How many times does it need to occur, before we deem it a trend?
Traipsing through Darling Square, Haymarket and Ultimo to Chippendale, we found that our lunch destination had closed down. Boo! RIP Nighthawk diner.
So finding ourselves on Abercrombie Street without a plan, we walked until we found something which caught our eye. Lucky for us, in a one block radius there were 2 cafes and 2 pubs, and with the wall to wall glass frontage, this one seemed inviting enough.
“Hey, I think you have this on your list”, (my wife referring to the now dwindling list of restaurants I wanted to try), and she was right, 101 Kissa was no. 46 on my list.
We were immediately seen to a table for 4 (although it was only the two of us), but we were grateful for the extra space as the table space was very tight in there (unable to even fit both legs between the parallels of the table legs). We had a small (but healthy) marital bicker, whether or not to order 3 mains to share or just two- but I won out! Woohoo! We ordered the Spicy Crab & Eel Omelette for my wife (Japanese eel, crab meat, organic quinoa, broccoli, crispy nori, with spicy dressing) – $16.90; Seasoned Fruit Porridge for me (organic oats and muesli, fresh berries, banana, pistachio, rose maple syrup) – $12.50; and a Matcha French Toast to share (grilled banana, ruby pear, mixed berries, orange peel, matcha mascarpone, pistachio and matcha glaze) – $16.90.
The trade-off for ordering 3 mains, was that we passed on the cold pressed juices (which didn’t have a price against them). So we just got table water. Not all that sure though, why the water glasses came in different sizes? *Shrugs*.
But you can almost guess who got to drink from the smaller cup? And who wears the pants in our family……. At least I got more water top-ups! Haaha.
As we waited for our food, we took in the ambiance of the place. They had a funky but calming English playlist going on; it was light and airy with bay windows open, allowing a nice cross-breeze; and with an open kitchen we could hear our food being freshly prepared and cooked (hearing the eggs for the omelette bubbling away in the frying pan).
After the table of four next to us got their food, our mains arrived one at a time. First to arrive was my Season Fruit Porridge (we suspect they were meant to say ‘Seasonal’ fruit).
And after mixing in the fruit compote (which came in a porcelain cup) into the warm just-right porridge, I was good to go! There was a thin wafer, almost as thin as rice paper which tasted like banana. Mmmmm. And with the fresh fruits (banana, blueberries, strawberries and grape) mixed in with the sweetened porridge, it was perfect! I’d been craving porridge for a while now, as I spend a night a week at my folks’ place, and they start each morning with their oats (which I don’t partake in), so I’d been craving this hot breakfast for a while, and it def hit the spot!
My wife’s Crab & Eel Omelette was tasty, with diced pieces of eel, a spicy sauce smeared on the plate for you to sweep your forkful over if you so choose (and we chose to). And taste-testing a single forkful of her eel, omelette, and the spicy sauce? It was real tasty! Yum! And if the warm food wasn’t enough, it also came with a toasted mini Croissant. **Comment: However, my wife didn’t taste any of the promised crab, nor quinoa.
And as a share dish, we tucked into the Matcha French Toast.
I opted to mix-up my sweets with more sweets- electing to have my portion of the French toast halfway into my porridge. While my wife left her sweets till the end, like a dessert. The thick cut French toast was sliced into quarters, each cube topped off with fresh fruits, which sat on top of a smear of Matcha mascarpone. Mmmmm. From their menu description, it mentioned berries, banana and pears as the fresh fruit selection? But today, we received the berries and the banana, but insert grapefruit instead of pear. And the grapefruit worked a treat actually, the bitterness of the GF offset the sweetness of the mascarpone.
Our end verdict? 4.0 Stars from 5! (2.5 from 3 for Food (When we had finished the meal, we had scored them a full 3 marks for food. However after taking a pic of the menu and studying it now, there were elements in the description which didn’t match what we had- the largest let down was the lack of crab in the Crab & Eel omelette. But other than that, the food and flavours were perfect!); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the waitress was polite and efficient); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (everyone in the café were enjoying themselves, it had a real chilled vibe to the place which helped us feel like we were out of da city); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money (the omelette and porridge was priced appropriately for what we received, however the $16.90 for the French toast was a bit steep, for essentially one slice of bread dipped in egg, topped off by fruit)).
In conclusion, it was a nice unplanned outcome, we had planned to eat fatty American grub, but instead we had a pretty healthy Asian-fusion café breakfast! So how often does something need to occur, before you note it down as a trend? In the past 9 months or so, 3 different cafes have opened up in the Ultimo/Chippendale area. All of which have been funky western feeling Asian-fusion cafes, all owned by native-speaking Mandarin youngsters? We know how handy Mandos are behind the wok, with all the Chinese hot-pot/dumpling/Sichuan restaurants out there, but I think this is a very cool and emerging trend- where young Mandos are branching out and putting together inventive menus which are Asian twists on your favourite Western cafe staples. This is a trend we like, and hope it stays, thrives and grows in Ol’ Sydney Town!
101 Kissa- Saturday 14 September (4.0 Stars).
PH: (02) 8317 4088
94A Abercrombie Street, Chippendale
Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm
Sat-Sun 8pm – 4pm
Table booking is advised.