Cafe Oratnek, Redfern

Cafe Oratnek was H’s choice of cafe for her 25th birth­day. Last year’s it was The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. Cafe Oratnek is the ori­gin­al cafe in Redfern that later opened a sis­ter, Cafe Kentaro in Surry Hills.

Many of the food and drink items are the same across the two stores. I try their Hojicha Latte (reg, $4.20). It’s unsweetened, which brings out the pleas­ant roas­ted fla­vour with a slight bit­ter­ness. I find just a tea­spoon of sug­ar adds just even sweet­ness to balance.

I’d had my eye on their Katsu Sandwich ($13.00) earli­er. It has 200 g pork fil­let katsu, cab­bage, Japanese BBQ sauce and sweet mus­tard. The pork katsu looks super juicy com­ing out of the kit­chen but doesn’t trans­late to the tex­ture of the meat itself, which is a quite tough and dry. The mus­tard added a pleas­ant kick and the cab­bage added crunch, but the bread was a bit dry and not tender. Overall, there wasn’t any­thing spe­cial about this sand­wich — I’ve had bet­ter from con­veni­ence stores in Japan for half the price.

Never one to pass on dessert, this is the Matcha Tiramisu ($6.50) with matcha sponge between lay­ers of matcha whipped cream. The matcha fla­vour is very subtle — the oppos­ite of the strong in-your-face pres­ence in the matcha lam­ing­ton — so the dairy notes of the cream over­whelm. The sponge lay­ers could be softer, soaked in a strong matcha to bring more fla­vour, as only the base added pleas­ant sweet­ness and mois­ture to the cake besides the cream.

Cafe Oratnek and its sis­ter store Cafe Kentaro serve up very sim­il­ar items on their menu. Generally, if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to the other.

Cafe Oratnek is loc­ated at 4 Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016.