Our recent return to living and working in Western Sydney has given us ample opportunity to revisit some of our favourite cafes from before our 12 month Eastern Suburbs sojourn. Auvers Cafe is the Rhodes counterpart to Auvers Dining in Darling Square, and keeps the tradition of Asian-French fusion alive in a more casual daytime venue.
For drinks we had fun milk in two varieties – black sesame and hojicha. Both were quite good, though I wish their fun milk was offered with some caffeine included.
The first food I want to talk about is this bargain basement scrambled egg ($4). It’s not the best scrambled egg I’ve ever hard (Dopa’s furikake scrambled egg don takes the cake by far), but at $4 is an absolute steal.
The Beef Curry Pasta ($23) was seriously good. It’s been one of our favourites over the last three years, frequently brought home by my partner in a takeaway box after a night shift. While it was good back then, having it fresh in person brought a whole level of previously unknown joy. Eat-in plating of this pasta was quite beautiful, similar to the Ox Tongue Soba Cabonara at their Darling Square store. The curry sauce, though not written down explicitly any more, was a tasty and flavourful rendang style base that coated each strand of pasta perfectly. The serving of beef was generous and tender, and the parmesan crisp added a nice and upmarket feeling variation in texture to the dish. I particularly liked the addition of tomato salsa on top, which added a delicious freshness and contrasting flavours. A can’t miss.
The Squid Roulade ($22) was a bit of a confusing and overall non-satisfying dish. The main attraction was essentially a squid tube filled with dry and almost gamey tasting “wagyu” beef mince. This tube was situated on a bed of black rice with edamame and pomegranate seeds mixed in, topped with crunchy fried kale. The rest of the squid was battered and deep fried, served aside the roulade and next to a swirl of black cauliflower puree.
I thought that this dish ultimately failed in both taste and composition. The taste of the squid roulade was too mild and unexciting, and the mince inside so dry that I doubt it being wagyu made any difference at all. The rice mixed with edamame and pomegranate was fine but difficult to pick up and eat with the fork provided. The fried kale was my partner’s favourite part of the dish – she does like fried foods in general – but I felt didn’t fit with the theme of the rest of the dish. I would avoid this one.
The chocolate croissant looked very plain but was actually surprisingly full of chocolate cream. Quite good.
The Soy Cured Salmon ($26) was an interesting, beautifully presented near miss for me. The fatty cured sashimi salmon was soft and delicate, but let down by the blobs of radish and yuzu gel, which I felt were too salty, even though I enjoyed the citrus notes. The accompanying salad was probably better than the main attraction. I really enjoyed the fresh little pickled radishes, which just tasted so bright and crisp. The avruga caviar, which I am told is not actually caviar, was also great mixed into the quinoa to give it a bit of umami and salty flavour and set it apart from all the dull quinoa out there.
I quite enjoyed the Grilled Wagyu Soft Tacos ($28), even though in my weakened state I was not allowed to enjoy all of it. The wagyu beef cubes were juicy and tender, worked well with the yakiniku sauce mayonnaise, which is something I’ve never seen anywhere else. The perfectly light and moist scrambled eggs also benefited from the yakinku sauce, while the salsa with coriander added an element of freshness. The hot chips, of which I only had a single chip, were sadly extremely good and fresh. I can’t comment on the naan bread (a weirdly thick choice for a “taco”) as neither my partner nor I had any of it.
Overall I can recommend Auvers Cafe in Rhodes as one of the best places for an all-day Asian fusion brunch menu out West. Service is speedy, and the food is great.
5 French gauge stars
2/42 Walker St, Rhodes NSW 2138
(02) 8040 2403