Devon at Barangaroo | Sydney

Heard of Devon on Danks? It was a cafe that served truly unique food that was always invigoratingly different to what anyone else was doing in Sydney – despite the occasional failed experiment. With over ten separate visits, I literally can’t name another cafe more frequented. Imagine my devastation then, when Devon on Danks announced its closure after its two or so years at Waterloo. With its lease up, it was time to shut its doors.

But thankfully, the winds of up-and-coming Barangaroo were blowing – and now, after a wait that thankfully wasn’t too long, Devon at Barangaroo has opened its doors.

Date Last Visited: 18/11/2016 12/11/2016 (soft launch – official launch 14/11/2016)
Address: Barangaroo Reserve (turn right when you hit the David Jones facing the water)
Price range: $15-$30

Devon at Barangaroo Menu – Soft Opening

I need to re-stress the latter part of the above heading – this is a post based on a soft opening. As such, I’m not going to assign scores, and won’t go into my usual level of detail regarding the dishes until I’ve made a visit during normal operating conditions.

Spoilers: this preview was already pretty sweet.

Devon at Barangaroo

The interior

Much of the original Danks (and indeed, its original Surry Hills sister’s) menu has been carried through to the Barangaroo establishment. Old favourites like the breakfast with the Sakuma’s and eggs blini have made their way waterside, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

But in addition to this, there are certainly parts of the menu that are very new, and the addition of a wholly separate list just for sandwiches represents a fresh and fitting direction for the cafe to take. All the more so, given Barangaroo’s clientele.

So, what does it look like? Well, I could show you a picture of the actual menu but you know that’s not my style, try the below instead:

Devon at Barangaroo

The Spread, from left to right going down: 1) Devon waldorf salad 2) Dr. Seuss 3) Breakfast with the Sakuma’s 4) Chips 5) Wagyu steak 6) Almond croissant 7) Chia pudding 8) Pasta royale 9) Eggs blini 10) Matcha muffin

You could say we ordered pretty much everything. In fact, it would have been more efficient if our order was worded as “everything except these three items” – for indeed, only three were left unordered.

Look, nobody’s going to get “eggs your way” okay?

[With thanks to my homie @ifat23 for taking the photo, as it clearly shows I was too keen to dig right in]

The pasta royale was a squid ink angel hair pasta with generous chunks of lobster, crab, sugo al pomodoro (a tomato-based sauce), chilli and coriander for $31. You may think that’s a princely sum for pasta, but if you check out the bottom left dish in my flatlay above, you’ll see that before mixing, you can’t even make out that the dish has pasta in it – there’s just that much chunky juicy lobster on top.

$31 is a bargain for that much well-cooked lobster & crab, with the pasta being the proverbial icing on the bottom, as it were.

Flavours were strongly tomato-based, with a big hit of sweetness and that fresh, crab taste. The pasta was a tidbit too soft for me – a bit more al dente would’ve been just perfect.

Devon at Barangaroo

Breakfast with the Sakuma’s – miso marinated king salmon, eel croquette, petite salad, 63 degree egg, kewpie mayo, furikake ($25)

One of the dishes that propelled the Devon Cafe name to stardom, the breakfast with the Sakuma’s was essentially unchanged. It’s the same great salmon, flavoured with plenty of miso and retaining its butteriness that always elicits an “mmmm”. The rest of it was also cooked to spec – no complaint could be made here. *clap, clap*

Devon at Barangaroo

Eggs blini – buckwheat blini, citrus cured king salmon, poached eggs, salmon caviar, broccolini, maltaise sauce ($22)

A personal favourite of mine, the eggs blini is not your usual eggs benedict. Buckwheat pancakes already change things up with a bit more structure, and paired with Devon’s always-perfect eggs and rich maltaise sauce (hollandaise + blood orange juice) already makes a winner. Put in salmon and its roe, along with crunchy broccolini and this makes a dish that is perennially loved.

Devon at Barangaroo

Dr. Seuss – thick cut bacon, hash brown, green ketchup, fried egg, pea puree, edamame, pea tendrils ($19)

Now, I’m not a fan of seeing doctors, and it’s a similar feeling when it comes to Devon’s Dr. Seuss. For me, this was one of their heaviest dishes, with a thick slab of bacon that’s essentially pork belly, a fried egg, and a creamy pea puree that did my head in somewhat.

The pork belly (let’s call it that) was too over the top with its richness, with the skin a bit too chewy and insufficiently crunchy. If I ordered this dish to eat by myself, I’d succumb to a coma in record time. Thankfully, it’s a lot better when shared.

