Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sasa's Cafe and Fine Food, Hawthorn by Bureaucrat

With a suggestion from Beaker, we caught with Ms S at Sasa's Café and Fine Food.  I hadn't heard of the place before but I'm told that SCFF is known around the local area as a gourmet-ish place for a nice meal and coffee.  Certainly, the staff are friendly and very patient as we spent more time chatting away than turning our attention to the menu.

We did, however, make up our minds about our drinks quite quickly.  A decaf latte for Beaker and a macchiato for Ms S.

I went for a pot of chai, which was fine.  By memory, it was a house blend, but there was nothing exceptional about it and it wasn't very strong in flavor.

The menu at SCFF is extensive - there's lots to choose from, which was a good thing since this meal was going to be a breakfast for Ms S, lunch for Beaker and a light brunch for me.  However, the wide selection of dishes on offer was, sadly, the only good thing about the food here... the quality just wasn't there.

Visually, all the dishes looked great.  Tastewise, it was bland and, in the case of the breakfast dish, slightly disturbing.

I thought I scored the jackpot with my sea salt and cracked pepper calamari w peperonata salad and aioli.  Fairly impressive amount given that this was an entree sized dish ($13.90).  An appetizing golden, light batter and the fresh side salad were the good points.  The not so good points were that it had no sea salt.  It had no cracked pepper.  It had no taste (same goes for the aioli).  The calamari was rubbery.  Worst still, the batter was quite greasy - so much so that the batter slid right off the calamari.  I picked at the dish and didn't eat much of it.

Impressive to behold was Beaker's grilled mixed seafood skewers w saffron aioli.  Two long skewers of fish, prawns, scallops, mussels w grilled veg.  This was the main sized version ($20.90).  However, Beaker wasn't too impressed with the actual taste of the dish.  She ate the grilled veg and some of the seafood but didn't really finish her dish either.

If finishing everything on one's plate equated to enjoying the food, then Ms S' vegetarian breakfast was the best dish out of what we ordered.  For $19.90, she go oven roasted toms, mushies, wilted spinach, avo, homemade potato cake and baked beans on toast.  It comes with eggs but Ms S chose not to have them.  Ms S liked most of her breakie - especially the homemade beans, spinach and the toast. 

However, the potato cake was a tad disturbing - inside, it was black.  She asked the staff what it was and they weren't sure.  The staff asked the kitchen and they weren't sure why it was black.  My own suspicion was that that potato cake was not freshly made..

Food – 6
Service – 7
Ambiance – 7
Price – 6.5

SCFF is a nice neighbourhood café in terms of its location, service and set up.  Foodwise, I wouldn't consider this café to be a purveyor of "fine food". 

In terms of summarizing what I think of this place, it's just scraped into being average. 

Sasa's Café and Fine Food
173 Riversdale Road
Hawthorn 3122
Telephone: 9815 3885

Sasa's Cafe and fine food on Urbanspoon

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