It’s no secret around the office that I’m quite partial to Mediterranean Cuisine. I can eat mezze plates and mixed grills until I am bloated with pita bread and muttering incoherently from meat sweats. So when we heard that there was a modern Mediterranean café in our very own Surry Hills ‘hood, with some pretty delish desserts showing up in our Instagram feeds, I volunteered to check it out.
As luck would have it, the day I was booked in for lunch at Café Mint was also the day that I happened to bring the light of my life Scrumpy (my Springer Spaniel) to work. So he accompanied me to the Café, as well as a couple of the girls from the office.
Café Mint is located on bustling Crown Street, not far from the intersection with Cleveland Street, meaning that there is quite a busy vibe on the outside tables.
After choosing a table and securing Scrumpy, we got to work perusing the menu. I was happy to find pretty much all my staple Mediterranean faves on the menu including a mezze plate, grilled meats and plenty of tagines and baked eggs.
While I was deciding what to order, I sipped on a pretty impressive flat white ($3.50) with some lovely latte art.
Finally, we made our decisions, ordered a few dishes and awaited our meals in a state of high anticipation. Bad dog-mother that I am, I neglected to order anything for Scrumpy. He was pretty disappointed but still happy to pose for a few pics.
After a few minutes, we received our meals and I tucked into my Baked eggs with chackchouka ($15.90) which I had ordered from the all-day breakfast menu (I love an all-day breakfast).
The dish consisted of baked eggs with capsicum, onion and tomato, served with Turkish za’atar toast for absorbing the tomatoe-y goodness. The dish was just as rich and comforting as I had hoped and the lightly seasoned za’atar toast perfectly complemented the dish. I would have preferred a little more spice in the sauce to give the dish a bit more of a kick, but all-round it was pretty yummy.
Nicole was extremely pumped to try the seafood tagine ($28.50).
Her dish was absolutely bursting with seafood, including prawns, shellfish, squid and fish fillet, swimming in a chermoula tomato sauce which tasted quite similar to the tomato sauce in my baked eggs. Nicole enjoyed the seafood but wasn’t able to finish this massive dish!
She paused partway through to get a mint tea which we were delighted to discover was made from actual mint leaves! We were informed that it is served with sugar mixed in, but Nicole took the healthy route and asked for the tea without sugar.
Eriel, true to style, ordered the only burger on the menu, the Lamb Kefta burger ($15.50).
She was initially disappointed that the ‘burger’ was served on Turkish bread instead of a round burger bun, but we managed to persuade her that it still counted as a burger. So she finally dug in and was pleasantly surprised by the lightly spiced lamb kefta with feta, onions, lettuce, tomato and hummus. The burger was fresh and full of uniquely Mediterranean flavours and we all agreed that the Mediterranean take on the burger was a pretty damn delicious.
Of course, before any of us tasted our food we took a flatlay photo. It just wouldn’t be a café visit without one…
No matter how full we were after our mains, we were determined to sample some of the amazing desserts we had seen on Instagram.
Our first choice was the Chocolate Halva Filo Cigar ($12.50) which was even more delicious than it looks. Delicate, flaky filo pastry encased a delicious, creamy halva filling which was perfectly complemented by a dollop of chocolate mousse, filled with little chocolate chips. We would HIGHLY recommend trying this unique dessert.
For our second dessert, we tried the special Saffron Panna Cotta which I thought was utter and total genius.
The smokiness and honey tones of the saffron tasted fantastic in the form of a panna cotta and the thin layer of orange jelly gave the dessert an extra kick of sweetness and added another dimension to the flavour. Eriel didn’t really like the Panna Cotta, saying it wasn’t sweet enough for her, but I thought it was just right and would love to see it on the menu permanently!
After dessert, we were well and truly satiated and more than ready to go back to the office and digest. We walked away with the knowledge that we had found a great little Mediterranean Café in Surry Hills with some pretty mind blowing desserts. If you’re in the area, it’s well worth dropping by for a tagine and a halva cigar.
579 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9319 0848
Photography by Eriel Ronquillo
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Cafe Mint