Devon at Barangaroo

Bacon side up!

This was a dish that’s more not to my palate as opposed to any egregious technical fault in the dish itself. That said, cooking the pork in such a way that made it softer would have made it easier to eat.

Devon at Barangaroo

Wagyu steak w/onion rings & porcini butter ($29)

Probably my new favourite savoury item on Devon at Barangaroo’s menu, the wagyu steak w/porcini butter had my name written all over it. Cook wagyu well and that’s already 75% of the hurdles cleared. Pair it with an earthy butter laden with mushroomy goodness and you can see why I got entranced.

This one’s worth the coma 😉

Devon at Barangaroo

Ham & cheese jaffle w/salted egg yolk lava ($forgot)

While Devon at Barangaroo has 7 sandwiches (or ‘sandos’ as they’re calling it in spirit to the way Japan names these), I’ve so far only tried two. The first was a jaffle that sported friggin egg yolk lava – this was pretty much all the convincing we needed.

That “lava” was essentially an orange egg yolk emulsion which added a great deal of richness to what could have been a potentially ordinary grilled toastie. As it were, this was grilled crack, and you wouldn’t believe how painful it was to only eat 1/8 of it because of that stupid thing called “sharing”.

Grr.

Devon at Barangaroo

Ebi katsu sando – ebi fry, kewpie mayo slaw, crustless bread ($14?)

Now if you thought the jaffle was good, wait till you get a bite out of this ebi katsu sando. In classic Japanese style, this is crustless bread that’s about as fluffy as a marshmallow (okay I lie it’s not that fluffy, but it’s the marshmallow of bread), and is exquisitely contrasted with the “prawn fingers” which sported incredibly juicy flesh, while at the same time maintaining a very crunchy exterior of panko crumbs that’s godly addictive.

Devon at Barangaroo

I immediately wanted another one after I finished mine – it was that good.

Devon at Barangaroo

Little lost bread – brioche, wild strawberry ice cream, vanilla mascarpone chantilly, ricotta, strawberry curd, fresh & freeze dried strawberry ($17)

Another mainstay of the Devon menu, the little lost bread is never truly lost – as it can always be found in my stomach.

I found it hilarious that the menu allows you to add bacon for $3, but I like to remain a functional being so we kept this one as a dessert.

The brioche was a bit flakey, almost like croissant pastry (I liked that), and paired well with the juxtaposing iciness of the strawberry ice cream. The vanilla mascarpone was more for decoration than taste, and the strawberry curd was perhaps a bit of an unnecessary flavour boost – however it did “gel” the whole dessert together.

It’s as good a little lost bread as it’s ever been.

Devon at Barangaroo

Matcha & houjicha soft serves ($5 each)

You can probably tell that my overall impression of the dishes – especially given that it was a soft launch – was that despite some downers, they were on point. But the biggest surprise of the entire meal went to no savoury dish. Rather, the matcha and houjicha soft serves stole the show, specifically the houjicha.

It was the best houjicha soft serve I’ve ever had, and one of the best soft serves I’ve had in general. The creaminess was extraordinary, it was excellently balanced in sweetness, and the houjicha flavour stood out prominently. It was the trifecta – texture, flavour, prominence of core ingredient.

Oh, and the matcha was also excellent – with a decent hit of that green tea powder. However, the houjicha stole the show, so if I could only have one, I’d know what to pick. That said, you can have both swirled together, as shown below:

Devon at Barangaroo

The DD special – soft serve w/hot chips ($12)

An actual menu item, the DD Special combines all good things into one? Devon at Barangaroo’s chips are awesomely seasoned, so it would be remiss for you not to try it.

Devon at Barangaroo

Houjicha soft serve in a cup

Devon at Barangaroo

Oh we’ll be back

You know what else would be remiss for you not to do? Visit Devon at Barangaroo.

Hit these guys up yo.

This update is based on an independent visit to the soft launch of Devon at Barangaroo

The Good:

  • All the good of Devon on Danks, plus a little bit more
  • Houjicha soft serve = life

The Bad:

  • The food can still creep up on you in terms of richness

Devon at Barangaroo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Devon on Danks – Blast from the Past

Wanted to visit Devon back when it was on Danks St but never had the chance to go? I can’t give you a time machine but I can give you 4000 words and a ton of pictures! (LOL)

Date Last Visited: 9/05/15
Address: 2 Danks St Waterloo, NSW 2017
Recommended Dish(es): the Manny P burger, Thai milk tea soft serve, meat board

September 2015 Visit

You didn’t think it was just Devon Cafe Surry Hills that gets the new menu treatment, did you? It’s I’m Still Hungry, not I’m Still Lazy. If I was going to do a Devon update, I am going to do a Devon update. And that means covering Devon on Danks as well. Yep, they’ve updated their menu too, because if there’s anything resembling a constant, it’s that Sydneysiders have the itchiest of feet when it comes to food.

