Touch screen menu ordering
I feel like I'm back in high school. Or, more accurately, I feel like I'm hanging out after high school.
The cheerful red and white colour scheme has something to do with this burst of youthful exuberance. Shiny plastic stools--with a very generous seat--cluster around a table at the front and line the kitchen counter. But most of the dining area is situtated on a raised platform, deep padded bucket seats that swivel on tables of two and four.
As I swivel back and forth in my oversized seat, legs dangling, it's hard not to feel like I've just endured a day of maths, modern history and chemistry. Needless to say, the clientele are all young uni students, and we're probably the oldest customers in the cafe!
Ordering is done by using one of three touch screen menus at the front. Once your selections have been made, a staff member verbally double-checks your order and then totals your bill. It doesn't save a whole lot of time, but there's a satisfying element of novelty.
Green tea latte $5.90 and
Calpico pineapple soda $4.90
The cocktail umbrella in my green tea latte is enough to make me smile. A thick flourish of vanilla soft serve ice cream is dusted generously with matcha powder. The bottom layer is dark green and pleasingly strong with the nutty bitterness of matcha green tea. There's so much ice cream, this drink could almost qualify as a meal.
Mrs Pig Flyin's Calpico pineapple soda is far more modest, a refreshing mix of pineapple, ice and Calpis.
Chicken karaage $7.90
Fried chicken and garden tossed salad
with olive soy dressing
There's something so right about a fried chicken salad. A bed of rocket and lettuce leaves, cucumber and tomato is doused lightly with a sweet vinegar dressing, but it's the jumble of crunchy fried chicken pieces that hold our attention. The chicken is moist and tender with a nubbly coating of seasoned batter. A dollop of mayonnaise is quickly obliterated.
Squid ink spaghetti $10.90
Fried calamari in a creamy tomato-based squid ink sauce
I'd been most excited at the prospect of ordering the squid ink spaghetti and its arrival at the table is filled with promise. Despite the deep black colour, however, I find the spaghetti tastes more of tomato sauce than squid ink. It's almost a trick on the mind as your eyes see squid ink but your mouth tastes tomato and butter. The calamari rings are tender.
Pepper beef steak set $14.90
with garlic butter soy sauce
The pepper beef steak set arrives on a tray, a sliced slab of beef sizzling on bean sprouts and accompanied by salad, soup and a bowl of plain rice. The meat is tender and flavoured mostly by the garlic butter soy sauce.
Stewed beef tongue $13.90
Slow-cooked beef tongue with mushroom in a demiglace sauce
My favourite dish of the day is the stewed beef tongue. Cubes of slow-cooked beef tongue almost melt-in-the-mouth with softness. A dome of tomato rice is half-covered by a blanket of velvety omelette. This is my kind of comfort food.
Apart from the extensive drinks menu, we're impressed by the range of offerings on the desserts list. It's a happy land of Japanese-style desserts: strawberry and custard pudding parfait ($9.90), green tea parfait ($9.90), strawberry and cream cheese mille-feuille ($6.50), milk pudding with strawberry ice cream ($5.50) or soft serve green tea ice cream in a cone ($4.20).
I really want the tomato chiffon cake ($6.50) but there's no room (or time) during this lunch break. I'm ordering it next time. For sure.
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Poporo Japanese Modern Cafe Restaurant
Shop 301, Level 3 (top floor)
9-13 Hay St, Haymarket Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 2777
Sunday to Wednesday 11.30am-9.00pm
Thursday to Saturday 11.30am-9.30pm
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11/24/2009 01:10:00 a.m.