Monday, 15 June 2015

REVIEW: The Book Kitchen

The Book Kitchen Cassie Cakes
See the black dog on the left there? He's a groodle and his name is Gus and he's a good boy.
Oops! How can it be two weeks since my last post? I'll tell you how. I went to Sydney! And then I got sick. But...I went to Sydney! For my birthday! And I had one of the best birthdays of my 20 something years. That's right, 20 something. That gives you an indication of how old I might be, since I'm not willing to say outright what something in the 20's I am. But you shush your mouth! I'm 20 something, goddamn it!
The Book Kitchen Cassie Cakes
The wonderful industrial yet cosy interiors.
As far as chronology goes, this is the second restaurant I have to review from my Sydney jaunt but I wanted to do this one first. The morning after the night before, we were a touch shady and boy, was I looking forward to breakfast. Hold up..."boy"? What am I, a mid-western choirgirl? Um, no. Anyway, moving on.
The Book Kitchen Cassie Cakes
Book lined walls.
My lovely friend who lives in Sydney took me to one of my favourite Sydney suburbs, Surry Hills. Alliteration for the win! Surry Hills is full of so many lovely cafes with a great food scene and this little café was no exception. The Book Kitchen sits on Devonshire Street, which is pleasantly busy, making it great for people watching from the tables outside. A table inside also seemed a great place to sit, with the book lined walls and great bustling atmosphere but on this sunny Saturday, we nabbed a seat in the cool winter sun.
The Book Kitchen Cassie Cakes
Action shot.
Service was prompt with water and menus delivered quickly and drink orders taken swiftly. We ordered a hot chocolate ($4) and a pot of TBK Chai Leaf Tea ($5.50). There were tragically no marshmallows for my hot chocolate and after Felix, few other hot chocolates please me without marshmallows. What's the bloody point. Still, it wasn't horrid and it did the job. The chai tea was delightful - wonderfully spiced, milky and sweet - it hit the spot.
The Book Kitchen Cassie Cakes
Looks the goods...wasn't the goods.

After drinking our hot drinks, we were ready to order. The waitress was so accommodating and thoroughly knew the menu. There were many tempting choices with lots of vegetarian options, which I'm really learning to notice as I move away from such meatcentric eating. We ordered two dishes and decided to share. There was a caramel milkshake on the menu however the kitchen was heartbreakingly out of caramel, so I got a chocolate milkshake ($7). The texture was very thin and the flavour was not very strong but the canister was cold and the serving was big. Check out where it ranks on The Cassie Cakes Milk Bar.

The meals arrived quickly and together and were presented invitingly! First, the Trio Corn Fritters - Poached Edd, Avo Salsa, Rocket with Roast Tomato ($20), plus we got extra Haloumi ($6). The haloumi was good and I'm glad we ordered it, but it was nothing on the Greek Festival haloumi. But for café haloumi, very good. Maybe the haloumi tempted comparison but the fritters...stand aside! No comparison came close. These fritters were so tasty, the corn was juicy and sweet, they were friend well and along with the avocado salsa and egg poached to perfection...mouth party. Please get the fritters if you come to The Book Kitchen.

For our second meal, we ordered the Slow Cooked Greek Beans - Rich Tomato Sauce, Poached Eggs, Salsa Verde, Pancetta and Sourdough for $19. The waitress kindly got our beans sans pancetta. The beans were tasty and firm to the bite, as though al dente. The toast was delightfully buttery, scooping up the beans with a hunk of buttery sourdough was an absolute treat. The eggs were also stellar and as with the Corn Fritter, just perfect. I love a well poached egg - the whites firm and the yolk runny.

The food at The Book Kitchen was top, everything was well cooked and well seasoned, balanced and tasty. The drinks were okay, not the best milkshake or hot chocolate but the chai tea was spot on. With such great food, backed by friendly and quick service, The Book Kitchen is really a wonderful brunch spot. It was such a pleasant café. Highly recommended.

Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5

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