How do you scratch the itchy feet of a Sydney foodie? You keep your menu fresh and that’ll keep them coming back. How do you think Aqua S manages to do such a number on me? With that in mind, what does head honcho Zacharay Tan have in store to hook us in? Quite a lot, it turns out!

Devon on Danks

On looks, Devon on Danks is the same as it’s ever been. This is my fourth visit, and little has changed. The cafe is essentially a very long corridor that’s divided into two sections. At one end, we’ve got the actual kitchen, while at the other end we’ve got the pastries and the cafe area (pictured). It makes the space look bigger than it actually is, but it’s a good use of said area.

The only problem is if you’re seated at the tables to the left of when you walk in (this describes the area behind the picture), they can be a bit too close to other patrons. It’s a problem all cafes have – precious real estate is exactly that – precious.

Devon on Danks

The breakfast club meet

Welcome to the breakfast club. Featuring: a few old favourites that never get old, as well as three new entrants for the fold.

Devon on Danks

Meat board for two – Soy glazed braised wagyu brisket, morcilla, mortadella, sai ua’ scotch egg, smoked slow cooked beans, milk buns ($47, $1.5 per extra bun)

By far the dish that requires the most commitment is the meat board for two. To say that this dish is for the meat lovers is a foregone conclusion.

This is a really good dish, pure and simple – causing me to immediately suffer from order envy and FOMO. The wagyu brisket is the star of the show. Extremely tender, and easily amongst the most delicate I’ve had. It breaks apart on the fork and in the mouth with effort that a baby can muster. Flavours don’t hold back – a very punchy sweet soy which won me over right there and then. The meat board can be full of this wagyu alone, and I would be one happy, no longer still hungry guy.

Unfortunately, the meat board isn’t just full of wagyu. Fortunately, the rest is still delicious. My second favourite item is the morcilla, or more commonly known as blood sausage/boudin noir. For those who don’t do blood sausage, skip right past this paragraph. For those that do, you’ll lap these up like it wasn’t even there to begin with. Pan-seared in soy, and heavily salted, these leave no flavour to be desired. They also pretty much melt in your mouth. Holy crap, this board just keeps on giving.

The last meaty goodness to showcase itself is the mortadella. This is an Italian salumi sausage that incorporates cubes of pork fat in the meat. Devon on Danks’ version is seemingly baked, so that there’s a bit of hardness to the meat. It’s a nice contrast to the tenderness of the wagyu and morcilla. Flavours are primarily reminiscent of the classic “porky & salty” that appropriately describes most salumi. Further, there’s a hint of spiciness and berry-like sweetness to it. Honestly, I have no material complaint about any of the three meats on this board.

Devon on Danks

Can I get extra scotched eggs instead?

And then there’s the sai ua scotch egg. Sai ua is grilled Thai pork sausage, where here it’s ground up and mixed with bread to comprise the mixture that wraps around the egg. While it elicited mixed reactions from my friends, I personally quite liked the extra zing from the spiciness of the sausage. There’s also a strong herbiness and curry hint to the filling. It plays well to my senses, especially as Thai is one of my favourite cuisines.

Anyways, back to the egg – see the yolk? Devon was the master of eggs back at the Surry Hills location, and the Danks location is no different. I’ve never, ever had a problem with Devon’s eggs. For 14+ combined visits, that’s quite the record!

One last thing: the bread. It’s an Asian-style soft sugar bread, so you just go mop those beans right up. Wipe the board clean. There shall be no regrets.

If I were to criticise one general aspect of the dish: definitely very salty. Expect a lot of stomach bloat once you drink the required amount of water to balance out all that sodium you’ve just ingested.

Devon on Danks

The Manny P burger – Annatto spiced fried chicken fillet, chilli mayo, fragrant herbs, pickles, chips ($19 + $7 for extra chicken)

I’m no wrestler, but this burger looks like it can do some delicious damage, which I would of course completely allow. It’s a shame, because the Manny P Burger is the one dish I have not properly tasted. All I could do was look upon my friend with envy as he demolished a double version of this burger. No kidding:

Devon on Danks

Doubled up

For an extra $7, you get another chicken patty to play with as you wish. I’ll tell you this: I tried a piece of the skin that fell off, and I knew right there and then that I am going to love this. Stay tuned, I’m coming back for a proper sampling of this burger.

