On Riley Street, near the corner of Campbell Street is a fairly new café that will hopefully be open for a long, long time. It has gotten to the point where you’re either extremely brave or extremely foolish to open a restaurant or café in Surry Hills, undoubtedly the food centre of Sydney. Newcomers need to carve their place very quickly into the scene if they don’t want to fall into the shadows of fantastic establishments such as Fouratefive, Strangers with Candy and Café Ish (coming soon). Robocog has done just that with a fresh, fun atmosphere, superb waitstaff and stunning food.
Does Robocog serve fresh juice? Do they ever! The juice list fills almost an entire page with some great combinations: tutti frutti (mixed fruit and berries), Pineapple pick me up (pineapple, grapefruit, apple, ginger and honey), Chill out (pear, rock melon and mint), Kick start (watermelon, lime, ginger and mint) and Green punch (apple, spinach, celery and mint). I opted for the liver recovery (all juices $5) which was a mix of green apple, banana and strawberries. This has to be one of the best combinations imaginable and it was mixed perfectly. I could taste all of the fruits that had been promised. The serving size and price were also unreal.
Other drinks on offer include smoothies (banana, berries, mango or melon $5), chocolate decadence (low fat ice chocolate frappe $5) and a big selection of teas ($3).
The coffee was hard to fault. Our skim cappuccino ($3) had been brewed perfectly and tasted great.
Not only does Robocog know how to do their beverages but the food was extraordinary as well. The pancakes ($9) were thin like crepes but they were folded over so they were thick and full of texture. Mixed berries are laid on top with fresh strawberries scattered around the plate. A generous dollop of ricotta mixed well with the berries however the tower keeps going with an unexpected but welcome addition of grated apple. The apple flavoured every mouthful nicely and the flavour combination makes this dish a sweet-tooth’s delight! The other pancake option on the menu is to swap the berries and ricotta for banana and honey. Again I have to mention the prices… so cheap!
There are two varieties of quesadillas available. The quesadillas “chicken” ($10.90) features melted cheese, chicken and spinach while the quesadillas “vego” ($9.90) that we ordered swaps the chicken for mushrooms. The freshness of the spinach and mushrooms as well as the thin-ness of the whole quesadillas result in quite a relatively light meal. The oozing cheese is the key ingredient here, bringing all the flavours together. You may find you don’t even need the sour cream and sweet chilli on the side. Maybe…
I ordered this dish for two reasons:
1. so that I could say “robocorn” in a robotic voice to the waiter
2. the aioli topping sounded too good to resist
Needless to say I was satisfied with both of the above!
The robo corn and bacon breakie ($13.90) is one of four dishes on a totally separate menu called the “Bacon Lover Menu”. I found myself falling more and more in love with this place! Let’s start at the bottom of the stack. The hot hash browns were fluffy and themselves full of flavour. There is a generous layer of bacon just above and then the mix of corn and aioli with diced tomatoes and capsicum. Rocket resides on top with some avocado on the side, both of which are necessary to fight the richness of the aioli mix. Every element of this meal has been prepared lovingly with high quality ingredients. Don’t spend too long admiring it though – everything above the bacon is served at room temperature so it can cool the bacon and hash browns when mixed together.
We found the waitstaff at Robocog to be exceptionally friendly and attentive. The clientele are laid back and also willing to chat making this a very relaxing establishment. Funky contemporary jazz and beats played in the background. Space is limited (a sign on the door says twenty at a time) so either get there early or be prepared to wait (it’s definitely worth it).
Overall Rating: 21.5/25
Phone: 9281 2880
Address: 249 Riley Street, Surry Hills, 2010
Payment Options: Cash