Western Sydney writer, trier of new things and lover of food
Published September 30th 2015
Coffee snobs and foodies heaven
I love going to Wesley Mission markets in the heart of Sydney CBD because they always have great bargains on clothes, shoes, books, jewellery and all sorts of other things. They have a market stall every third Thursday of the month, and one day I decided to go during my lunch break to check out their sales. I never ended up buying anything, however, because the thing that captured my eye was the café within their building, Upper Room Café, which was well set out with cosy seating areas and a nice display shelf that you'd normally see in a well-styled house. That and the big menu board displaying all-day breakfast, artisan coffee, and delicious, exotic-sounding menu lured me into having lunch there.
I ordered the Tofu Salad with soba noodles, nori flakes, with lemon and ginger dressing ($12.90). It was amazingly delicious, with different textures and clean flavours. The tofu had a nice crunchy skin and didn't taste bland, as it was marinated in some caramelised soy sauce – kind of like the taste of agedashi tofu. I also liked the simple lemon and ginger dressing that perfectly balanced the sweet tofu. Although the salad was light, it was surprisingly filling. The service wasn't the best the first time around as it was crowded (I went right in the middle of peak-hour, at 1.30pm) and I waited a long time for my food to arrive. I vowed to come back at an earlier time and try their other menu items, particularly their all day breakfast menu and artisan coffee.
On my second time there, I realised why it was so popular with office workers: they have free wifi, and diners are encouraged to go there and use their internet facilities and hold meetings etc. At my second visit, I made sure I got there just outside of peak hour, and ordered from their all-day breakfast menu: the avocado on toast with poached egg ($9), accompanied by a "dirty chai". I was fascinated by the dirty chai latte drink, as I'd never heard it before. Basically it's a chai latte with a shot of espresso. It wasn't too bad – I rather liked the taste and the espresso shot gave it a good kick and balanced out the sweetness of the chai. I loved the avocado toast too, as it had lemon oil mixed through it, and together with the perfectly poached egg and creamy yolk mixing with the avocado, it made for a delicious meal.
The service I got the second time 'round was so much better; the waiter who served me was very attentive and polite and made it a much more enjoyable experience for me. I'm looking forward to coming back again and trying their other menu items, this time their signature dishes.