Devon on Danks

Yogi bowl – Mixed quinoa, yoghurt, grains, nuts, pomelo, mandarin, melon, chia, goji, puffed amaranth, matcha ($15)

The most underwhelming dish I’ve ever had at Danks (not just for this post) would have to be the yogi bowl. It’s a pretty plate of food to be sure, but unlike Aphrodite’s bowl from Devon @ Surry, its beauty was camera-deep. The Danks attempt at a fruity, sweet breakfast dish doesn’t do any wonders for me. The yoghurt is very, very thick, and oddly enough, had a dry, rough texture of sorts. There was too much quinoa, which tasted very plain, even when mixed with the yoghurt. Somehow, it was unable to take up the yoghurt’s flavours. Likely due to the yoghurt’s odd texture.

The rest of the dish was quite busy. I was excited to read matcha as one of the ingredients, but barely tasted it – completely lost underneath all else that was going on in the dish.

Plot twist: I was the one that ordered the yogi bowl. I’ve failed myself. Fortunately, I got a second wind:

Devon on Danks

Breakfast with the Sakuma’s – Miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63° egg, radish petit salad & kewpie mayonnaise ($25)

Redeemed. Sure, it’s one of the unhealthiest things you could eat at Devon, but there’s no denying that the breakfast with the Sakuma’s is Devon’s hero dish. You know Zacharay has put great faith in this dish as it’s one of the few that’s across both the Danks and Surry menus. Fortunately, it also tastes the same across both. That flavoursome, buttery miso salmon, the gooey, yolkporn-worthy 63C egg.

When in doubt, go for original! I still wish they would go lighter on the oil – my one wish for this dish!

One of the draw cards of the Danks cafe is the soft serve. A Danks exclusive. On my initial visit, it was a salted caramel soft serve. They have since gone through several flavour changes, all of which I’ve missed out on. Shame on me? I agree.

It’s time to make up for it with some tea.

Devon on Danks

Thai milk tea soft serve ($5)

Specifically, thai milk tea soft serve. I may be guilty for missing out on pandan and mango, but I would be most devastated if I had missed out on this. It’s beautiful, and it tastes almost as good. What do I mean by almost?

I wished the milk tea flavour was stronger. I was left wanting for a stronger flavour hit. I could still tell it was milk tea – perhaps I’ve become too used to Aqua S and their flavour intensity. This is definitely for those who like it more subtle. As for texture, it’s a little icy. A bit of extra creaminess wouldn’t hurt.

Would I get it again? Yes – it is that good. However, I implore Danks staff to improve on the creaminess and intensity of flavour. $5 is a lot to ask for a soft serve!

And that’s the update, folks! Devon on Danks is still cooking good food and keeping things fresh. Not everything was up to scratch, but that was to be anticipated, so no expectations were broken. My new favourite? The meat board. My old favourite? Sakuma still knows what’s up. My new dish to go on the wish list? The Manny P burger.

In the end, if all of that doesn’t get you going, maybe their doughnuts/cronnies will:

Devon on Danks

Danks-in-Donuts ($7 for 3)

Devon on Danks

Devon Cronnies ($6.5 – four available flavours on my particular visit)

We didn’t order any, as we were expecting the current star child – a bacon cronut, to be on the cards. Alas, not so. Excuses for more visits, right?

Till the next one, folks!

This update is based on independent visits to Devon on Danks

The Good:

  • Yep, still good. That meat board is going to be the bed I sleep, eat, and die on

The Bad:

  • The Yogi bowl needs a quick retirement
  • Thai milk tea soft serve is good enough to like, but leaves me wanting

The Ugly:

  • Popular flavours of their cronnies run out far too quickly. They need to make more!

I have a new scoring system! Read all about it here.

Most important takeaway – three separate scores for food, service and ambiance to give the final score. The new system is not compatible with any score given prior to 11/11/2014.

F7 | S4 | A2
7/10 Caesars

December 2014 Visit

There’s a  commonly-held belief that you shouldn’t have too much of something you love, lest you fall into the trap of routine. Solid advice, except with more than eight visits to Devon Cafe (and three posts –  uno, deux, trois), I clearly have not taken that advice to heart.

While I’ve had a bit of a roller coaster relationship with SMH’s Best Food Cafe (Devon By Night, I’m looking at you), I’ve always had a soft spot for their daytime menu – their perfectly poached eggs, exquisite salmon, the most beautiful blini I’ve ever seen…it’s the kind of food that I just don’t get to eat in other cafes. A repeat customer? For sure.

