Haven, Surry Hills ♥♥

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dare to be different?

Once out of our comfort zone, it's natural for us to feel a bit anxious or even scared. Haven took a chance at being different in providing a unique cafe experience with an Asian infused menu and tailoring coffee just for you. It definitely put me out of my comfort zone but it was worth it!

My first visit here was awkward. I had no idea what the coffee menu was about and too scared to ask so I just ordered my normal skim cap. It came out with a few sultanas which were meant to bring a different dimension to my coffee. I think I may have missed the point.

Second time round I did the same, ordering a regular piccolo. So much for being adventurous. Now on my third visit it was a totally different experience. Based on my instagram comments, I knew I had to try the filtered coffee.

Nutty pour over - hot filtered black coffee
The pour over is hot filtered coffee with a choice of nutty, chocolaty or fruity. I chose the nutty and since I'm not a coffee connoisseur I can only say I liked it, really liked it. They can also personalise your coffee based on aroma, body, sweetness, acidity and/or aftertaste. For the non coffee drinkers, this can be applied to decaf coffees and hot chocolates and they have a beautiful selection of exotic teas.

One of their exotic teas - Baya bomba. Smelt delicious!
Drinks aside, the menu stretches your imagination with a "tea inspired series", "classic heroes", "winter specials" and "something simple". Thanks to fcba community and a bunch of cool foodies I was able to taste or hear the others critique the picturesque dishes.

Recommend - Masfogato $13, 73% Madagascan dark chocolate gluten free brownie with mascarpone and a shot of house blend espresso
My recommended dish is the masfagato (anything goes with brunch right?). Seriously, it's EPIC. If you like the 3Cs - chocolate, coffee and cream, then this is for you. And if you're like me and don't want to stray too far, stick to the "classic heroes" dishes. 

Classic heroes - G'Morning Haven big breakfast $18. A trusty dish of mashed broad beans and avocado, bacon, roasted baby tomatoes and two poached eggs.
Classic heroes - Baked polenta $15. Beautifully baked cubes of polenta (crispy on the outside and soft on the inside) was served with poached eggs and mushrooms.
Classic heroes - Pork belly kimcheese burger $19. Listed as a must try, everyone at the table loved it. Apparently you should eat it like a burger, not sure if that's a trick to see if you can flip one side onto the other without any spillage!
Winter special - Winter hash $17. Underneath this pile of celeriac remoulade and pickled cabbage and a poached egg was braised lamb in which i had a lot of white fatty bits. 
Tea inspired series - Roasted brussel sprouts with smokey lapsang souchong tea $14. In amongst the brussel sprouts is goats cheese, speck and smoked mackerel. I didn't try this one but it was eaten clean.
Tea inspired series - Soba noodles in miso with earl grey and lavender tea $16. Besides watching people almost burning their fingers for the pour over shot, the verdict on this dish was that it was a bit bland.
Tea inspired series - Rose tea infused sticky black rice pudding $15. Everyone expected this to be sweeter but it wasn't so. I managed to get a bite full of the ruby grapefruit and got to experience a bitterness overload.
Based on my three visits, the service was consistently good. Water was served and topped up without asking, waiters attentive and food is timely. Dining as a guest didn't change the experience at all. The cafe is spacious with high ceilings and can accommodate large groups. If you're there just for a coffee you can sit at the coffee bar.

Coffee, chocolate and teas are some serious business here with coffee artists at another level. They tailor your coffee the way you want - you just need to know what you want! Once you do, the coffee is pretty damn special.

If you're up for an experience and something different, check this place out. Go on, I dare you :)

I dined as a guest on my third visit with fcba community.

In a nutshell 

Food ●

Service ●

Price $$($)

All day, everyday 
Regular $3.50

Asian fusion
Friendly, attentive
Toast with condiments $6
Spacious, clean, sophisticated quiet 
Haven, 30-34 Chalmers St, Surry Hills
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  1. Anonymous22 July, 2015

    Pork belly kimcheese burger...say what?!?!?! Looks so good I almost licked my computer monitor haha

  2. the masfogato looks amazing! also love the sound of the tea series dishes

    1. You gotta try the masfagoto! Maybe share it if you want to be good :)

  3. I must try. Which dish would you recommend for me?

    1. The menu recommends the pork belly kimcheese burger :) I really liked the masfogato!