If there are a few things that draw me back to a cafe time and again, it is the fresh brew of coffee, the vibe of the cafe and the presentation & taste of what's on the plate. Located across the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo, the Q on Harris presented the wow factor in all those elements for me.
Upon entering the cafe, a warm cosy cafe feeling engulfed me. What seemed like a tiny cafe from the outside was multiple smaller rooms adjoining each other in reality. I was focussed on peering through the cafe in trying to decipher how much more seating they had than what met the eye, when my thoughts were interrupted with greetings of the friendly staff.
As they promptly ushered me to the bar stools by the window, I noticed the fun mismatch of the seating in the room. A few taller chairs and table and some medium sized ones. The aroma of fresh coffee spread through the air and a Star Wars Yoda sign caught my attention from the corner of my eye.
What meets the eye at first may be a tiny cafe, however there is seating as you walk in towards the larger courtyard at the back that can hold bigger groups.
The owner Benji speaks about his passion and the beginning of Q in 2014 on the website. There is a strong influence of Indonesian coffees and the various coffee beans and the large unmissable coffee grinder in the cafe are a testament to their passion for coffee.
In my little chat with Chef Taiyo he spoke about the Asian inspiration he has brought to the menu. How he tailored the menu to suit the season and culled it down to the best spread he could possibly have without compromising on the uniqueness he wanted to bring to it.
The tartines looked very promising and there were plenty of vegetarian options too. My friend and I settled for an avocado and kalamata olive tartine and the Kinoko tartine with a side of fried chicken. The Kinoko tartine is for mushroom lovers, it had a variety of roasted mushrooms lavishly spread on the top.
The tartines looked top notch when they arrived. Full of freshness and flavour and just the perfect lunch we hoped for. The pre-cut soudough bread laden with a spread (Olive tapenade in case of the avocado tartine) and the ingredients carefully and artistically placed on the top are definitely worth a mention. We gazed at the deliciousness long enough before we tucked into it.
If tartines are not your thing, try the more filling Kabuki waffle or the traditional Korean bibimbap.
One look at the pastry counter and we could see the green matcha cake staring brightly at us. We couldn't help but notice that they were disappearing like hot cakes and within minutes a few were gone from the display. We instantly asked for one and it came proudly presented on the contrasting white serving plate.
Chef Taiyo talked us through everything that goes behind making this green goodness. The crumbly oreo base, the light cheesecake mix and white chocolate and matcha ganache on the top. He reckons it is not as light as the Japanese style cheesecake and certainly not as heavy as the New York style. He has tried to find a middle ground and this surely is a top seller at the cafe judging by how swiftly they were gone from the counter.