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.