Haven, Surry Hills

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From com­puter geeks to tea geeks to cof­fee geeks, I find geeks rather inter­est­ing — there’s always some­thing admir­able about someone who’s curi­ous and/​or pas­sion­ate about a cer­tain sub­ject to try to learn everything about it. At Haven, cof­fee and tea geeks run the show. My prom­ising tea adven­tures earli­er brought me back with N to try their all day break­fast menu in their beau­ti­fully dec­or­ated wooden and exposed brick interi­or. A piano even sits in the corner, invit­ing cus­tom­ers to break out some tunes.

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We start with teas! Left is Marilyn ($6), which is water­mel­on, honey, lem­on and cold brewed Mary Mary. This was a very refresh­ing drink per­fect for hot sum­mer days. There’s crushed fresh water­mel­on that gives the drink a deli­cious tex­ture, while the Mary Mary, a tisane blend by Tippity of viol­et leaves, calen­dula, lav­endar, rose, chamo­mile and pep­per­mint, provides a calm­ing flor­al flavour.

Right is Dragon, which is apple, honey and cold brewed milk oolong. I’m fairly cer­tain the milk oolong is just oolong with milky notes, not like an oolong latte. In any case, the drink was also refresh­ing with the taste of fresh apples and the slight astrin­gency from the oolong, which had a round­er (milki­er?) fla­vour to its usu­al fruity notes.

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This is Potato Latkes & Bacon ($16.50) with two poached eggs, water­cress and burnt but­ter sage.

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Latkes are are Jewish potato pan­cakes. I love rosti and most things potato so was keen to try them. Here, they’re some­thing between a hash­brown and a potato chip. Like a thick­er ver­sion of a kettle cooked potato chip, this was super tasty — crispy and chewy in equal meas­ure. The bacon, here, is also just how I like it — juicy. I’m weary of order­ing bacon dishes at cafes; while I love juicy bacon, I’m not a fan of burnt and chewy bacon. While the dish was tasty over­all, poached eggs really aren’t their strength — neither of my eggs were oozy as you’d expect of a poached egg. The innards of the top were gooey (though still erring on the side of over­cooked), the one sand­wiched between the two latkes was com­pletely cooked through from the resid­ual heat of the bacon.

The ser­vice at Haven is top notch — attent­ive without being intrus­ive. Their food is tasty, even if a little rough around the edges, but that’s all right — they excel at tea and coffee.

Haven is loc­ated at 30 – 34 Chalmers St, Surry Hills NSW 2010.