Devon Cafe revisited in time for their new summer 2014-2015 menu. You can find my previous reviews here: Devon I and Devon II. The popular Breakfast with the Sakuma’s and Eggs Blini stayed, Little Lost Bread has been relooked from nutella/peanut to strawberries. The two new menu items other than the three reviewed down here are only available for lunch:
Fillet ‘o’ Devon – Battered John Dorry fillet, tartare sauce, baby fennel and sorrel, brioche bun with onion rings – $21
Roast Pork Roll – Roast free range pork, Asian slaw, crispy onion, nahm jim sauce on brioche roll with chips – $19.50
I believe this dish is the essence of Devon, fine dining at a reasonable price. Where else could you find cauliflower puree for breakfast? It is probably the most Asian (Chinese) dish that has been on the menu in terms of flavour, the plus is the fine dining finesse and attention to detail. The main protein, the ox tongue is tender and still had a slight tongue signature sponginess. It fell apart when pulled, it could be eaten in chunks or pulled where the microfibres are exposed unleashing a new wave of stringy texture.The cauliflower puree was smooth and rich, as a contrast to the mini cube hashbrowns that were super crispy. The onion brought acidity, almost a shock that had to be paired with some tongue and puree. The fried egg was not runny but I think it was intended along with the fried onions pieces to give a Malaysian finish. I now understand why this dish is one of the all-time favourites, I would say it’s equal to Breakfast with the Sakuma’s.
This dish elevated my expectations of how ox tongue should be served.
‘NAKED’ BRUSCHETTA $14.50
Roasted pumpkin, pea and goat’s curd mousse, sage and konbu crunch, soybeans, pea tendrils, focaccia, 63′ egg
Naked or deconstructed bruschetta was pretty good. Sweet elements like the pumpkin and mousse with a slight tanginess along with soybeans were great. Everybody would eat this in their own way, I started with my 63′ egg yolk porn by dipping my bread in. This is actually the first time I have had fresh soybeans and quite neutral more like a starch. Pumpkin was cooked and seasoned well, overall it is a light (won’t fill you up) tasty vegetarian dish however I would not re-order, just because I like having some meat on the plate.
MY SECOND ASIAN COUSIN GONE SUMMERY $14
Tapioca and coconut pudding, fresh mango, young coconut jelly, chia seeds, macadamia and freeze dried lychees.
I’m not a big fan of Asian desserts but sago in milk has always been a personal favourite and this tapioca substitute has that same feel and carried me back to my hometown memories where they always added mixed canned fruit and it was so yummy and refreshing back then. This dish however is a classic homemade dish given a facelift with a mixtures of new textures and vibrant flavours.
For non-Asian dinners the tapioca might be foreign however the proven combination of tropical fruits: lychee, mango and coconut should be enough to entice you. It is like Meet Fresh gone fine dining. The dish is not too sweet, I believe most of the sugar is coming from the clear young coconut jelly placed on top, other sources of sweetness are the mango chunks and dried lychees giving the dish a natural and fresh fruit taste. The chia seeds were occasionally crunchy but more there to thicken the fluid. The real beauty of the dish the array of textures coming from the small tapioca balls, fresh and frozen fruit, jelly and coconut slices. Overall, it is a simple Asian dessert elevated and brought back to 2014. There is an option to add more dried fruit for $2 more, it was sweet enough for me.
The new summer 2015 menu looks very good, a change to fresh flavours that are light and ideal way to start a hot summer’s day. Devon cafe has kept to its ethos of providing restaurant quality at reasonable prices and to this day it has no other competitors in its proximity that offer creative fusion dishes that take you to a journey around Asia and back with French cuisine finesse and an Australian palette in mind.