Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Sydney rat race during the weekdays, The Project Cafe sits hidden away in a small business park in Mascot, serving to the local businessmen (and women) only the best food. Whether it be one of their signature juice or smoothies, or their Sicilian baked eggs...there's always something to look forward to for lunch!
The Project Cafe is also open for dinner and on weekends, so even if you are unable to find a job in Mascot, they cater for everybody... and guess what?! The cafe is only a short walk away from Mascot station, so if you are in the city, why not drop by for coffee? Alternatively, if you happen to have a couple hours to spare to catch your connecting flight, Mascot is only 1 - 2 stops away from International or Domestic station!
The interior is boasting with light, perfect for taking pictures - yet the furniture is quite dark and grunge-like which creates a cozy - urban - possibly hipster feel, with a nice touch of copper and beautiful coloured flowers for decoration. An ideal location for corporate events or special occasions.
The Project Juice (left) and Honey Bunny (right)
The Project Juice is the perfect "pick-me-up" for the professional who can't afford to be sick. I like to refer to it as the "Grandma is always right" juice as it is made entirely of apple, honey, ginger and lemon, the perfect cure for a sore throat! and honestly.. the drink was super refreshing and surprisingly the taste of ginger was very minimal (which is probably for the best).
The honey bunny on the contrary was smooth and really creamy! This really is a cheat drink to any diet, because as healthy as it sounds... a drink this good can't be good for your diet, right? The honey bunny has yogurt, orange, blueberry, banana and of course, honey! Thinking back, it probably wasn't the best idea to finish the entire drink prior to entree. The drink itself was really sweet, and enough on it's own to fill you up as a meal replacement!
Homemade Rosemary Focaccia
When this arrived at the table, the first thoughts were "how on earth do we photograph this!", second to thinking that it was a bland focaccia with rosemary on top. That's when we realised the the bread itself was stuffed with a generous serving of this amazing caramelized onion marmalade!! This was the only time you would see two people fighting for the end pieces.
Served alongside the rosemary foccacia was the Burrata Cheese salad. This salad was beautifully presented, consisting of burrata cheese, heirloom tomatoes, caponatina, prosciutto diparma (culatello) and a sprinkle of black olives crumble. Without stating the obvious the cheese was the hero of the dish, with the prosciutto and olives crumble being it's sidekick. The cheese had a very mild taste which worked perfect with the saltiness of the prosciutto and black olives... really giving this salad that much needed kick. You could almost forgo the rocket and tomatoes, and just serve this superhero trio and we would be more than happy!
Pappardelle Wild Boar Ragout with Bitter Chocolate Dust
Typically our experience with ragout has not been ideal. While they normally have great flavours, it usually resulted in a slop of pasta mixed in a soup of juices and a frustrated Matt trying to pick up his pasta with a fork. That is why we were so happy with this dish. Not only does the presentation look amazing, but the pappardelle was sitting there so elegantly waiting to be dug into. While the dish might look like the total opposite of our worst fears (quite dry), the wild boar compensated well.
It was probably also worth noting that when the dish was served, the rich aroma of the chocolate dust filled the proximity of our table. Surprisingly enough, the flavours of the chocolate weren't present enough to make an impact to the taste of the dish, which is preferable for us.
Wagyu beef tagliata eggplant mousse
You can't go wrong with a great piece of wagyu beef steak, right? Unfortunately when neither person enjoys rare steak you can. No discredit to the chef or the cafe at all, the carnivores out these would appreciate this dish more than we did. However that said, we decided to not let a good piece of meat go to waste, so we ate the areas which had been seared through.
The Bignola (or Creme Puff) was the highlight of our experience, and when the dessert is the best served dish it really leaves you with a sweet taste of the restaurant (no pun intended). While this dessert might look simple, there are a number of difficult elements which makes this our favourite and highly recommended dish. The first being the thin, crisp and light pastry and although it was thin, it had enough substance to give a great texture when enjoyed with that beautiful Madagascar vanilla bean cream! This alone would have been a great dish, but there's more! The secondary elements include the sweetness from the berry compote and the bitterness from the glazed orange peel and orange yuzu. So many great things on one plate, truly makes us smile!
The Project Cafe is a unique gem that should not be overlooked. While it might not be in the most convenient of locations, it is definitely worth taking that little detour to visit!
Snapshots of Food dined as guests of The Atticism and The Project Cafe.