My everyday routine for the last month has the speed and intensity cranked up high right now. I’ve doubled my fitness routine, am finally getting the hang of my new job, been reconnecting with new and old friends and am trying to put more consistent effort into studying Japanese. It’s currently not a very sustainable model as I end up crashing once every seven days, to the point where I have to consciously make a particular day a week ‘rest day’ as opposed to ‘day where I end up sleeping in because my body is very angry with me’.
But while I’m trying to change up day to day habits, it’s nice that a good brunch in Sydney is still a constant. The Q on Harris is a café that I know and recognise after spending five years of my life traipsing around UTS and the streets that surround it. However I feel like it must have come under new management or ownership in the last few months as they’ve been making waves like I’ve never known it to.
There are loads of items on the menu that agree with me. The house smoked salmon tartine sounds spectacular particularly when a restaurant is touting house-smoked produce, with the smoker in plain sight as you walk onto the premises. I mull over the avocado and kalamata olive tartine, my general go to order wherever I eat. But upon eyeing the kinako tartine, my decision was made.
Kinako tartine $17
Fun fact, in my childhood years, I once had food poisoning from mushroom soup so terrible that I had to be hospitalised and avoided mushrooms in any shape or form for years. I’m glad that I eventually reformed because mushrooms are incredibly delicious and are ranked very highly on my list of favourite ingredients.
The kinako cream is sourdough piled high with every mushroom imaginable. Think shitake, shimeji, enoki, oyster, button mushrooms and even comes topped with some deep fried onion crisps. The sauce is savoury and flavourful, apparently they’ve recently introduced confit garlic to the concoction which is responsible for the heady aroma and taste. The lemon on the side is the perfect squeeze on top for a tinge of freshness amidst the cream. On the menu you actually have the option to have this on Japanese toast (fluffy white bread I presume) which I actually wanted but had forgotten at the point of ordering. There aren’t many amazing brunch items with mushroom as the hero, aside from Devon’s Ultimate Toastie, but this is one I would recommend and order again.
Robbie orders the avocado because it’s one of the few remaining dishes he hasn’t tried yet. Did I mention that he had already been to The Q on Harris three times that week? Mad props to him for agreeing to going again for the 4th time but I guess it’d be rude not to.
Avocado and kalamata olive tartine $17
I have no idea what it tasted like because I was feeling territorial about my brunch and asking to try some of his would be opening up the opportunity for him to try some of mine. I’m kidding, I just forgot to. But two dishes in and you can see how generous they are with the toppings. The sweet corn salsa in particular looks so fresh and I think the sweet potato crisps would have added the perfect crunch factor. I also forgot to ask them what sourdough they were using because it had the perfect neutral taste and was thickly cut, just the way I like it.
Matcha cheesecake (I think) $10
Now for the main reason I’m here the matcha cheese cake. It’s gorgeous to look at with such a deep green hue and the contrasting black from the oreo cookie base. It kind of reminds me of Devon’s matcha cake and you can see why it’s been going viral on Instagram for the last few months. Taste-wise, it also lives up to the hype. It has the perfect balance of cake sweetness with the natural bitterness of matcha that comes through at the end of every taste. While both the ganache and the cheesecake component are rich, having two slightly different textures helps to switch things up from being too same-y. I think the ganache and the chocolate-y oreo crumbs work well together, more so than if it was a normal biscuit base. It’s a cake that’s definitely worthy of being your birthday cake and it’s well worth it alone to make a trip to The Q on Harris.
I’ve always thought I was busy but life right now seems to give the word a new definition. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me which may explain the sporadic blogging, although I think I’m still doing better than I did last year. But my dad always says that nothing matters other than doing your best. And with the way I’ve been running The Sam Show, I feel like I am going to bed each night having given the day my all. This isn’t just rambling. The moral of the story here is that even in the middle of a whirlwind, there’s always time for cake.