Restaurant Review: Sunflower Cafe – Taiwanese

Sunflower Cafe
Ground Level, 147 Broadway, Ultimo, Sydney

A quick Sunday lunch and I wanted to check out this unusual little strip of restaurants on Broadway, not far from the Broadway shopping centre (or a short hike up from Railway Square). I’ve always been intrigued by the Indonesian place called Shalom and the Spicy Szechuan cafe, recommended by friends. Bling Bling Dumpling was empty when we passed it, but it’s got a good name.

However, just before noon, the Sunflower Cafe specializing in Taiwanese food was the only one open, so we decided to try it out. Half the menu has crepes, both savoury and sweet, and with Asian themes (i.e. Japanese eel, green tea). Does anyone know if crepes have been adopted into Taiwanese cuisine?

We went for the more traditional fare. A starter of bean curd wasn’t what I was expecting, neither bean curd sheets, nor a lighter tofu. These were hard, slightly rubbery strips of bean curd in a simple soya sauce. Taiwanese sausage turned out to be the pink-red sausage that my mom used to buy at the same time as buying char siu (barbecued pork) or roast pork belly. Slightly sweet, it reminded me of home.

We ordered two mains (too much for lunch with the starters). Rice and beef brisket. I’ve rarely had a beef brisket that I didn’t like, and this was perfect – I liked the extra spicy bits of meat on the rice, and the pickled veg – the flavours felt authentic. The spicy dumplings were not particularly nice. Crude and doughy, like the frozen ones I buy sometimes in Chinatown for home use, but the sauce was more garlic than chili, and I found the flavour a bit off.

S. loved his mango smoothie, even when it gave him brain freeze. My cold sweet green tea latte was just fine.

I reckon this strip of restaurants mainly appeals to students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), so it’s relatively cheap (ours was about $40 for the two of us, and we did order a lot), filling, and tasty. It also tastes and feels authentically Asian – except for the weird artwork featuring white Americans from the 50s and the letters c-r-e-p-e-s coming out of a a cartoony surreal backdrop.

Service was efficient and friendly. Order at the cash register. Pay in cash only.

Glad I went. Wasn’t tasty enough to go again – though perhaps I should go back for the Japanese eel crepe…

This entry was posted in Food n' Grog, Sydney. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *