Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Haven, Surry Hills

For those who have travelled throughout Asia, you would be very familiar with the egg waffle. Haven now brings the famous egg waffle along with other Asian fusion breakfasts into Surry Hills, Sydney.

Haven is a cosy, contemporary cafe located in Surry Hills and right across from Central Station. You can dine in or grab a coffee for the go. I get there at about 10am but by 10:30am, there's a small queue forming.

I order my usual chai latte and am happy that it's brewed with real chai tea leaves. There's also a timer to help you wait the appropriate amount of time of brewing before you pour and enjoy. I'm enjoying the atmosphere at Haven.

MW orders a hot chocolate and gets a card to describe the origins. The madagascar single origin chocolate is made from dark chocolate and there are some little bits of additional chocolate to enhance the flavours of the hot chocolate. It's a little bit fancy.

Haven has some traditional breakfast dishes but more interestingly I eye off all the Asian Fusion dishes available for breakfast/brunch.

MW eagerly orders the Pork belly kimcheese burger ($20) which is a slow cooked pork belly, korean kim chi, cheddar cheese, apple relish, sesame omelette with garlic aioli.

The garlic aioli with the mesh of all the other flavours goes very well with the fatty pork belly. It's a bit rich for me for that time of the morning however MW happily finishes off this Pork Belly burger within a few minutes.


Another foodie (as part of the FCBA network) orders the Pasta Tagliatelle with house-smoked salmon ($21). This dish is a house smoked salmon with prawn and squid ink sauce with egg yolk, prawn oil, pecorino cheese and green pangrattato. I ask her how the pasta tastes and she says eggy.

I order a much more savoury sounding but interesting dish. I order the Eel-ness (gluten free and $21). I'm a fan of unagi (eel) so I like this "eel-ness" with Japanese grilled eel, silky tofu scrambled eggs, black rice and sesame cake with house pickled onions and miso dressing. There's a lot going on in this dish which is nice as you you continue to discover different textures. The sesame and black rice cake brings the dish well together as the rice is a crispy.

This dish is different and a nice change to the usual brunch options. You should definitely order this if you like eel.

The girls wisely save some room for the egg waffles and I order a Mary Mary tea which is a delightful floral tea to accompany the tasting of the egg waffles. 

We order the Sexy Me (nice name Haven) which is a black sesame cream mochi, black sesame sauce, sesame chip, vanilla bean ice cream with lemon zest, mint on a classic plain waffle. I really like black sesame and this dessert is more subtle in black sesame flavours but perhaps this is a good thing so that the dessert is not overwhelming (especially for the Western palette in Sydney). I was expecting a much more stronger sugary black sesame flavour. The other girls in this FCBA tasting have tried many egg waffles in Asia and comment that they were expecting a fluffier egg waffle.

I've never had one of these before so I was content and satisfied with the egg waffle. It was a first for me and in essence I like the weird shaped egg savoury waffle. 

For the more adventurous, you could order the awesome kimcheese which has spicy kim chi with parmesan cheese, vanilla bean ice cream, black sesame on a kim cheese waffle. 

For some, this weird combination of sweet vanilla bean ice cream with spicy kim chi was too weird. I had a few bites and it grew on me, the more I tried. I was quite entertained by this unique combination. I think it's worth trying for yourself although I wouldn't recommend it if you are not an experimental sort of person! I'm not sure if I would order this again. I would probably order a sweet egg waffle dish.

Summary: I really enjoyed the Asian fusion brunch options at Haven and I finally have tried that egg waffle! I like that they provide a bit of info when they serve the drinks as well. For the less experimental, they have more traditional breakfast dishes as well. I suggest coming in early to get a table.

Price: $20ish per main

Location: 30-34 Chalmers st, Surry Hills (right outside central station)

Opening Hours: 

Mon - Fri 7am to 4pm, 
Weekends 8am to 4pm

Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of FCBA. All words, opinions and photos are my own.

Haven Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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