Hidden away in a quiet street in Surry Hills, the entrance to the creatively named Cafe Lounge looks more like the door to a flamboyant artist’s home. In fact, the atmosphere inside is pretty much just that.
Instead of the ordered rows of tables in a typical restaurant, Cafe Lounge has couches and benches spread out around. The decor is warm, cozy and inviting, with murals painted on the walls and weird and wonderful art hung all around the place. Cafe Lounge also hosts events such as art exhibitions and live music in support of local artists.
Also, apologies for the crappy quality of the photos – the lighting inside was too ambient. This is what I get for not bringing a camera and having to rely on my phone.
Cafe Lounge has an eclectic menu of food and drinks. With no idea what to order, we spied on the table next to us and speculated as to what looked nice. We ended up ordering the same drink they had, which was this bottle of rose wine. I’m not really a big fan of wine and can’t really discern what’s good and what’s not unless it’s really, really crappy so I can’t really judge, but I thought the wine was pretty alright (that’s a professional wine tasting term right there, kids).
Rose Wine – La Vieille Ferme cotes du ventoux, France. $32 per bottle or $8 a glass.
Unfortunately, the cocktails we ordered later on weren’t very nice nor creative.
Mandarin daiquiri $16
The highlight was definitely the food. Originally, we were going to order two entrées and a pizza, but we ended up ordering more and more.
Zucchini & sweet potato balls $8
The sweet potato balls had a crispy skin and a mushy centre with a deliciously creamy and herby dipping sauce. The chilli & coriander octopus was a favourite, even for Helen who hates coriander. The octopus was cooked to the right tenderness (not the difficult-to-swallow degree that they sometimes are cooked to), and the chilli & herb sauce was mouthwatering.
Chilli & coriander baby octopus $11
Like all good pies, the duck confit pie had a crispy pastry and a warm and gooey filling of duck, potatoes and carrots. The filling was slightly sweet and peppery.
Homemade duck confit pie $12
The only dish that I’d complain about is the kangaroo meat – perhaps we’re just not kangaroo meat people? We took a chance and it didn’t pay off, I guess. The flavour of the meat was too strong and tasted too raw and metallic, and the sauce was kind of sour and weird. We felt obligated to finish it off so we ended up doing scissors-paper-rock, where the loser would have to eat a piece.
Kangaroo carpaccio with rosemary reduction $12
Cafe Lounge has a variety of odd-sounding but delicious pizzas. We actually ordered two but my photo of the other one was so shitty that it’s embarrassing to put up (yes, even more so than the current ones you see).
Tiger prawn & banana pizza
with fresh coriander, roasted peanuts, chilli flakes & parmesan $17
Yes, it’s prawns and banana. We actually got half with banana and half without since Helen is allergic to bananas. If you think the combination is too strange, you can’t actually really taste the banana unless you bite into it. Other than that, the pizza was full of flavour and herb-y and tomato-y goodness.
Why is there a photo of an empty plate, you ask? Well, this is because the dessert we ordered was gone so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to take a photo. It was that good!
The remains of the macadamia & rum brownie with vanilla ice cream $6
Seriously, if you ever go, you must must MUST order the macadamia & rum brownie. It will be the best brownie you have ever eaten – it’s warm, chocolately and melts in your mouth, accompany by a serving of cold and creamy vanilla ice cream. Mmmm…
Cafe Lounge (visited december, 2009)
277 Goulburn St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9356 8888