Where East meets West – Cafe Oriental has been the talk of the town amongst my Asian friends since it opened its doors 6 months ago. Not only about their delicious food, but the concept of this unique café; full English fry-ups and Chinese dumplings for breakfast. Interesting, to say the least.
Why did the owner Mandy choose this concept? The answer is actually quite simple. Quite a few Asian women are married to English guys, and they both want ‘their’ breakfast to kick start the day. I thought that was a very novel idea. I love Asian breakfasts, but my other half would be very reluctant to tuck into Asian food at that time of the day.
About Cafe Oriental
Café Oriental yet looks from outside a small café in Burleigh street, but as soon as you walk through the door, you realise it’s different. Although you can see people eating their famous English breakfasts (even at lunchtime), the atmosphere is Asian. Steaming bowls with dumplings are coming out of the kitchen in a constant stream. I had wondered what the key to their success with so many dumpling places popping up in the city? But it’s not difficult at all; their quality is sublime.
I spotted also a collection of drawings by my artist friend Xi, and that says enough, as you only can find her work in cafes and restaurants if she likes the food. Xi loves funky, independent cafés, teahouses and restaurants. So it had to be good!
About the food
The Chinese love dumplings or steamed rolls for breakfast, and they opt for Chinese Box if they want to have a lighter breakfast. The Chinese box contains lovely dumplings filled with egg and chives, but you can also opt for ones with marrow filling. Traditionally soya milk would be served with this breakfast, but I opted for a very healthy herbal grass jelly drink, which is quite sweet.
I also spotted some beautiful pineapple cakes on the counter. I couldn’t resist them! They are lovely and made by a local lady from Taiwan. They are so pretty that they are often bought as a present. I can’t wait to go back there as I am very keen to try one of those steaming bowls with dumplings!
For delicious dumplings or an excellent English fry up, but if you don’t fancy getting out of bed or want a late-night snack, then you can order online too. Might quite fancy that one day; breakfast in bed!