So when the announcement came that the cafe which is such a large part of my food adventures over the last year, is opening a second, bigger branch known as Devon on Danks…well, I was there so fast, The Flash would have been left spinning. Spoilers: it’s worth it.

 

Devon on Danks Waterloo

It’s a big place; won’t be hard to miss

Devon on Danks exists for a simple reason – space. The store in Surry Hills continues to attract weekend queues, which is a truly mean feat for a Sydney cafe that’s been open for more than a year. Foodies are admittedly a fickle bunch.

Head honcho Zach Tan saw ample opportunity – a second, bigger location makes perfect business sense. It also allows the Malaysian chef to try out a few experiments that aren’t available at the Surry Hills joint.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Oh. My. God.

Yes, some seriously sweet experiments. If you’re not being tempted by the idea of a matcha cronut, please leave.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

The “Chalkboard” Cafe (ahem no really)

Though this post is all about Devon on Danks, I feel obliged to point out that if you’re game to do a cafe hopping adventure (because what else are we meant to do on the weekend?), you could combine The Chalkboard Cafe, Devon on Danks, and Kepos St Kitchen. All within walking distance – Waterloo residents are really spoilt for choice now!

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Oh. My. God. V2

Then again, with options such as these gorgeous Dankin Donuts, you may not have the capacity to do a cafe crawl.

I didn’t personally have any, as I had a good idea of what I was going to get – my belly was fully allocated! But you can bet your donuts that they’ll be in my belly on my third visit.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

GOSH DARN

Speaking of things that did go into the belly – this matcha cake. And yes, I’m totally teasing you with all of these pictures before giving the low down. Prepare yourselves…

Devon on Danks Waterloo

This is really pushing me over the edge

…like how these ladies are preparing cronuts right in front of us! Devon’s done an incredibly clever thing by placing the manufacturing process right in front of customers. It’s no wonder these cronuts always sell out before the afternoon even has a chance to take a breather. Seriously, they sell out early.

Does that mean you won’t judge us when we get in at 8am? Well, that’s exactly what my bloggers-in-crime iFat and Samanthaxlow did. What can I say – the early bloggers get the cronuts.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

I always prefer animals to flowers on my coffee

Coffee at Devon have always been a pleasant experience. When had them for the first time in their Surry Hills store, I thought “dayum, this is a sweet cup”. Indeed, the red cups of the Surry Hills store are very nice, oh and the coffee too.

I feel the same way this time – about the coffee, that is. I always reiterate how I’m not familiar with coffee terminology used by the experts; all I can say is that Devon’s is one of the better ones out there.

Note: on my first visit, my friend ordered a short black. The order was mistaken for a strong long black, which was a bit awkward. In any case, it came with a small shot of soda water – now that is being serious about coffee. Apparently, the story is that soda water is provided so that if the coffee is bad, you shot the coffee in one hit, and shot the soda in order to quickly cleanse your palate of the bad taste.

If on the other hand if you like the coffee, then you can take sips in between/do whatever you wish. I can only assume the soda water is given for strong coffees only, as nobody with a regular cup-sized coffee received it.

That’s pretty cool, just saying.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

The Spread. Shall we?

Let’s talk about the food now. Ok, wow, that’s quite a spread. Maybe I need to…spread this out.

Oh damn you iFat, damn you. #insidejoke

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Naked Bruschetta – roasted pumpkin, pea & goat’s curd mousse, sage & konbu crunch, soybeans, pea tendrils, focaccia, 63C egg ($14.5)

I would say the naked bruschetta is the talk of the town at Devon on Danks, but I would be lying. Truth be told, most dishes on the new menu are Instagram-breaking, but let’s start light.

Yes, for a light breakfast, it’s hard to look past this bruschetta. I’m not sure what makes it naked, since traditional bruschetta is kind of like an “open sandwich” anyway. There is no tomato, which may have something to do with it, but I reckon I’ve found the next best thing – a replacement even – roasted pumpkin.

It works, and it’s delicious. The pea & goat’s curd mousse (the lovely green sauce there) ties it all together, marrying the bready textures of the focaccia with the comfortable mush of the pumpkin. Because it’s Devon, a 63C is there for the heck of it. To me, eggs go with almost anything, so it’s never “unecessary”.

