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Orange Peel Café, Balmain – Rating: 13.5/25

Orange Peel Café

Orange Peel Café sits on a sun-drenched corner of suburban Balmain backstreets.  You’d think this would make for a quiet location but not only were seats hard to find but there was also a lot of traffic that disrupted conversation.  We waited for about twenty minutes for an outdoor table (we had a dog in tow) and with no option to leave our name or reserve a spot, we simply had to be quick on the draw!

Soy chai latte

The soy chai latte ($3.50 + 50c for soy) was rather bland.  It was probably a packet mix as it lacked the flavour and smell of cloves, cinnamon and other spices usually found in chai.  However it was warm and frothy so we drank it up.

Cappuccino

With the exception of the soy chai latte our coffees were on par with other good cups we’ve had recently.  Orange Peel offers the usual range and we tried the flat white in a mug ($3.90) and cappuccino ($3.20). 

Pineapple and carrot juice

There are a lot of freshly squeezed juice on offer: orange, cattor, celery, pineapple ($5.50 for these or a combo), apple or watermelon ($6.50).

Smoothies are available too with banana, strawberry, mango, blueberry ($6) or a combination of all ($6).  The list continues with power shakes, milkshakes, teas and flavoured lattes.  Long story short: you won’t go wanting!

Homemade hash browns with bacon and sausage sides

Two of our guests ordered the homemade has browns ($13.90), one of them adding a side of sausage ($3.50)  and mushrooms ($3.50).  Looking back at the menu, he could have saved some coin by simply ordering The Works which  comes exactly everything he ordered, for $15.50.  Could the waiter not have let us know this?  The poached eggs were perfect and the other ingredients of good quality.  There were so many large dishes like this on the table it was a challenge to balance them all, one guest putting the plate on his knees.

Vegetarian omelette

The vegetarian omelette ($14.50) with capsicum, spanish onion, spinach, tomato looked impressive but lacked flavour. The eggs were dry and the vegetables undercooked.  It would be nice served with a small green salad to complement the mass of egg.

There was another omelette on offer for the same price and included ham, cheese and tomato.

Pancakes with caramelised banana, marscapone (missing) and butterscotch sauce

There are three varieties of pancakes: mixed berry with maple syrup ($13.90), plan with maple syrup ($10)  or the above caramelised banana with marscapone and butterscotch sauce ($13.50).  Strawberries can be added to any pancakes for $3.50).  As you can see, above there was little to no elegance in this dish and the marscapone was absent.  We added a side of bacon ($4.50) which worked well but the butterscotch sauce was very overpowering as the entire dish was soaked in it.  This made the pancakes very mushy and gave Dane very few positive points to make…

Corn cakes

Mick’s Special ($13.90) consisted of deep fried corn cakes with bacon, poached eggs and tomato relish, sitting on a bed of spinach.  Our guest commented that “the spinach was spinachy” but there wasn’t much else that stood out in the dish.

Orange Peel Café fell short for us on numerous fronts; there were plenty of staff but they did not seem very experienced, tables remained uncleared for about ten minutes after they had been vacated, the pathway to the toilet which is literally through the kitchen was a bit disconcerting, and the dishes had no polish or class in their execution.  The servings were large for the price but in future we’ll be tempted back to Darling Street (the main street in Balmain) where there is an ample selection of great cafés.

Taste: StarStar
Presentation:StarStar
Service: StarStar
Atmosphere: StarStarStarStar
Value: StarStarStar

Overall Rating: 13.5/25

Phone: 9810 3227
Address: 152 Beattie Street, Balmain, 2041

Payment Options: Credit card, EFTPOS, cash (no separate billing on weekends)

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