One of us likes the simple things, the other, adventure. But for better or worse, we are dining partners for life! We aim to provide you 2 perspectives in our reviews. After all, there's no wrong way to eat a reese's; or a jalebi. -Plebe Epicure
Published February 18th 2019
Old place, new taste
Summer is in full swing in the re-imagined and re-launched Orange Lotus Cafe. The cafe is open seven days a week and specialises in Australian and Asian-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes with daily specials and great coffee. It is located on the corners of Beattie and Evans Street, near the doggy friendly Anne Cashman Reserve and opens daily at 8:30 (for now the council is reviewing a push by residents and patrons to open earlier).
The Orange Lotus's predecessor, the long-running Balmain stalwart the Orange Peel Cafe, closed its doors in late 2018 and has made way for this new, and improved, version. A local resident told us the new owners have gone out of their way to ingratiate themselves to the neighbourhood by delivering free coffees to some of the elderly residents.
We visited the cafe at a friend's suggestion and we were not disappointed! We scored one of the coveted outdoor tables – offering us excellent people watching of walkers by and the locals, one of whom entertained us with friendly calls and waves from his garage as he was tuning up his motorbike and shared the story of the free coffees. The coffee, even by Sydney standards, was great. Our Latte had the perfect amount of milk – too many shops drown the coffee in heavy cream or milk!
For meals, we had the Nasi Goreng & Kimchi Breakfast Bowl – extra spicy. Our experience dining in Sydney as foreigners is that when you ask for spicy, you often get a mild version thereof. However, on this occasion our server asked me three times how spicy and when I kept saying spicy, she delivered! It was amazing and the serving so large I had to take the balance of the meal for lunch.
We also tried the truffled scrambled eggs- a generous helping of buttery eggs piled high on toast. The menu offers a range of breakfast and lunch staples and Asian-inspired meals. But the best part is the spread of home-baked cookies, cakes and pastries that line the counter and change regularly.
Overall, we were very impressed with the Orange Lotus Cafe. You can get there via car or bus (441, 442 and 433 all drop off within a 5-minute walk). We recommend taking the bus and enjoying a post-meal stroll up to the dog park or, if you have the time, down to Elkington Park for a truly stunning 270-degree view of Iron Cove, Drummoyne, N. Sydney and the Sydney Harbour. Our only complaint – they're not open for dinner!