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#BeausBowl Log – Oratnek, Redfern – Friday 28/09/17

I love everything about Japan, the people, the culture, the very diverse country and above all else the food. The Japanese seem to be perfectionists in most things they do and their food could be considered the epitome of this characteristic. It is for these reasons I decided to take the Nero #FriYAY bunch ride to the highly renowned Café Oratnek – a Japanese inspired Café conveniently located in Redfern.

To give a brief background, the Café was opened by Kenny Takayama who has a solid upbringing in the industry heralding from the popular Café Bills in Darlinghurst as Head Chef. The Café states that the food is “a gentle twist of Australian with an Asian influence” and it is obvious that Kenny’s Japanese heritage has a strong influence on most menu items. With everything being made in-house except the coffee and the bread (sourced from Brickfields which coincidently was the focus of last week’s review) I was confident the group would be in for a treat.

I decided to run with the matcha bircher muesli as I am currently going through a matcha food craze (to rival my chilli obsession) and will go for any menu item that lists this magic green ingredient (#MatchaIsLife). Matcha is basically ground up green tea and is very popular in Japan as an additive for sweet treats - think green tea ice-cream, green tea bread and even green tea KitKats (no joke).

My first mouthful of the Café’s matcha bircher had me instantly regretting my choice to go halves with my wife Emm (we always order 2 separate meals and split to hopefully hit the menu jackpots). The bircher was simply delicious! The pairing of the matcha powder mixed throughout the coconut cream yogurt base just worked and the addition of the matcha type biscuits yielded a solid crunch which added a whole lot of texture to the meal. It also had a sweet twist with the added crushed strawberry compute and blueberries so overall I give it a 4/5 on the food scale. I will definitely be adding matcha powder to all my future breakfast cereals/mueslis/porridges (#justaddmatcha).

As for parkup, there is ample room to cater for a large group of cyclists and the staff were kind enough to allow our group to park our bikes inside the gated fence. This was a make or break for me as the alternate was to park our bikes out of sight on the adjacent laneway wall. As a cyclist, the security of your most loved one…I mean bike is of chief concern and this gesture by the Café earns a 4/5 for bike parkup.

To be honest the coffee I ordered (strong piccolo) was pleasant but I’m going to mark the café down on this front as my coffee came out spilled in it’s saucer and several companions had to wait a long time to get their desired beverages. On this front I give a coffee rating of 2/5.

Rounding out the above number leads to an overall rating of 3.33/5 however I am going to round up on this occasions for two reasons; first I am in a state of post matcha nirvana as I write this and second the café took a while to make my wife’s order (coddled egg in jar on top of wasabi mash – also a great meal but a review for another time) but decided to comp this meal as a sign of goodwill (great customer service!!!).

Hence, Café Oratnek scores a 3.5/5 on #BeausChilliScale. Please note the #FriYAY Nero bunch ride is open to all and I encourage anyone who is keen for an easy spin and wants to partake in some quality banter to come along. See you next week at 620am at Horse Park Gates in Centennial Park!

For past #BeausBowl Blog reviews and other bike related chat check out


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