A great performance from such a conceptually simple dish, even more so given the lack of meat.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Lucky Duck – French buckwheat crepe, crispy duck leg, duck liver parfait, fried duck egg, blueberry preserve ($24.5)

If I had to name a least favourite dish at Devon on Danks, it would be the Lucky Duck. After reading a fair bit of feedback along the lines of the duck being flavourless and dry, with the crepes suffering from a similar case of “ma, where’d the flavour go?”, I was understandably apprehensive about dropping 25 gold on this one.

But I love duck if it’s cooked well, and I was still willing to give it a shot – an open mind is a good mind!

So I tasted a bit of the duck and…

…well, it’s ok. Yeah, it’s not great, just ok. Not as tender as it could be, not as flavoursome it could be.

But then I tried it with the duck liver parfait and blueberry preserve – and I made sure to do it with each bite. The world changes.

While there’s no excusing the base quality of the duck, it really is vastly improved with the parfait & preserve. The parfait delivers flavour that nobody could complain about, and the preserve adds a sweet, fruity edge that completes the package. Naturally, tie in the crepe (which has a great texture, by the way) and egg for the complete experience – just don’t miss out on a dash of the condiments.

The biggest question then, would be: is this dish worth getting? I would tentatively say yes – the flavour combination provided by the parfait + preserve makes it a very nice dish indeed.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Little Lost Bread – brioche French toast, fresh and freeze dried strawberries, balsamic & strawberry gastrique, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, Arnott’s biscuit crumble ($16.5 + $4 for bacon)

Most people have desserts after mains, fewer people have it before their mains. I on the other hand, consider dessert worthy of a main. If it’s as good as the little lost bread, that is.

This was a crowd-favourite – both groups of friends I visited Devon with liked it, which is rare for a dish that seemingly looks as heavy as this.

Thing is, this isn’t as heavy it looks – it’s about the lightest and least sweet brioche French toasts I’ve ever had, and that’s definitely fantastic thing. They are usually always too heavy, too much. In fact, I said that about Devon’s PB & J French toast.

The bread itself is light and fluffy, with the classic buttery sweetness of brioche, while the strawberry cheesecake ice cream on top is an amazing accompaniment. It really is very well paired. To put it another way – this is the first French toast dish I’ve come across that I can confidently say “I can, and am willing to, eat the whole thing by myself”.

It was only a sad reality that I couldn’t. Recommended dish, for sure.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham – thick cut bacon, crispy potato, 63C egg, green tomato ketchup, pea puree, soybeans, pea tendrils, jus ($19)

Every cafe has a controversial dish, right? Dr Seuss’s green eggs & ham would be Devon’s, if that were a thing. This dish features a beautifully cooked thick-cut side-bacon, with a super-moreish potato croquette, Devon’s trademark 63C egg, green tomato ketchup and soy beans.

It’s my favourite dish at Devon – so flavoursome, so enjoyable. This is truly bacon unlike how I’ve always had it before. I’ve had the pleasure of porking this twice now, and both times I wish I could siphon off a bit more.

So where’s the controversy? What gets some people about this dish is that the ham actually has a very thick slice of fat through the middle (it’s nearly 1cm on the side). The controversy is how you approach the existence of fat in a dish like this, time for a knowledge bomb:

In most Asian cultures, leaving most/all of the fat on meat (especially pork) is considered good culinary form, as fat = flavour. Indeed, fat also = texture, in that it’s like eating an animal butter, so to speak. To people who’ve grown up eating this way (think juicy pork belly, Dongpo pork, and so on), Dr Seuss has got you covered. In fact, without the fat, the dish would not be as good.

And then there’s the other perspective – totally understandable if this is too much fat for you. You know what? Invite me next time you go – I would love to have more than my fair share of this dish 😀

So now you know whether to get this dish or not – the answer is in the fat!

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Japanois Soft Shell Crab Roll – crispy soft shell crab w/shichimi pepper, wasabi mayo, tobiko, nori, pickled cucumber, daikon, carrot, shiso ($18)

You could serve a hot dog, or you could serve a soft shell crab roll. Choose your poison.

The presentation is mighty-impressive (so far, they’ve all been on point), and it looks to be suited for sharing between two people.

Deep-fried soft shell crab is a known quantity to many people now – you either love it every time, or avoid it every time. That alone is enough for you to make a decision. The inclusion of shichimi pepper and wasabi mayo are very welcome touches, which already take the soft-shell crab addiction to spicier heights.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Need two

I probably wouldn’t order it again, not because it’s bad, but because of the ubiquity of soft-shell crab. Devon has too much other good food to fill my belly with. Such as…

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Caramel soft serve sundae w/chips & black salt ($10)

…this beauty of a caramel soft serve w/chips & black salt. If you haven’t used Maccas soft serve as a sauce for your fries back when you were young, you definitely haven’t lived. Well, I guess you also avoided early onset of obesity and diabetes, but STILL, YOU HAVE NOT LIVED.

