Devon Cafe, Surry Hills

Address: 76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills

Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:30pm, Thursday – Friday: 7:00am – 4:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday: 8:00am – 3:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Sunday: 8:00am – 3:30pm.

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Since my first visit to Devon Cafe late last year, it has undoubtedly become one of my favourite cafes in Sydney. Devon Cafe serves breakfast and lunch dishes with an Asian twist, and recently started serving dinner a few nights a week (regrettably, I haven’t tried their dinner menu yet).

E and I came here around lunch time on a Saturday. Devon Cafe has quickly become one of the most popular cafes in the Surry Hills area, and due to this, there was queue when we arrived. We were told that it would be a 40 minute wait, but we waited quite happily with coffees in hand, anticipating the satisfying meal that we would be in store for.

Devon Cafe's weekend specials on the day I paid a visit
Devon Cafe’s weekend specials on the day I paid a visit

After being seated, E and I had two more friends join us. It was E’s first time visiting Devon Cafe and he was keen to try lots of things on the menu, so we decided to order 3 meals and share.

Breakfast with the Sakumas ($24.50)
Breakfast with the Sakumas ($24.50)

Breakfast with the Sakumas ($24.50) was the dish I had first tried at Devon Cafe the first time I went. It was the reason I first fell in love with Devon Cafe, and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. This brunch dish blends elements of Western and Eastern cuisine, as you can probably tell by the name. The boneless salmon fillet was accented with a sweet, mild miso flavour. The meat was soft and flaky. The egg wasn’t just any poached egg- it was a 63 degree egg, meaning that it was slow poached for one hour at 63 degrees C. 63 degree eggs are heaven for lovers of poached eggs- they are the softest and creamiest eggs that you will ever eat. The eel croquette had a crisp exterior with a creamy interior with only a mild eel taste. The radish salad on the side was a nice, light way of balancing out the strong flavours and textures in this dish. E loved every aspect of it, and ate it with great relish.

Eggs Blini ($19)
Eggs Blini ($19)

Ever since the introduction of the Eggs Blini ($19) to Devon Cafe’s menu, I had been wanting to return. This is probably one of their most Instagrammed dishes. It consisted of a buckwheat pancake topped with cured salmon, salmon roe, two poached eggs, broccolini, and a yellow sauce that was described as sauce ‘Mikado’ on the menu. I had high hopes for this dish as it was what I had returned to Devon Cafe to try but was slightly let down. The buckwheat pancake had a strong savoury taste. It complemented the cool and refreshing cured salmon. The sauce was thick, creamy and delicious, although I had no idea what sauce Mikado was meant to be. In terms of taste, the sauce tasted very similar to Hollandaise sauce. I enjoyed the first few bites, but soon came to feel very full due to the heaviness of the sauce. I was also disappointed with the eggs, as they were overcooked and not runny at all. I also would have preferred a more generous heaping of salmon roe on top of the dish. Understandably, we did order 5 dishes at the same time though, so I expect that the dishes may have been rushed to be served at all the same time.

The Ultimate Toastie ($27)
The Ultimate Toastie ($27)

Despite the shortcomings of the Eggs Blini, the Ultimate Toastie ($27) restored my faith in Devon Cafe. This was one of Devon Cafe’s most popular dishes and undoubtedly what they became famous for. It consisted of a thick slice of toast topped with different kinds of mushrooms, eggs sunny side up, gruyere cheese, and freshly shaved black truffles. The eggs in this were cooked well and remained runny, while the toasted bread had been toasted to just the right amount. The mushrooms and gruyere cheese complemented each other’s flavours nicely, while the shaved truffles made this dish perfect in every way. While eating it, I couldn’t stop talking about how good it was to E and the others.

Counter of baked goods at Devon Cafe
Counter of baked goods at Devon Cafe

Despite the Eggs Blini not living up to expectations, I was still happy with my second experience eating at Devon Cafe. The service is friendly and efficient, and although it’s not quite as cheap as other cafes in Surry Hills or the city, it would definitely be one of my top picks for a good brunch.

Rating: 9/10

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