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El Capo

2 Mar

I had the privilege of experiencing authentic Colombian food as a young girl. A large part of my family were our Colombian in-laws who lived and breathed home-made, traditional cuisine. One of my favourite treats was a Buñuelo which seemed to be my in-laws version of crackers and cheese, because they were at every family occasion.

I had been wanting to go to El Capo ever since I saw the amazing blog post on Grab Your Fork. On the outside, El Capo describes itself as Latin Street food, but it is so much more than that. It is traditional Latin food, with a modern twist. And although the decor of the restaurant gives you a down and dirty impression of a hot, Latino underbelly; the food is perfected through an elegant composition and presentation.

Guacamole $6

You can never go wrong with simple starters, but the guacamole was a serious hit within the whole restaurant. It isn’t served with plain corn chips, it’s served with a crispy, quasi tortilla. The guacamole was fresh, and filled with garlic and coriander; not a good thing if you’re on a date, but so delicious you won’t even think about it.

Pina Colada $17

The Pina Colada may not look it, but it had a serious kick to it. With 2 shots of rum, and a smooth coconut finish, this was enough to keep me going through the rest of the meal.

Colombian Empanadas $11

My favourite of the night, the Colombian Empanadas, were probably the most traditional ones I have ever tried. Traditionally empanadas should be made with a cornmeal pastry, but most of the ones you buy in restaurants are made with pre-prepared puff pastry. It was such a delight to try this amazing snack that I haven’t eaten in over a decade, and to eat it exactly as I remember it as a young girl. They are served with a slightly tangy salsa that is filled with onion and coriander.

Sticky Pork RIbs $13

The Sticky Pork Ribs were very tender and sweet. They were nice, but I regretted not ordering the beef tartare, alas, I will have to go back soon.

Slow cooked leg of pork with Plum and Cabbage $28

Ordering pork for the starter, and main was not a good choice, I definitely got a bit tired of eating pork by the end of this main. This was a special, so I’m not sure if it is always available. One thing I will say about it, however, was that the potato in this dish was delicious. Definitely wanted more than two pieces!

Three Milk Cake $13

The dessert we ordered was a really delicious and hearty dessert, but I did feel the cake itself was a bit dry. I love cake, and I like to enjoy it with and without sauce, but this cake couldn’t be eaten without the sauce as it was too dry. (Excuse the photo – had to use my iPhone photo for this one)

Filtered coffee $1

El Capo is one of those great places you can pop into before you go for a few drinks or see a movie. It has a really great vibe to it, and great service and staff. One of the best aspects of it however, is that all our food and drinks came under $100, this was a definite, but lovely surprise at the end.

El Capo – 52 Waterloo St. Surry Hills
NSW Australia. 2010
Ph (02) 9699 2518


Cafe ish

10 Dec

I follow Cafe ish on Twitter. Through time I’ve gotten to know head chef and owner, Josh Nicholls, as having busy Twitter fingers, while also being on the slightly quirky side. Amid all the tweets about his lack luster staff, and why not to put rubbish in his store, there was an amazing little gem about one of the first owners of his current location. Although Cafe ish had moved from Albion Street to Campbell Street, it’s newer location is in a converted house that you can see coming up from Central. Apparently this quaint little cafe used to be owned by a little old lady who’s family used to run a fruit shop:

So, I got to know Chef Joshua through the twitter-verse, and had also heard through the grapevine that he is quite pedantic about people taking photo’s in his cafe. With a few wines under belt, I approached Cafe ish and asked if I could take some photos, and the rest is all history.

Edamame with Murray River pink salt $5

The Edamame with Murray River pink salt probably needed more salt, but it came to the table the perfect temperature, and were nice and firm.

Lotus root, mushroom & shallot gyoza $10

The Lotus root, mushroom & shallot gyoza  were an amazing variation to the traditional pork and vegetable gyoza. They have an intense ginger flavour that does not over power, and the lotus root adds such an amazing texture.

Ai’s freaking awesome fried chicken $14.5

One of my favourite dishes on the menu also has the most interesting name I’ve ever seen on a menu; Ai’s freaking awesome fried chicken. It is freaking awesome. This incredible fried chicken is light and crispy. It’s coated in a vinegar dressing and large chunks of caramelized garlic. Indescribably good.

Free range wagyu rump tataki $19.90

The free range wagyu rump tataki came with sake hollandaise and trussed cherry tomatoes. The wagyu itself was great quality and cooked to perfection, but some people might say it was slightly chewy.

Kara age crab omelette $24

My second favourite dish of the night was the kara age crab omelette with ginger dressing. It is hands down the best soft shell crab I have had, and it is lathered with avocado and this deliciously sweet dressing; it may not be the most attractive dish I’ve seen, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest.

Cafe ish
82 Campbell Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Monday-Wednesday 7am-4pm
Thursday-Friday 7am-10pm
Saturday 9am-10pm
Sunday 9am-2:30pm