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Cafe Ish

Home > Sydney > Cafes | Coffee | Food and Wine
by Sarah Han (subscribe)
Lover of carbs, traveling, art & naps. Food & travel blog at
Published January 23rd 2012

A trip to Cafe Ish is an exploration into a food journey that pairs quite polar cuisines: Native Australian and Japanese. You can munch away on crocodile sausage, karaage soft-shell crab or kangaroo, prawn and ginger gyoza.

I have to admit when I went for a spot of lunch with Miss D and her cousin JC, we didn't choose the most adventurous dishes. But it didn't even matter - they were all good in their own right.

I was really impressed by the interplay between two such different cultures and mentalities. Asian fusion is so frequently done wrong, but at Cafe Ish it's definitely done right.

Cheese Inu

I have the Cheese Inu (cheese dog) which is a feast for the eyes. And it's also very tasty. I did, however, find that there was a little bit too much bun for the sausage. I ended up leaving half of the bun and just eating the yummy sausage on its own at the end. Regardless, this cheesy and flavoursome cheese dog gets a tick of approval from me.

Especially because the fries that go along with the cheese dog are top notch. Maybe it's because I'm on a health kick at the moment and everything deep-fried tastes like absolute heaven to me. But Miss D confirms my thoughts when she declares that they're very good. I also polish off the wasabi mayo in no time. Love it.

Ai's Freaking Awesome Fried Chicken

Miss D has Ai's Freaking Awesome Fried Chicken, which is one of the Japanese sets. It comes with rice and miso. Thanks to some vinegar, shallots and a garlic sauce, this chicken dish has a sour flavour. It's got a nice flavour palette, which lends to it being 'awesome'.

Saltbush Lamb Salad

The saltbush lamb salad is served on lettuce with feta and macadamias. JC laments that the dressing is a bit too oily, but otherwise seems content with it. I try a little bit, and have no particular affinity nor dislike towards it. Being the bread fiend that I am, I do like that it's served with homemade bread and butter though.

And now, here's a bit of a sneak peek. Josh tells us that there's a new drinks list coming up in February and we try two of the new milkshakes.

Yuzu & Wild Lime Milkshake

The yuzu and wild lime milkshake is like a liquid splice, JC announces. And that's definitely an apt description. My only comment would be that I don't like the little bits in it. Call me old-fashioned, but I like a creamy, frothy milkshake (which it absolutely is) minus the bits of lime or yuzu.

Red Bean & Riberry Milkshake

The red bean & riberry milkshake is a hit with Miss D. I'm not convinced by it, but only because riberry has that clove-like, spicy flavour. Cloves aren't high on my list of flavour favourites. But Miss D loves this drink and slurps it up in minutes.

Josh also tells us that there's a rosella and Lindt chocolate milkshake in the works. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Along with the new drinks menu, Cafe Ish will be settling back into its routine, with Tightass Tuesdays ($10 grub but only at lunch) making a return.

Owner Josh Nicholls is very quick on Twitter - follow him here and say hello.

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Why? Oz plus Jap food
When: Mon-Wed 7am-4pm, Thu-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-2.30pm
Where: Cafe Ish, Surry Hills
Cost: Around $20 per person
Your Comment
Yep, sounds totally bizarre... but very intriguing! I'm a big fan of Japanese food and like most people with taste buds, a sucker for fries, so I'll have to give it a go sometimes! Thanks for sharing Sarah :)
by Rynagh (score: 0|8) 2849 days ago
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