Cafe Mint – Surry Hills

{invite} Alex: It’s no denying that we are spoilt for choice regarding dining options here in Sydney. Crown Street in Surry Hills is home to many of these regular faves of ours here at FFS, but take a stroll down to the Cleveland st side of Crown and you’ll come across this quaint and unassuming little restaurant called Cafe Mint which, none of us had come across before.

Cafe Mint offers modern Moroccan and Mediterranean food. With a red Sangria in one hand and espresso martini in the other, it was all systems go and the stomachs were roaring. We brought along Manwell, Vanessa’s husband to help us conquer the feast.
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One of my favourite things when done well is Egyptian-style house made falafel served with fresh mint yoghurt. $10.90. The mint sauce was the saving grace of this dish. Super fresh and definitely acceptable to lather all over the falafel. The consistency of the falafel was a little on the dry side but the flavours that were coming out were insane. If this was the first dish I could tell we were in for a treat.
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Ever since I began to eat out more often I’ve developed an obsession with scallops. Whenever I see it it must be ordered. (Perhaps a scallop post should be added to the to do list..) Anyway! Cue Seared scallops –  With basturma (air dried beef) sweet tomato & tahini tartare. $17.90. It would have been very easy for me to go to another table and just eat the plate myself. Each bite had distinct flavours from the different elements. There was a great crunchy texture from the batsurma that juxtaposed well with the soft melt in your mouth scallop. The tomato reminded me of the blanched tomatoes you get at the markets in Barcelona that come with fresh bread! Amazing.
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Our next entree was a recommendation by the waitress and by this point a level of gluttony was already being reached! Merguez – Spicy lamb sausages (2) served on flatbread with eggplant za’alouk, topped with minted yoghurt. $10.90. Ness is not much of a fan of chilli so she bowed out pretty quickly from this dish. I enjoyed the kick from the spice as I thought it was cooled down by the minted yoghurt but the actual flavour of the sausage wasn’t really my favourite thing. Manny loved them though, so this one was a hard one to discuss!

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The whole philisophy of Cafe Mint is designed around Shared plates. At first I thought the prices were a little excessive but then the mammoth plates were brought out and I shut my mouth.

First up was the Roasted chicken – Marinated with Persian dried limes & harissa, served on mejadarra (saffron rice pilaf with lentils & currants). $26.50. Another spicy one but definitely a winner! All of the share plates that we got were exactly what we were hoping for. Large, hearty meals that are full of flavour. It sort of reminds me of my grandfathers cooking. The chicken was superb. Moist on the inside with a slight crunch on the skin.

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The Lamb Kefta Tagine – Lamb & pistachio meatballs with tomatoes & olives on couscous with yoghurt & herbs. $25.50 was Manny’s favourite. Manny is a great cook and puts all us other men to shame. Truth.  He often brings his home made kourabiethes or other Greek dishes to our family gatherings, so when he has an opinion on food I tend to just sit back and listen. When cooking with a tagine, it creates steam as it sits on the stove creating a build up of aromatic flavours that is trapped in the chimney style pot. Very interesting method of cooking and is part of what gives these dishes such a bold flavour.


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I love a good carb so I picked the Ravioli filled with roast garlic & potato, topped with Spicy slow-cooked lamb mince, pinenuts caramelised onions & mint yoghurt $25.50. At first I was concerned that the dish was going to be on the dry but upon further inspection there was actually quite a substantial amount of mint yoghurt sauce that sat just underneath the blanket of ravioli. The spice on the lamb was thankfully quite bearable and contrasted well with the ravioli. The addition of the pine-nuts gave a great little crunch.

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How we ever decide that dessert is a good idea after we eat for 10 people is beyond me but somehow it happens…

We opted for the Dessert Tasting Plate $29.50 which was the chefs selection of specialty house-made desserts.

From my brief research, unfortunately I don’t think these desserts are actually now on the menu. Perhaps this is something that changes seasonally, but when we dined we had the Tiramisu. Very creamy, it actually tasted quite bitter as well, as if they had used Turkish coffee or something, but it was very well balanced.

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The next dessert was the Rice Pudding with poached pear, pistachio and cranberries. This was probably my favourite dessert. I love a good rice pudding and this wasn’t overly sweet. Nice and hot as well!

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And finally, we finished with a panna cotta which for the life of me cannot remember what was on the top! This was probably the least favourite out of the desserts but that could be because we left it last and were at purge point!

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So there you have it, hearty food, big portions, great service and a cute little unassuming restaurant.

Definitely one to check out if you were wanting something a little different!

Until next time.

Alex

Cafe Mint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Cafe Mint and CPM marketing but all opinions and thoughts are our own. 

Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

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