I’ve been under fire from my mother recently about my weight. It’s certainly a hard balance to keep, what with an office job and a love of food, but I think I do fairly well – I teach Zumba twice a week, do yoga twice a week, and twice a week will spend an hour doing a run and ab work in the in-house gym upstairs from my office. I weigh in at about 62 kilos for my height of 5’3′, am a size 8-10, can do push ups and planks, and no longer suffer from any muscle aches or ankle pains as I did when I first started teaching Zumba more regularly. I guess it’s a matter of comparison – my background is Taiwanese and when I go back overseas I’m surrounded by waif, lactose-intolerant Bambi-esque girls and I’m bad-tempered when I go clothes shopping because I’m always an XL or something similar. *grumpy cat face*
Perhaps the problem is that I tend to treat myself after exercise… 😉 For example, after attending Sunday morning yoga, Night Owl and I’s favourite activity is to go to brunch afterwards. We both attend Crunch Fitness in the CBD, and the CBD isn’t really my choice when it comes to selecting brunch destinations. While I’m not a huge supporter of the Barangaroo development, there have been a handful of good food destinations that have opened up there, and so we have since been a couple of times to sample the cafes there.
We have since visited Devon Cafe twice. I’ve never visited their Central cafe as there is always a line snaking down the road, but the wait at the Barangaroo cafe is much more reasonable – possibly because it’s in a rather drafty lane and winter is truly settling in. They have recently brought in outdoor heaters and wraps though, so it does make things cosier.
Devon has always leaned towards a more Asian-inspired way of brunch, and on my first visit I indulged in a Matcha Latte, which was creamy and strong in the grassy, slightly bitter fragrance of the matcha. Night Owl had her usual double-shot cappuccino. Devon‘s house blend is a roasted mix of Colombian and Ethiopian beans, and you can definitely taste the fruity sweetness of the Colombian roast.
On the both occasions we have visited, Night Owl has gone with the Dr. Seuss. It’s a spin on the “Green Eggs and Ham” dynamic, with thick cut bacon, hash brown, green ketchup, fried egg, pea puree, edamame and pea tendrils.
That thick cut bacon is what dreams are made of. It’s leaning more towards a slab of juicy pork belly; the fat perfectly melt-in-the-mouth and deliciously smoky. The block of hash brown (beneath the egg) is a little hard to cut through on our second visit, but no less tasty. I’m enamored with the concept of the green ketchup, which is both tangy and punchy.
On my first visit I was quite hungry and so had ordered Breakfast with the Sakumas – miso-grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63 degree egg, radish petit salad, kewpie mayonnaise and furikake.
The king salmon was rich and tender, not too heavy on the miso. My 63 degree egg was deliciously wobbly and runny, and perfect when mopped up with pieces of the eel croquette. I do think that for presentation purposes that the Kewpie mayonnaise could have been piped better. For those who don’t know what furikake is, it’s a fragrant Japanese mixture of dried seaweed, dried bonito (fish) flakes, sesame seeds and other things that is usually scattered on onigiri rice balls or even just over a bowl of steamed rice. I felt that in this dish it had been shaken on a little too heavy-handed, and did slightly overpower the other flavours in the dish. It was a very hearty, very filling brunch!
On my second occasion I had gone with the Eggs Blini. A buckwheat blini with citrus cured king salmon, poached eggs, salmon caviar, broccolini and maltaise sauce.
The buckwheat blini is nutty in flavour and nicely risen, providing a base for the broccolini, which rests underneath the two perfectly poached eggs which are smothered generously in maltaise sauce. The caviar adds pops of savoury flavour to the creamy sauce, and the salmon has been just lightly citrus-cured so that it has the right amount of acidity to the dish. It’s a very satisfying dish which I smash out – yoga always makes me hungry!
I’m fascinated by the photo of the Devon Sundae, and insist we order it to share.
The bright purple colour is ube flavour – a purple sweet potato or yam, similar to taro in flavour but more intense. It will stain your teeth slightly too! It comes with a coconut gel, and cubes of creamy flan, and a scatter of ultra-crispy lightly salted taro chips. It’s decadent and delicious – and probably un-did all of our good work that morning 😛
With a love of food like mine, my ethos is fairly simple. Don’t count calories or go on crash diets – it simmers down the consumption of food to a science… which is not what it should be! Eat what you love in moderation, but ensure you exercise in moderation at the same time. I certainly don’t eat like this every day, and I knew that if I did it would entirely take out the charm and excitement of having brunch out. Savour and enjoy the moments!
Corner of Mercantile Walk & Scotch Row
Shop 19, 200 Barangaroo Avenue
Barangaroo NSW 2000
(02) 9262 4660