[invite] Bianca: Another instalment of the pancake files but pancakes are not the main staple here at Kusuka Cafe. Alex visited their Haymarket location late last year, mainly for those very Instagrammable galaxy drinks. They’ve recently opened their second store on Sussex street, we visited mid-morning on a Saturday, for a rather different Pan Asian brunch.
There are your typical ‘cafe’ dishes – your avocado on toast, acai’s (filth) but I was here to try a selection of their Indonesian dishes and the new pancakes.
I’m a hack, I know. But I was under strict orders from Melbourne King, Alejandro, to order the extremely photogenic drinks in a cone. The Coffee $6, Red Velvet & Matcha $6.5. Besides the Insta photo, you’ll be pleased to know they taste just as good as they look. The cones are lined with a dark chocolate, so none of the precious liquid escapes. I even found myself enjoying the matcha latte, who knew!
Jules ordered the Disco Princess $9 (say no more) we loved the interactive nature of a fair chunk of the drinks menu. Tinkering with the different liquids allowed you to control the sweetness of the drink. I wanted to like the Horizon $11 more than I did, the shimmering tropical punch having a rather distinct after-taste I didn’t enjoy so much.
The menu is VAST but with some suggestions, we picked a selection to show some of the best Kusuka has to offer. Touted as one of the signatures, the Superbowl -w/ double Mi Goreng, pork belly, chilli matah, corned beef, melted cheese & sausage $20. Mi Goreng used to be my after school snack back when I was a fatteh, I was pretty much double or nothing because one was just NEVER enough. This is a fairly sizeable portion and could comfortably feed two people. I wasn’t a fan of the corned beef but what a warm comforting bowl of sunshine first thing in the AM.
I was ALL about the Mee Fried Chicken -w/chilli taichan and melted cheese $16. Fried chicken, cheese and noodles… I don’t really think there is a better combination on this earth? The buttery herbed corn and steamed boy choy gave just the slightest allusion to something healthy but the ‘allusion’ is really just that. This is a must order!
I ordered the Martabak – savoury beef pancake & shallot pancake w/chilli and cheese $15.50 for ‘research’. I’m not well versed in martabak but I’d liken it more to a frittata then pancake, as the mixture was quite eggy. The beef was subtle and not too overpowering but this is a super rich dish, especially if you add cheese.
A new dish to hit the menu is the Krispy Rendang -w/fried chicken, omelette, rice and rendang sauce + added Hash Brown. The combination of fried chicken, fluffy omelette and that peanut-based sauce was a winner.
And the real reason for my visit and ensuing 19,465 steps later that day. The Kopi Susu Pancake -w/vanilla ice-cream, oreo crumbs, peanut butter, banana and palm sugar syrup $15. Yes yes yes! The pancakes were light and fluffy and with some of my favourite ingredients on the planet! Coffee and peanut butter, bow down! Texturally interesting. I guess the highest praise, we had eaten 4 dishes beforehand and polished the entire plate of pancakes. I hope this stays as a permanent fixture on the menu, I’d come back for them!
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Kusuka Cafe.