[AUS] The Book Kitchen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One of my favourite towns in Sydney, Surry Hills is the home to a variety of good food places, be it cafes, bakeries or restaurants. A cosy cafe nested in the corner of Surry Hills, The Book Kitchen made a good impression with its concept and food served. 

The Book Kitchen - just like its name suggests, is a combination of books and kitchen, some sort of a reading cafe. If you're looking for a place to chill over a cup of coffee, with a couple of books or catch up with a copy of newspaper, this is it. Over here, you lose track of time and the hectic world outside just sweeps past as you indulge in a world of your own. 

I like the odd-shaped structure and the classic colours used. 

The counter, with blackboard and whiteboard to list down their specials for the day. I suppose the blackboard is used at night, where the place turns from a cafe into a bistro/restaurant. 

Hot chocolate (AUD 4)

One of the best hot chocolate I've tried, it has the perfect blend of cocoa and milk, having a not so overpowering taste of chocolate that might make you sick after a while. It was indeed, addictive, as I couldn't stop sipping and wished there was a super large cup available, for me to enjoy over more books read. Oh, and I like the fact that it's brewed not with boiling water, making it ready for drinking right away when served, so that it doesn't scald your tongue like most hot beverages would. It's the little details like this that distinguishes a great cafe from a good one.  

Glurp Factor: 9.0/10

Spanish Baked Eggs with Chorizo (17.50 AUD) 
topped with tomato confit, capsicum, oregano and white toast

It tastes as good as it looks! A good combination of sweet and savory, it's a simple dish done well. I like how the egg was baked just right such that it retained the runny yolk texture and a 70% cooked egg white. There is a good blend of both cooked egg white, with the runny bits of its white and yolk, and when you combine it with the bits of tomato and the juicy savory Chorizo sausage, it was plain goodness bursting in your mouth! Considering this was my second meal after lunch and it still tastes so good, it's probably worth giving it a shot!  

Nom Factor: 8.5/10

Potato wedges sprinkled with mozzarella and sea salt (Complimentary)

This was a complimentary dish and it wasn't listed on its menu too. It was given to us by the service staff, as they've gotten a wrong order and didn't want to waste food. I applaud them for their efforts really. If this were to happen in Singapore, they probably wouldn't bother going from table to table to ask customers if they mind having extra food for free, this would probably go back into the kitchen and either be served again later or split amongst the service staff. It also goes to show that they really uphold the freshness of their dishes and every single one is made to order. 

An ordinary dish, I like the crispness of the potato skin. A tip for those who like crispy potato skin, the salt outside helps to keep it crisp as it absorbs the moisture from the potato. So if you're the kind who likes salty fries, this would be good. Plus, after leaving it for awhile, it was still crisp on the outside.  Forgot to snap a photo with the sauce, the condiments given alongside complimented this well and it got rather addictive. Unlike the usual potato wedges, this is made out of full potato slices instead of the kind with mashed and processed potatoes stuck in a battered skin. One thing to improve on, they could have boiled the potato longer to get rid of the raw taste in it and get a softer potato or even slice it into smaller pieces so that it's not so intimidating to down each piece of potato.

Nom Factor: 7.0/10

Finally, here are the books! We chose the seats at the table right in front, so that we could have access to all these books while enjoying our meal.

I was impressed by the huge collection of gastronomic literature featuring cuisines and dishes from all over the world! These aren't the typical cook books you can pick up at any bookstores, as they include limited collections published by individual bakeries/cafes and be ready to just indulge in the world of food!

A great place to chill over the afternoon with a good read in hand and watch the world go by. It's a place that I'd definitely recommend for its ambience and brunch. If you're in Surry Hills, be prepared to spend a full day on eating, because just about every corner you turn, you'll be able to find a decent eat. In fact, just across the street, you can find the famous Bourke Street Bakery where it really has one of the best bakes around! There are just too many food places to try out, that I wished I had more time in Sydney.

Overall Nom Factor: 8.5/10
255 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills 2010

The Book Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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