Friday, February 08, 2013

Youeni Foodstore, Castle Hill

Surely it's no coincidence that in the two or so years since I've been living in Parramatta a number of very cool cafes have opened up in the area.  Okay, maybe not not?  Youeni is the latest cafe to set up shop in  Western Sydney and it's a really great addition to the neighbourhood.

Following on from successful Youeni cafes in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst it's Castle Hills turn to get in on some of the action. I think it's really wonderful that a successful inner-city cafe has decided to venture west.  It is good to know that businesses are starting to see the value of setting up shop in suburbs west of George Street.

Youeni's philosophy is to provide diners with local and seasonal food that is wholesome and delicious.  The simple menu centers around the slow food philosophy and differs between breakfast and lunch - with just five or six items on offer during both services. A dinner service a few days a nights a week started recently too. Even though the menu is small I struggled to decide what to order each time I visit.

My first visit is just a few days after they're opened and the place is already buzzing with eager locals keen to check out the new kid on the block. I'm here for breakfast and start off with their juice of the day - a refreshing orange and apple juice that comes with a good kick of ginger.

Feeling in the mood for something more on the lunch side of things I order the absolutely scrumptious Pate Brisse ($8.00) - the shortcrust pastry of this savoury quiche is crunchy, buttery and simply sublime. I love that the side salad comes with pieces of citrus fruit thoughout.

I'm back a few days later to try out Youeni's version of iced-coffee, which is served just the way I like it...a shot of espresso poured over iced with a splosh of milk.  As I'm sitting at the bar on this visit the barista asks me if I would like him to add some panela to it to sweeten it. I think I'm sweet enough, but sure why not.

The lunch menu is short and sweet but I struggle to decide on my order...everything just sounds so delicious. In the end I go for a hearty lamb sandwich ($13.00) that is served on bread that is freshly baked in-house every day.

This sandwich really means business. For starters it's HUGE, man sized really but I do my best to demolish it though it defeated me in the end which is really saying something about how big it was.  What's more, they've added thick slices of potatoes in amongst the succulent lamb (which had a gorgeous crispy crust to it), lettuce and sweet chilli mayo. I'm all for carb-on-carb action:  potatoes + bread = genius!

Oh look, I'm back again! To be fair I have been on a rather long holiday from work and it seems silly not to make the most of my break and enjoy cafes during the more quiet weekday.  I'm not normally a fan of scrambled eggs (I used to be allergic to eggs as a kid so I'm kinda fussy when it comes to my egg loving) - but I read about these on Celia's blog and had to try them for myself. Apparently they are made without the use of cream or milk yet I found them to be so lush and creamy. Really good - and I love the charred tomatoes on the side.

Tara decided on the avacado on toast with a side order of mushrooms.  She seemed happy with her choice and I have to say the meaty mushrooms really looked good.

The "things on toasts" breakfasts aren't huge but that's fine as I'd been eying off the dessert cabinet for a week now. It was time to dive on, tummy first.

I'd had my eye on the salted caramel tart and it did not disappoint at all. Initially I wondered why the tart came served a top of an old piece of menu, but as soon as I cut into the tart and the wickedly rich salted caramel glaze oozed out over the plate I had a light bulb moment...paper = less washing up. Surely that's it?

Tara chose the chocolate chai eclair which also had a slight ooze of it's own, hence another piece of paper underneath to catch the creamy chai filling. I loved the crunch cornflake-like topping that gave the eclair a nice audible crunch.

Youeni is a great addition to the neighbourhood - it's wonderful to have another option for weekend brunching + lunching. They also open for dinner a few night a week, and they also sell a few good looking things to take home like veggies, fruit, bread, muesli, know, the yummy stuff.

Youeni is at 250 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill. They are in the same building as Dan Murphy and there is a tonne of parking underneath.

Youeni Foodstore Castle Hill on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Mel! And I'm so happy you have these guys close by, how fabulous for you! Great review! :)

  2. Those sweets.. I can't wait to go back and try the dinner menu!

  3. OMG OMG OMG OMG I want that salted caramel tart SO MUCH it's the tart that I love :) super chocolatey rich and oozing with salted caramel!!!

  4. oh i LOVE Youeni Foodstore in Surry Hills! its fantastic!!!!
    glad they have opened in Castle Hills

  5. Oozy, sweet goodness! What more could you ask for? ;)

  6. i definitely chose the wrong stuff on the menu trying to be healthy). next time i'm going for meat.

  7. this place looks amazing! i can't wait to try it out!

  8. I didn't know that was there! That chocolate chai eclair looks like something I must try. One must try all chocolate eclairs to see how they compare :) Good to see more and more interesting places springing up in the 'burbs, so it's not necessary to go to Surry Hills or somewhere like that to get something good.

  9. This all looks really the avo on toast and how about those desserts!? You have captured the caramel ooze perfectly. The take home goodies look awesome too, my kind of place I think :)

  10. Be still my heart; that caramel!

  11. Looks like a great cosy little cafe, I go to the Hills once in a while so will be sure to check it out!

  12. There's too many places I need to try in the area. That caramel tart - wow! My taste buds are wanting to dance right now..


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