The phrase 'Devon by Night' used to mean midnight fridge-missions to scoff the kid's lunch meat. Or mashed potato toothpicked to a pink blanket at 1980's engagement party. Or even an evening out on the sauce in Plymouth, England
To Sydneysiders it now means Korean fried chicken, egg custard, and - most importantly - lobster rolls.
Opening Thursday July 3, Devon by Night is the new undertaking from Guillaume Brahimi alumnus Zachary Tan. Devon Cafe was awarded best food cafe in the 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Good Cafe Guide. That Tan is now opening the cafe to showcase his French technique and love of Malaysian hawker food on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights is cause for celebration. Devon by Night is delicious, well priced, and a whole load of fun.
And by fun, we're talking “deep-fried ice cream on a steamed bun” kind of fun. Every heater in Surry Hills has been sourced to warm up the concrete of Devon Cafe's courtyard so you don't freeze while eating one of these $7 bad boys.
At the other end of the menu, yellow-fin tuna sashimi with avocado, tomato jelly, and chives ($15) is chockers with big, fresh flavours. A prawn and scallop ceviche tossed with green mango, apple, and peanuts and nahm jim ($16) is way too summery for the winter months but a treat nonetheless.
A tad more seasonal is 'Mum's' Chinese egg custard studded with yellow needle flower, shiitake mushrooms, black fungus and discs of fresh West Australian truffle ($28). With a thumb of fried Chinese bread for dipping, it's a decadent new ally to the Egg and Soldier Army Corps.
But the lobster roll ($15), it's the knockout. What a novelty it is to eat a lobster roll and receive a mouthful of actual crustacean with each bite. Each fluffy brioche bun contains half a lobster tail, radish, Kewpie mayo and tatsoi (an Asian mustard green). They're poised to be the most blogged about food in Sydney since Black Star Pastry put watermelon on a cake.
There's a small wine list with a few beers, but sadly no BYO. There's no bookings for the Devon dinners either, so rocking up early is most definitely recommended.
Devon by Night, 76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, 9211 8777, Thu-Sat 6-10pm. Daytime trading Mon-Fri 6.30am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3.30pm