Ten minute walk from Central Station. Near the Cleveland Street end of Crown Street. PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
The slender dining room of Cafe Mint embodies a gradient of timber tones from the rows of deep wooden tables to the floors and walls of the restaurant itself. Rustic features such as bamboo sticks, pods and stems adhere to its Moroccan edge while the enlarged photographic artwork and other contemporary wall pieces add a touch of modernity. Drawing from many different culinary influences, Cafe Mint has settled on explaining its cuisine as modern Moroccan with splashes of the Middle East. Whatever name you give it, this petite restaurant blitzes the flavour dial with robust and slightly left of centre offerings.
During the day, sidestep your regular eggs and bacon and instead try the eggs scrambled with chackchouka – onions, tomato and capsicum – with Turkish toast and some grilled haloumi on the side. Or, spoon into the breakfast cous cous with honey yoghurt, spiced fruit compote and pistachios with warm milk. The coffee is bloomin’ good too. When night descends upon Surry Hills, Cafe Mint glams up with candles and a more sophisticated adaptation of the menu. Lamb shank tagine with pumpkin, prunes and green tea moughrabia is a fine example of the kitchen’s style. A half chicken pan-roasted on spinach and currant burghul with chermoula and pistachio butter is also a stunner. Share a fattoush salad of tomato, onion, cucumber and fresh herbs with toasted pita, sheep’s fetta and kalamata olives and you have a Middle Eastern feast fit for a king… or sultan. Finish sweetly with a mezze plate of all the favourites such as Turkish delight, Syrian nougat, medjool dates, apricots, fruit and nuts.