21 Alberta St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Despite the horror that is the med school workload, I have managed to find occasional pockets of peace and relaxation. Every now and then, I’ll be blessed with a free Friday afternoon, during which I’ll allow myself a couple hours off for a nice meal, and maybe wander around the city for a bit of retail therapy. You know, for sanity purposes.
One of the first places I hit up on a Friday was Café Cre Asion, one of Sydney’s all-time greats cafes – at least if Zomato is to be believed. Opened all the way back in 2011, Café Cre Asion has the honour of being Sydney’s first dedicated matcha café, back in a time where green tea was neither ubiquitous nor fashionable.
Despite the intervening years, Café Cre Asion is as cute and trendy as ever. Hidden down a couple of alleyways, the smell of butter wafted tantalisingly from the bright little storefront, the cakey culprits lined up on the counter. The tininess of the shop made me glad to be visiting on a weekday – I hear the place becomes completely packed out on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
I’m no stranger to matcha lattes, the trend having hit Melbourne a couple years ago, but this is the first time I’ve ever come across a Macha (sic) Genmai Tea Latte ($5). Having now tried both, I can definitely argue that this is the better variation. The bitter grassiness of matcha is rounded out by the warm aroma of toasted rice, making for a beverage that is both comforting and invigorating. Of course, it certainly helped that this was a well-made latte all-round, and that it was served in the most charming ceramic bowl.
I’m not quite irresponsible enough to have a dessert-only brunch, so I preloaded the sweets with a sandwich of Tomato, Mozzarella, Olive, Avocado, and Basil ($12). Though simple, this was surprisingly good; the double creaminess of the avocado and mozzarella was balanced out by the acidity of tomato, the flavours teased out by the saltiness of crushed black olives. And being a bakery, the bread was of course excellent – lightly buttered, and toasted until it was a perfect fluffy crunch.
But what I was really here for was the Matcha Fondant ($8). Unlike the other items, this was rather small for its price – but one taste revealed why. The cake was dense and fudgy, with a rich taste of chocolate. Oozing out of the centre was a stream of molten matcha, and a scoop of refreshingly matcha ice cream finished things off.
… or did it? For the matcha fanatics out there, Café Cre Asion provides an additional pot of matcha sauce on the side, just in case you like things extra strong and saucy.
I had a good time at Café Cre Asion, and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate and drank. Here’s the kicker however: I have no idea why it’s rated an astronomical 4.8/5 on Zomato. Although good, nothing about the meal makes me want to shout about it from the rooftops. True, Café Cre Asion was a trailblazer in those sad, matcha-less days. Fast forward a few years however, it feels like but one of many trend-chasing cafes, with nothing to really set it apart besides an eye for quality. Call me happy, but I might have to stop short of impressed.
Rating: 13/20 – same same… and not all that different.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.