Ok, that’s a bit much, I didn’t really do it all that much either – it was a novel addiction I only satisfied now and again.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Guilty of loving this way too much

And Devon allows me to relive the old days.

The soft serve itself is plain caramel, quite sweet, but I like it very much. Dipping chips into the soft serve is pretty much the dessert of my “execution last meal”. This is right up my alley, even as others cringe at the health implications. But let me just say this – cronuts are far worse, so if you’ve had those, “health reasons” are not acceptable excuses.

There is one downside with the dessert, and that’s the black salt. Being unevenly sized and sprinkled on the soft serve, it’s very easy to get an unwelcome salt overload. It’s enough to seriously impact the way the dish tastes, especially as the chips carry their own salt as well. Worth a one-time try? Yes.

Don’t go away, we’re only getting started.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

*heavy breathing*

Now we’re talking real serious business. I’ve probably only had maybe 10 cronuts in my lifetime, but Devon’s are, for the time being, my favourite.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

I’ll pretend I didn’t see this

Yes, they’re still my favourite, even after seeing how they’re made right in front of us. What, you didn’t know they’re deep-fried? Literally? In a vat of oil? Hah, have fun living that one down. I love spoiling the dreams of little children…

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Pork floss cronut w/sweet mayo ($6.5)

But clearly I’m giving fewer damns than there are calories in this thing, so here goes the pork floss cronut. Well now, instant favourite. This is also a savoury cronut, and I think that’s where cronuts have some real potential. When you think about it, there’s no reason why these wouldn’t work. The flaky, buttery pastry, the crispiness, the umami of pork floss, the sweet and savoury tinge of that mayo. A delight, even if it takes 5 years off my life.

These sold out first – a testament to how popular they are.

Devon on Danks cronuts

Left/Top/Right – matcha, raspberry sugar & vanilla cream, Milo cream & more Milo

As for the sweet cronuts, I took them home to eat later. To share with my red bean rabbits of course. Before I then ate them as well. I do some pretty random food styling sometimes.

Anyways…

Devon on Danks cronuts

The goodness is real. It’s also 2000 calories

…the matcha cronut is tied favourite with the raspberry & vanilla cream cronut. I was recently told about matcha sugar vs matcha powder, where the former is more sweet, while the latter is more true to matcha.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Devon’s – the powder they were using seemed pretty legitimate, but this was also a very sweet cronut. I did taste the matcha though, so…a healthy balance? In any case, it was surprisingly addictive, and while perhaps not the best example of a matcha item, it was enjoyable to me.

The raspberry & vanilla took on a more acidic and slightly less bitter bent (+ raspberry, – tea). I particularly liked how creamy the vanilla was at th e base of the cronut. It keeps things interesting, and I had to stop myself as I nearly forgot I’m meant to share these with my parents.

The Milo cream + more Milo (actually the name) is exactly that – a chocolate cronut with Milo cream throughout, and Milo powder throughout. It’s definitely going to be good for chocolate-types, which don’t really include me. Thus, it could be the cronut for you!

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Matcha sponge cake. Damn right

Oh but wait, there’s still that matcha cake! Unfortunately, this was only average to me. matcha icing at the top was ridiculously good, but the cake itself was a bit spongy and not too interesting texturally. There also wasn’t enough of a matcha presence there. Still worth a try, if you’re into the green craze.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

Special: caramel soft serve, banana, peanut crumble, berry coulis, raspberry sprinkles, black salt ($10)

Ah, everyone may have heard of the sundae with chips, but pretty sure the special of caramel soft serve w/banana & peanut crumble was missed on the radar. This is another way to enjoy Devon’s soft serve, without the chips. A pretty nifty “dropper” delivers the berry sauce (Devon resisted the syringe craze), and all is well with the world.

I ended up eating most of this, and I have no regrets at all.

Devon on Danks Waterloo

I’m going for you next time

And you wonder why I didn’t have space for these donuts.

Devon on Danks, even better than the Surry Hills branch. The sequel has surpassed the original. It’s not every day I get to say that.

This post is the result of two independent, self-funded visits to Devon Cafe.

Any thoughts on Devon on Danks? Or not buying into this new joint? Let me know!

