Devon Cafe only opened last year but they’re already a huge hit, constantly drawing in long lines during peak weekend lunch times. I’ve been there twice already for lunch and the food is pretty good, but they’ve since realised they can capitalise on their popularity and have expanded into dinner (Thurs-Sat only). The dinner menu has a nice selection of snacks, smaller and larger plates incorporating the Modern Asian flavours they’re known for.
Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi, Avocado, Tomato Jelly, Ikura, Chives – $15
Tonight we’re previewing a selection of plates from their dinner menu. First up is the tuna sashimi (normally King Salmon on the menu) which is very fresh and delicate. The tuna goes perfectly with the smooth avocado mousse, but I don’t really enjoy the clear coloured tomato jelly which has a really strong taste, easily masking the flavours of the tuna and avocado.
“Prawn and scallop wontons” – scallop and prawn ceviche, crispy wontons, green mango, peanuts, nahm jim – $16
Next is a deconstructed wonton consisting of a green mango salad with scallops and prawns, served with fried wonton skins. It’s light, zesty and refreshing with soft creamy scallops and prawns. The wonton skins adds some crunch to the salad and I absolutely adore the flavours and textures here – in fact the whole table agrees it’s definitely one of the better dishes tonight.
Devon’s lobster roll- lobster, radish, tatsoi, kewpie – $15 each
We get the lobster roll next which contains big chunks of lobster meat (50g in total) with kewpie mayonnaise and radish in a soft bun. There’s a nice proportion of fillings to bread here and it is a great little bun as a solo eat, although on the pricier side per bun due to the lobster content.
Chargrilled corn, coffee miso butter – $5 each
When I read the menu for this item, I pictured a full corn cob but didn’t realise it’s in fact baby corn! I’m not a big fan of baby corn or coffee so it’s not my preferred dish, but others agree there’s a charred type of flavour which provides a nice earthiness, however the coffee and miso flavours aren’t particularly apparent.
Chargrilled Jumbo prawns with Penang Hokkien mee flavours – $29
Following this are some huge grilled prawns with a hokkien sauce (soy and sambal chilli). There’s also extra chilli on the side to bump up the spiciness and tastes just like those which you’ll find at authentic Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants.
KJI fried chicken- Korean style chicken wings, go chujang and peanut sauce – $15
One of my favourite types of food is Korean fried chicken and Devon does a great rendition, with crispy batter encasing tender chicken wings. It’s served with a Korean chilli sauce made with fermented soybeans, giving it a sweet undertone that isn’t that spicy.
Mum’s Chinese egg custard, shitake, black fungus, yellow needle flower, Chinese fried bread and fresh WA black truffle – $28
Another highlight of the night is the egg custard which is a savoury, silky smooth dish. I’ve had this dish plenty of times but it’s normally served plain. I quite like the addition of the intensely flavoured truffle and mushrooms as it gives it some texture and depth, whilst the goji berries also add sweetness. There’s also a fried Chinese doughnut stick served on the side to provide some crunch.
Aunty Tulia’s beef short ribs, tomato & basil relish – $28
Our last savoury dish for the night are some smoky beef short ribs served with a sweet BBQ sauce. I simply had to poke it with my knife and fork and the meat fell off the bone – too easy! It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and went well with the tomato relish, which was actually quite spicy.
Tamarind and chilli popsicles – $5 each
To end the night we were served some popsicles made with the exotic flavours of tamarind and chilli. It was definitely an acquired taste and not my cup of tea – I wasn’t a fan of the sourness from the tamarind nor the kick of chilli for a dessert. Most of the people on my table finished it but there were definitely mixed feelings about this dessert.
Overall, Devon Cafe is a force to be reckoned with, now serving up an equally (if not better) delicious dinner menu. Most of the items are hits, drawing flavour influences all over Asia and they’re all executed very well. I hear they don’t take dinner bookings, so be sure to get there early as there’s limited seating and Devon looks like it will be drawing the crowds at night.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Devon Cafe
76 Devonshire St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9211 8777