Curious cuisine – Sydney’s Devon Cafe opens its first Brisbane location
What started as a quirky brunch nook in the heart of Surry Hills has blossomed into a slick hospitality empire in the making. After conquering Sydney’s tastebuds with three stellar eateries, the Devon Cafe has made its first in-roads into the Queensland market with its first location north of the border. Devon Cafe opened at Westfield Garden City this week, debuting its heralded range of Asian-inspired breakfast and lunch items, as well as some brand-new goodies exclusive to Brisbane.
With its savvy mixture of contemporary aesthetics and idiosyncratic approach to culinary fusion, it comes as no surprise that Devon Cafe has amassed such a cult following. Over the years the plucky operators have thrived in Sydney’s cutthroat hospitality scene, opening three locations across Surry Hills, Barangaroo and North Sydney (plus one location in Jakarta) since 2013. The tandem of Derek Phua and executive chef Zacharay Tan have been shaping and reworking the menu since the venue’s inception, turning heads with a quirky approach to modern cuisine – think semi-fine dining meets casual cafe fare with a liberal sprinkling of Asian influences. Those that have wandered south and sampled Devon Cafe’s fare (and those that haven’t) should be jubilant over the news that the cafe crew have ventured north, opening a brand-new location at Westfield Garden City this week – the first Australian venue outside of Sydney.
Situated in the heart of Westfield Garden City’s dining oasis, Devon Cafe has scored a tranquil tenancy right next to the precinct’s large water feature. Formerly the home of The Palms Mediterranean Bar and Grill, Devon Cafe has built upon the venue’s bones, implementing a sharp interior aesthetic anchored by bleached timber and concrete, with splashes of blue and blush pink (as well as a eye-catching neon sign of Devon Cafe’s mantra, ‘Stay Curious’) noticeable around the space. The eatery seats 80, with a mixture of communal tables, round tables and banquette seating providing plenty of options for groups.
The food and drink
Devon Cafe has built its rep on menus featuring quirky Asian-inspired eats and sublime coffee. Long-time fans will rave about signature dishes such as the ‘ghetto-style’ omelette with lobster meat, bisque beurre blanc and caviar, and the miso-marinated salmon with eel croquette, petite salad, 63-degree egg and Kewpie mayo, and an assortment of soft-serve ice-cream and bubble teas. Devon Cafe Garden City has all of that, but also much, much more. The new opening boasts a tonne of exclusives, especially at night, where the kitchen is branching into dinner eats for the first time. A selection of aperitivo bites make way for substantial mains, including squid-ink angel-hair pasta with mussels, crab, mentaiko cream sauce, flying fish roe and chives, spiced yellow lentil dhal, wagyu tenderloin with cep puree, and DIY crispy pork hock with hoisin. The desserts are equally as imaginative, with Devon’s popular DD soft serve with hot chips or the summer pavlova with black-sesame meringue enough to tickle any sweet tooth. As for drinks, Devon Cafe employs Grace & Taylor Coffee Company for its specialty brew, available alongside matcha lattes, iced teas, freshly squeezed juices and milkshakes. For a stiffer sip, the venue also serves beer on tap, a loaded wine list and classic cocktails – many of which are perfect for a boozy brunch.
Devon Cafe is now open. For opening hours, menu details and contact information, click over to the Stumble Guide.
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