The Good:

  • Top-notch cafe food worthy of “best food cafe” status

The Bad:

  • Getting a coffee order wrong twice is pretty poor form
  • Matcha + duck game could be even better

The Ugly:

  • Not serving that spanner crab pasta for breakfast is killing me (and that’s why you didn’t read about it)

I have a new scoring system! Read all about it here.

Most important takeaway – three separate scores for food, service and ambiance to give the final score. The new system is not compatible with any score given prior to 11/11/2014.

F8 | S3 | A3
8/10 Caesars

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • 80%

  • Devon at Barangaroo
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: November 19, 2016

Summary:

18 comments on “Devon at Barangaroo | Sydney”

  1. Stella Reply

    Do we need to make a reservation for having breakfast here? Anyway, beside the yogi bowl, do u think Devon Cafe at Surry Hills has a better food than Devon on Danks?

    • Michael Shen Reply

      I’ve never made a reso at DoD or the original Devon – so I’m not sure whether they’re taken or not. I do know that DoD at night takes reservations…

      In any case, a walk in should be fine – though you might be waiting a bit if you visit during peak hours.

      Personally, I think DoD is better than the original Devon – I’ve been to the former a lot more than the latter now. There’s just something about the original Surry location that isn’t all that appealing to me anymore.

  2. Alan Sun Reply

    Very disappointed with the service of the cafe!!! I was after a table for 6 people, as my girlfriend and I got to the cafe early the waitress took my name down and requested us to wait until the majority of the group has arrived. I waited 20 mins and doubled checked our seating, the waitress told me there is a table available, however as the rest of our group had not arrived I was told once again to wait until the majority of the group was here. I obliged and within minutes the rest of my group arrives. I sought out the same waitress and requested for the table, only to be told that it has been taken by a group of 8 people. However when I looked over I noticed that there was only 1 person on the table. I quickly asked the waitress how did she consider 1 of 8 people to be more of a MAJORITY than 2 of 6 people. My inquiry was met with the excuse that the 7 of 8 people were just up the street. I further protested that since the entirety of my group is here, that we should have the right to that table seated with 1 person. I then received further responses that the remaining of the people were very close and there’s nothing the waitress could. This bickering went on for a further 5 mins where eventually I was presented with the ultimatum to wait ANOTHER 20 mins for a table or leave. Feeling extremely frustrated and without an apology, our group left and opted to dine with one of the other great cafes where the profit of 2 more people does not come before their customers. Even upon our departure we still did not see the remaining 7 of the other group. This whole experience has left a bitter taste and I would not come back again! The wait staff is in urgent need of commonsense and training. From what I have seen I believe the cafe will find more talented wait staff in the local McDonald’s.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Hi Alan, a shame that you experienced such inept service! Not once in my many visits to DoD did I experience this, however I have heard many anecdotes of people being forced to wait for far longer than their due. Indeed, it can happen even to the best of cafes (I was once accidentally “taken off” the waitlist at Hardware Societe – ensuing in a 45min wait), and so it’s unfortunate you experienced the short end of that particular stick.

      All the more sad, as the food there (depending on what you order), is quite novel and most of the time, delicious. Alas, it’s understandable you’re put off ever revisiting. If you do entertain the thought though, definitely try to avoid peak times – it’s pretty much the only time I would consider visiting.

  3. Kelly @ MsBrulee Reply

    Christ almighty your photos never fail to amaze me. Shame about the yogi bowl, but it sounds like you definitely had it made up for. Great write up yet again Shen!

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Thanks so much Kelly! Really appreciate it.

      The other dishes on Danks’ new menu most certainly made up for it. Viva la Manny!

  4. irene Reply

    I’m probably the only person who doesn’t and won’t gape at the sight of those matcha stuff…. The Milo cronut, though, is MINE.

  5. Julie Reply

    Oh no, I came especially to find out the price of that matcha sponge cake and it seems you’ve left it out!

    • Michael Shen Reply

      The struggles of foodies that miss out on food – it’s real.

      I can sort of guess possible reasons why you may have struggled through the pork cronut – I read that you also couldn’t deal with the ham! Definitely a byproduct of our different palates whilst being brought up 🙂

  6. iFat (@iFat23) Reply

    Thank the Lorde (cause I’ll never be royal) I posted before you did. This is the end all and be all of all Devon on Danks posts.

    I sorta wish we had ordered the bruschetta since I love pumpkin, Guess I have to go back now…

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Hahaha thanks man, it’s like getting an HD in a uni assignment when I hear it from you.

      The bruschetta is worth getting, more so if you’re able to share it. Totally up for a lunch visit some time – smash that spanner crab pasta too, heh.

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