Saturday, 20 October 2012

Ora Cafe

When I knew that I would be venturing down the Eastern suburbs for an errand nearby, I thought it would be a shame if I did not try out their local cafes. Armed with The Age's Good Cafe guide, I flicked to the pink section (denoting the Eastern suburbs) and stumbled across Ora cafe as having good food options. The duck dish described in the book was not available on the day that I visited so it must have been on the special menu or during breakfast.

The cafe was located at the end of a suburban street and surrounded by other small shops across the road. A few doors down was a child care and/or nursing centre so expect some foot traffic as you can see parents trying to load their kids promptly into the car or dining at the cafe too.

This tiny cafe had around 26 seats inside and 5 or 6 seats outside. It did not feel cramped at all and they had made good use of the limited space. A communal table was also present. Tasteful modern artworks filled the white space.

A quick glance at the menu and the lunch selection appears limited but interesting. The breakfast options had more variety as you can see below. I can't seem to describe what style of food Ora cafe serves - there are some Middle Eastern and French influences as well. I guess they can be grouped under "fusion"? :)

Ora Cafe menu

I opted for the lunch special - crispy pork belly with apple, walnut, quinoa, cauliflower and harissa ($21). I did not know what harissa was and had to Google it afterwards.  Harissa turned out to be the spicy pepper sauce that accompanied the pork belly and brought all the flavours together. I am not a chilli person so at times it was a bit overpowering for me. The pork belly was delicious and well-cooked. It had the compulsory crunch, a chewy texture in the middle and it wasn't too fatty underneath. The quinoa salad was really light and I wanted more. I think they used apple juice as part of the dressing. A welcomed change from gravy or boring potato mash which sometimes gets served along with a pork belly dish.

Lunch Special of the Day - Crispy Pork Belly

Despite visiting on a Friday afternoon, it was at full capacity by 12:30pm. Thus due to limited seating, it is best to get there before the peak rush. I'd imagine the breakfast queues would be longer. There were also queues for takeaway coffee and homemade cupcakes/cake which I will try next time if I am around the Kew area. Service was attentive and friendly. The prices are a bit on the high end, but you pay for the quality of the produce and its execution of flavours. You won't be disappointed with this local gem.

Will I return? Yes!

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

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