Friday, December 23, 2011

Cafe Ish, Surry Hills

Being your average uni student, my meagre income is funnelled into three main expenditure categories: food, clothing and alcohol. This axis of evil is a persistant problem for me, trying to maintain a lifestyle I can barely afford but cannot find the will to give up. Through the perpetual struggle with these first world problems, I have developed an appreciation for cheap food and sales (but never cheap alcohol), hence the reason why Tight Arse Tuesdays at Cafe Ish were a great ally to my poor abused wallet. At Ish the food is Japanese-cross-native Australian, the love-child of the labours of owner/chef Josh Nicholls and his Japanese wife/business partner Ai; and at $10 a pop for select menu items on Tuesdays, gave me my own happy food baby.

Karaage Soft Shell Crab Omelette, Cafe Ish
Crab Omelette Set $16.50

This is the dish that Ish is most well-known for, and the crab omelette does indeed look impressive. I don't eat crab but I wish I did, because the omelette is huge, filled with crisp karaage soft-shell crab, chunks of avocado, shallots and topped with a garlic, chilli, ginger and soy dressing. The lunch set size comes with a bowl of rice and miso soup - a very decent meal, methinks.

Ai's Freaking Awesome Fried Chicken, Cafe Ish
Ai's Freaking Awesome Fried Chicken $14.50

Ai's freaking awesome fried chicken speaks for itself, chunks of crunchy karaage chicken covered in a vinegar and pickled garlic sauce, topped with fresh and crunchy fried shallots. It's served on a bed of rice, with a bowl of miso soup on the side.

Wagyu Burger, Cafe Ish
Wagyu Burger $16.50

I realise this is not a very good photo of the wagyu burger, but underneath the toasted housemade bun lies a wagyu beef patty, grilled onions, cheese and tomato relish. It comes with a very generous bowl of shoestring fries served with aioli and tomato sauce.

Wag-yu Shortrib, Cafe Ish
Wagyu Short Rib $16.50

The wagyu short rib was cooked tender, succulent, fall-off-the-bone and drenched in a rich, sweet 'smokey soy caramel', topped with fresh chilli, coriander, shallots and sesame. It's kinda phenomenal. Served as set with miso soup and rice.

Croc in a Roc, Cafe Ish
Croc in a Roc $10.50

A thick slice of house-made bread, buttery and toasted, stuffed with crocodile sausage, fetta, egg and shallot, served with tomato relish. For most people, any type of exotic meat will be described as "it tastes like chicken" but no, the croc sausage did not taste like chicken. The croc in a roc was spicy and meaty, covered in egg and punctuated with bits of salty fetta.

Wattle Maccacino, Cafe Ish
Wattle Maccacino $4.10

The wattle maccacino is the signature coffee, a cappuccino flavoured with wattleseed extract and macadamia. Sweet, nutty and smooth, it's one of my favourite cuppas despite the fact that I generally dislike flavoured coffees. Also I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to macadamias but I brave the possibility of hospitalisation for this indulgence (I also bring my EpiPen).

Cafe Ish
82 Campbell Street, Surry Hills 2010
Telephone: (02) 9281 1688

Café Ish on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh my god, there is too much to love in this post *______* The crab omelette makes my mouth salivate!

  2. Everything looks fabulous; though shame I can't get there for the cheapy Tuesday meals...

  3. The dishes sound so unique. The wattle maccacino in particular almost sounds like it'd be a little gross, but I'm definitely intrigued to try it!