Monday, May 2, 2011

Sori Cafe - Japanese/Korean in Kensington

Bloggers, how do you blog?  I do so surreptitiously, self-consciously and am petrified of the day when someone tells me off.  I also know I have only a limited number of years before my kids start to self-destruct from embarrassment when the camera comes out, so am making the most of it while I can!

April 2011 077

Sori Cafe is a real neighbourhood treasure, an authentic Japanese/Korean cafe tucked away in Kensington.  The kitchen is up a small flight of stairs at the back of the restaurant and (at lunch at least) the little ladies in gorgeous pressed aprons dart up and down, taking your order, running back up to flip the okonomiyaki, pattering back down with a bottle of water.

April 2011 078

Complimentary banchan to start - traditional Korean tidbits eaten before the meal.  Soft, surprisingly buttery potato and carrot; a tasty folded egg omelette; zucchini cooked with sesame oil (delicious - one to make at home).  Check out the kid-friendly portion and crockery!

April 2011 080
Fried dumplings (gyoza), $6.50

Little slippers of crunchy goodness, filled with soft vegie mash.  The pastry is actually quite crisp like a cracker.  The little side salad had a quite divine creamy sesame dressing.  Delish!

April 2011 079
Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), $6.50

Home-style Japanese pancake - a thick batter mixed with here shredded cabbage and a little diced octopus.  This was just lovely - the tonkatsu or Japanese BBQ sauce was here a home-style relish, almost jam-like, which contrasted with the sweet, creamy Japanese mayo.  These are my go-to shopping centre secret - they are tasty, filling, sort of healthy and usually cost about $4.

April 2011 082
Hoedupbap, $16.50

Something for the last breath of summer - a warm salad of raw salmon and fresh salad vegies atop warm rice, the yin to bibimbap yang.  Drizzled with thick, mild Korean chilli bean sauce and mixed up, it was simple, honest, refreshing yet satisfying.  The miso was excellent, totally authentic.  In recent times Sori Cafe seem to have shrunk their lunch menu to the classics, so visit at dinnertime to try the full menu including japchae, stir-fried sweet potato noodles.

April 2011 085

Exterior - check.  Food - check.  Interior - we could not resist the sunshine and so had sat outside, so how to get this last shot?  I put my camera on the counter, fumbling in my bag for my wallet while trying to corral the kids and hoping the moment would present itself.  "Are you a blogger?" said the waitress.  "Erm, yes, I am..." I trailed off uncertainly.  "Don't worry," she winked.  "So am I."

Sori cafe on Urbanspoon

Sori Cafe
174 Bellair St, Kensington (map)
Phone:  9372 2025
Hours:  Mon-Sat, lunch 11.30am-3pm, dinner 5pm-10pm  

Wheelchair Access


  1. Welcome back!

    I'm finding there's no single approach. Depends on the place and the vibe.

    Also, I'm finding myself drawn to the people behind the food as much as the food itself, so that requires a pretty much upfront philosophy. It probably helps that I've been interviewing people for most of my pre-blogger life!

    Bennie cringed a bit at his dad's blogging antics at first, but he's hip with it now that I've made him fully part of what's going on. Any chance of getting yours involved?

    Cool interaction with the waitress/blogger!

    Good-looking food there; nice little strip eh?

    Bennie and I still joke about the coffee for which we're still waiting, ordered from a nearby cafe. It's become a universal metaphor for long-windedness in our lives.

  2. Hahaha love your candid description of a blogger's photo-taking stress. Food, interior, exterior - lol! And fast cos your friends don't want cold food. aaaaaaa!! :D

  3. Someone actually told me off in a restaurant once, therefore i feel really uncomfortable doign it these days hehehe.

    Sometimes waiters/ mama or papa boss gives you this look that says "don't you dare take another photo, who do you think you are?"

    So from now on i tend to shy away since these bad experiences :)

    This restaurant however looks so cute.

  4. I just ask if I can take a few pictures. They usually say yes.

  5. After an early tense encounter, I vowed to do the same. I've since changed my mind. I take it case by case. I figure if you just relax and act confident without being high-handed about it, they're less likely to object right from the get-go. Also, most of the places we do are only too happy with the interest.

    I find that if I act like what I'm doing is perfectly OK and non-confrontational, then that goes a long way to chilling the whole situation out.

    Here's a link at The New Epicurean commenting on a snarky piece in The Australian:

  6. Oh... great. Will check out this place when I am back.

  7. ooh it's also next to one of my favourite book shops! double win!


I love getting your comments! They're what make blogging worthwhile. Unfortunately, the amount of spam I get is obscene and it is so tiresome to have to moderate every comment, so I have had to turn on annoying word verification. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but please know how much I love you having your say!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails