Jealousy and I have never really made each other’s acquaintance.
In a past life when I was actually dating people, I never minded if my girlfriend would hang out with her male friends or whatever. This was mainly due to my past self’s supreme confidence. In my mind, if you were dating me, I knew you were into me. I was like Gwen Stefani; there was no doubt whatsoever in my belief that I had you.
So that’s why I never got jealous about anything.
Fast forward to July 2014. I’m sitting at home rewatching the Office for the umpteenth time whilst scrolling through Instagram on my phone. All of my favourite food bloggers are all at the one place and posting pictures of the same event. All stars like Food Porn Nation, Irene’s Getting Fat, Nessy Eater and Philsosophyy were taking photos of absolutely incredibly looking dishes. That’s when I felt the emotion that I had heard so many people mention before. It surged through me like an electrical current. It made its way through me like the waves Mr. Probz sings about. Jealousy reared its ugly face and I was forced to deal with it.
Going to Devon by Night with Anna from Polyphagia is how I dealt with it.
My friends have been trying to get me to go to Devon Cafe ever since I decided to launch iFat. They forget that I hate doing anything on weekends that involve wearing pants and I didn’t think Devon would appreciate me walking into their establishment in my silk boxer shorts. So I went after work one day fully clothed and opted for a banquet menu due to the fact that there were just way too many dishes I wanted to try. I had no idea what would be on the menu but I like to live my life dangerously.
I started my date with a fellow food blogger with an aphrodisiac:
Full disclosure: I do not like oysters and thought it was absolutely hilarious that this was the first dish I would receive. This is what I get for not doing my homework. This was an incredibly fresh oyster. I may be a novice but I’ve seen that one Mr. Bean episode featuring off oysters so much that I know the opposite when I have one. The yuzu’s citrus burst was a welcome juxtaposition to the oyster taste I’m not usually a fan of.
I told Anna that this dish was the exact opposite of the oysters and she gave me a dirty look that required an incredibly thorough shower after the fact. I loved this dish. Once again, the salmon was incredibly fresh but the most pleasant factor was the tomato jelly. That wasn’t a typo; it was jelly made out of what I’m guessing was tomato juice. Tomato combined with the explosive roe, wasabi and fresh salmon made this one of my favourite dishes of the night.
Initial reaction: Oh no, Devon’s been kidnapping baby corn away from their corn mothers. This is madness!
Upon biting: Oh man, I really hope Devon keeps the kidnapping up because this baby corn is delicious.
There was a nice buttery flavour along with the dynamic added by the smoking cooking method. Also, I thought long and hard about whether or not we were supposed to eat the husk and was glad when one of the staff came over and took it away before I ate all of it.
Soft buns and a generous serving of lobster is more than enough to win me over. You don’t even need to have a nice personality. To all the baked goods out there, get some lobster into you and I’ll be into you. The three headed combination of radish, tatsoi (spinach mustard), and kewpie mayo made for a great supporting cast as well.
This was great. I love sweet potato anything and thought it was a very fresh way to use it in the sauce. The chicken was tender and the toast served as a great way to soak up some more of the sweet potato sauce. This dish could’ve been a lot better with the addition of nuts like a traditional satay but tradition is overrated. I’d be an accountant if I paid attention to tradition and look at me now…ok, I don’t have much to show but at least I’m not an accountant.
I’m on record as saying Korean fried chicken is one of the greatest food offerings on this planet. I was really, really hoping that this would be included in our banquet and I pumped my fist ala Tiger Woods when these two wings arrived on our table. Side note: Do you realise it took an entire chicken to produce those two wings? Think about that. Anywho, the crunch on these bad boys were earth shattering. The Korean influence is in the cooking process with these wings being double (maybe even triple) fried to gain that lovely crunch. The encased chicken was tender and absolutely delicious. The spicy sauce was another area in which the Korean influence shone through, it was the perfect complementary condiment.
Look at how much beef Devon graces us with! Along with the quantity was an abundance of quality. It had the melt in your mouth factor that all great cuts of beef possess and was perfectly marinated. Confession: I totally thought the turnip substance you see sitting on top of the beef was potato. This is why I’d win the biggest fraud award if the Sydney food blogging community ever had an awards show. Time for dessert:
Tangent: After the waitress took our plates away, she came back and laid two spoons on the table. We immediately thought we had some sorbet incoming. Plot twist: Popsicles of fire and ice! These were devon-ately interesting. It’s been almost a week and I’m still not sure if I liked them or not. The concept was awesome; a popsicle with chili is definitely the work of a mad scientist. The icy chill of a popsicle juxtaposed against the fire of chili.
No denying that Devon’s got style.
Here’s the TL;DR for everyone that still can’t believe I’ve never had brunch at Devon: – Always do your homework. Whether it’s school, business or food, do your homework. Unless you have something better to do; then you have Mr. iFat’s permission to do that instead. – Can someone bring me some lobster rolls please? – Popsicles of Fire & Ice is actually a Game of Thrones parody that never got much traction.
Devon by Night, Surry Hills
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Open for dinner from 6pm to 10pm on Thursday – Saturday
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