Café Oratnek is a sweet, Japanese-inspired café that is located on the Cleveland Street end of Pitt Street, Redfern, just a few meters away from the leafy green surrounds of Prince Alfred Park. Set in a wide two-storey terrace, it has a raised front patio that is shady in the middle of the day. With palm trees and bird calls, the outside tables are pretty hard to resist, even in the middle of winter, though I do make a concession to the weather and order a hot drink.
My Hot Yuzu Lemonade ($5.50) arrives in a glass teapot set over a tealight candle warmer.
The more floral Japanese citrus is gently sweetened, and it stays piping hot well into my third cup.
With Japanese-inspired dishes, the Pork Loin Katsu ($15) is hard to resist, even with a fifteen-minute lead time mentioned on the menu. The resulting three-piece sandwich sees slices of crust-free, fluffy white bread barely encase a hefty 200-gram, thick cut crumbed pork fillet. It’s lifted with American mustard, tonkatsu sauce and finely shredded lettuce, but it’s still likely to stonker you with the sheer amount of juicy pig.
With almost everything in their glass front counter looking luminously green, it’s clearly a matcha kind of place. Leaving the Aussie-Japanese hybrid, the matcha lamington, for another day, I hit up the White Chocolate and Matcha Brownie ($7) instead. While impressing on size, I was a bit surprised to find myself eating an almost fossilised, hard greenish slab. While the matcha was there in spades, it missed the mark on being a gooey, moist brownie for me.
4 Pitt Street, Redfern
Ph: (02) 8394 9550