Who doesn’t love weekend? (full-timers would really understand this) For me, it’s the 2 days you should not waste by staying at home doing nothing, although it used to be when I was at uni and had a lot of free time. Weekend is the time when I get to do the things I actually enjoy; and am passionate about, one of which is exploring the good food Sydney has to offer. And that exactly what happened last Saturday. As per usual, we throw a bunch of list of food joints that we want to try the day before in hope to reach a conclusion by the end of the day (deciding on a place in an instant hardly ever happens). So I was excited when we decided on Haven Specialty Coffee, as they are well-known not only for the coffee, but also the tea. I love my tea! Always have at least two tea bags at work and one at night before sleep.
Haven is located in Surry Hills, the brunch town, just a stone’s throw away from Chalmers St exit of Central Station. The cafe, as you can probably guess from the logo, is decorated with nautical items. It is very bright and has an open kitchen which makes it looks spacious. We were greeted by the waiter and asked to wait at the bar as there were no seats available. So we had a look at the menu and took our time to decide what we wanted to order, but it was a quite quick one as we already knew most of the dishes that we wanted. We placed our order as soon as we were seated. No coffee for us as none of us really likes it, although I know this cafe is known for its coffee tailoring experience, which basically means you can design your own coffee. Coffee lovers, you can have a look on the explanation here. On a different note, the dishes that they offer here are Asian fusion and a few selections of tea inspired dishes.
You can definitely taste everything on the description. Including the oolong milk, although it has a clear consistency, it definitely has a milky taste!
It’s not the normal hot chocolate which tastes like powder mixed with water and a bit of milk. This one tastes like real chocolate and a bit acidic. As a chocolate addict, I was very satisfied.
I usually avoid burgers as they are huge and I always have to deconstruct them. But this one is not to miss! The buns themselves are pillowy, while the fillings/toppings are well-balanced, spicy, sour, sweet, and crunchy. And appreciate the way they deconstruct the dish for us. If I’m being too nitpicky, the pork belly could have been crunchier.
The genmaicha, which is sprinkled on top of the burger, tastes very subtle. The glossy sauce on top is a soy aioli which tastes very unique, but in a good way. The let down for me was the chicken as it is quite dry and bland. Had they put more marinade, it would be a much better dish. Just like the pork belly burger, overall, it is very well-balanced. But this one is more subtle in terms of the taste.
This dish is not only healthy, gluten free, and vegan friendly, but also super tasty! The broth, again, tastes unique like something I have never tried before. Out of the many elements in the dish, I love the soy seared mushrooms. However, it is kind clouded the colour and taste of the broth. But I still love it regardless, oh well.
There is always a room for dessert, so they said. And definitely for this one you would, because it is very light and refreshing. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the tea aftertaste which reminds me of my grandma. But love the mandarin and rhubarb, especially the flaked almonds, such a great addition to the dish!
Overall, love the all the food and drinks we ordered. My personal winner is the pork belly kimcheese burger, just because I love strong flavours and pork belly. The price is moderate to high, but totally worth it. Haven has opened my eyes that tea is not just good as a drink, but you can get creative and use it as an element of a dish. It is on the top of my list for its uniqueness, tea inspired dishes, good food, and location! I am definitely coming back for more tea!
Date of visit: 20 June 2015
wandereatntell’s rating (explanation can be found here):
Food: 8/10 Service: 4/5 Ambiance: 4/5
Overall: 16/20 (Seriously good)