasn’t too sure on how the taste would go down with me, so I only baked half a dozen, however, please note that the recipe below is for a full dozen – if you’re like me and don’t want to end up having to throw away the whole batch after eating one, then just half the measurements from the recipe below! Also, a little side note, I followed Sally’s master muffin mix recipe for these, and then added the vegemite and cheese. I only added about a tablespoon of vegemite as I was again afraid that the saltiness of it would overpower the taste of the muffin. But I can tell you that the batter smelled amazingly good!

But to be completely honest, these muffins did NOT taste as bad as I thought they would. It’s sort of like a taste that I cannot really describe. The only issue I had with them this morning was that because knowing that there was vegemite in them, I gagged a couple of times before even putting them in my mouth, so it kind of threw me off just a little bit. Nevertheless, the muffins were beautifully moist though, and I think that all the other ingredients mixed together with the vegemite sort of diluted its taste a bit. They weren’t at all overly salty like I thought they’d perhaps turn out to be. Having said that though, I would probably still never indulge in vegemite just as it is, like on toast or something as they have it here down under.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | MAKES 6 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 handfuls of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-2 tbsp vegemite
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Add the baking powder and flour in a large bowl, gently whizzing together until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Then add in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until the mixture is pale and yellow in colour.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and lightly mix everything together until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. Then add in the cheese and vegemite, and continue to mix. Be careful as to not over mix the batter; it will result in tough, dense muffins. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy.
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top.
  6. Bake at 220C degrees for 5 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 190C and continue to bake for a further 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.

Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb

Hello Everyone and Happy Australia Day! Or as they say it here in the land down under, Happy ‘Straya Day! It is the official national day of Australia that is celebrated on the 26th of January. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, NSW, and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip. If there’s anything that I’ve learnt about Australia from living here for the past 4 years is that they really love their lamb. So for this special Monday post, I am bringing to you a classic leg of lamb roast. All you really need are garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and a little salt and pepper – you need not do anything fancy with this leg! These make for a flavourful and tasty leg of lamb.

Roast Leg of Lamb

So this is probably the fourth leg of lamb roast that I’ve made over the years of being in Australia. I was never in the country for Australia Day, except this year of course, so I remember that my previous flatmate and I would always serve one up during our annual Easter dinner. A simple roast with simple and humble ingredients to flavour it up; all you really need is some patience with it as it does require some time in the oven. But you can always do something else with your time rather than sit and watch it cook. Just remember to check on it every hour incase it starts to tan a bit too much.

Roast Leg of Lamb Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5kg leg of lamb, washed and pat dried
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a deep baking tray with foil and place a wire rack above it.
  2. Place the leg on the rack and rub with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Make small incisions throughout the leg and insert garlic pieces and rosemary in each. Chop up any remaining garlic pieces and sprinkle over the top of the leg.
  3. Place in the oven and let it roast for about 2 to 2 and a half hours. Once done, transfer the leg to a deep dish (I used my rectangular pyrex) cover the leg with foil and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. While the lamb is resting, pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and let it simmer away. This is totally optional by the way! Once simmering, add about half a cup of white wine and bring back to a simmer. Then add in about a teaspoon of flour and mixture until the juices start to thicken. Serve with the leg of lamb!

Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb

The rest is up to you! You can have it with some steamed rice or mashed potatoes. Whatever tickles your fancy. If you have any leftovers, get creative and whip up another stellar dish – like perhaps my lamb ragù which will be up on the blog on Thursday!

Once again, happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussie friends!

Roast Leg of Lamb

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com