As always it’s a little bit hard to know which photos to pick and which photo to lead a blog post about Devon Cafe because every single darn thing on the menu is just so photogenic. This is my third time at Devon by Night, Devon Cafe’s foray into dining once the sun’s gone down (Thursdays to Sundays). We saunter in past 8.30 pm which is usually way beyond my dinner time but really Devon time is anytime.
To start we get the King Salmon Sashimi Avocado, Jelly, Ikura and Chives ($15). Devon’s salmon is always on point, whether it’s Breakfast with the Sakumas or Citrus Cured Salmon and this king salmon is no exception. Succulent pieces of salmon sashimi sliced to the perfect width and a freshness that is faultless. I’m a huge fan of ikura as well. Ordinarily I think an ikura and salmon pairing would be far too rich but the light tartness of the jelly (tomato if I’m not mistaken) balances it out very nicely.
One of the few things I hadn’t tried before here at Devon is the Chargrilled Jumbo Prawns with Penang Hokkien Mee Flavours ($29). I love the way Chef Zach incorporates elements of Malaysian cuisine into his food, it’s definitely a nice feeling tasting flavours from home. The smokiness from the grill, the lemon are individually very subtle flavours but when combined with the prawn paste/sambal, the three really bring out the sweetness in the prawn flesh.
I learnt how to and acquired a taste of prawn heads from mum. They are so, so delicious it’s like all the flavour of a prawn is concentrated in its tiny little head. Thankfully I’ve never had a dinner guest get squeamish at the sight of me dismantling a prawn with little tiny legs stuck between my teeth.
Now we’re moving onto the stars of the night. For a brief moment, we had considered ordering something new in the form of the wagyu striploin instead but the thought of giving up getting Aunt Yulia’s Short Ribs ($28) made us so queasy we had to rectify our decision. This is by far our favourite thing on the Devon By Night menu, a large claim for me because I’m usually more a seafood and fish person rather than a meat eater. These ribs slow cooked in kecap manis till they literally fall off the bone are paired with a deliciously light tomato and basil relish. I remember the relish being a lot spicier the first time I had it, something they might have toned town to accommodate the taste buds of most people.
A number of foodies I know are obsessed with matcha and I’ve taken to the bandwagon myself (see matcha pancakes). In a city that is dense with numerous Asian dessert places, finding that your sweet treat is lacking in green tea content is usually fairly common. Devon’s Green Tea Fondant with Houji-Cha Ice Cream (price forgotten) is the city’s diamond in the rough. The rich, earthy flavours of matcha are irreplicable, and go so well with its white chocolate base. While my favourite part is the crumbly bits of biscuit, the whole dish eaten in its entirety is so incredibly amazing that it makes your head spin with each bite. Feel free to catch you breath by consuming a melon cube or two but I’m much happier letting my senses go into overdrive. I’ll be honest, I really, really wasn’t intending to order this. “I’m on a diet” I exclaimed but I was far too late. Cruel, cruel waitress, you woke the beast that is the fat little girl inside me with your words ‘green tea fondant’.
I’m sorry but just. Looking at this photo not only makes me hungry, it makes me want to strip down to my underpants and dive into what looks like the world’s most devastatingly delicious volcanic eruption.
Even after three visits, I know I’ll still come back to Devon By Night. It would be a lie to say that the menu doesn’t have any misses, but they’re more.. miss adjacent. Nothing I’ve had has been terrible but the stand-outs are just so over and beyond the more mediocre dishes that I’m likely to just reorder my must-haves over and over again. Be right back now, composing a love song to Aunt Yulia.