Javaman recently launched their Winter 2018 menu, and I have to say it has an interesting mix of influences that feels like a whirlwind foodie adventure to the Middle-East and Asia, while keeping their signature soul-food fare. It’s the kind of place to grab a quick coffee in the morning, have an informal business meeting, or my favourite, a weekend brunch with friends.
Today, I sampled their halloumi and mushroom dish with sautéed Shiitake, button and Portobello mushrooms with tarragon, served with café made gluten-free bread and a poached egg. That literally is the description on the menu board. Thank goodness, gone are the days where you pay a premium for gluten-free bread which often turned out to be a tasteless alternative, because to me, this tasted like a delicious wholemeal sourdough. Actually, it even felt lighter, without compromising on the flavour.
If you haven’t yet come across halloumi in your foodie adventures, it's a semi-hard cheese of Cypriot origins, usually made with a mix of goat’s and sheep’s milk (and sometimes cow’s milk) with a high melting point - perfect for frying and grilling. You can have it with a salad for a lighter meal, or have it as the hero of the dish, maybe marinated in a harissa sauce or your favourite spices.
When I go out for brunch I’m not counting calories, yet this dish is a great alternative to a heavy cooked breakfast. The halloumi satisfies your usual craving for that salty, savoury fried bacon or sausage, while the mushrooms fills you up without leaving you with a food coma. The poached egg was deliciously runny - a supposedly simple skill that is often overlooked. I did wish there was a bit more spinach, but that’s only because I like spinach.
In a nutshell: The lightness and taste of the gluten-free sourdough surprised me in a good way and the combination of flavours and textures in the halloumi with the three types of mushrooms, didn’t make me miss the meat at all. I didn’t really know what to expect when I ordered this dish, I mean I’ve cooked with all of the ingredients separately before, so in a way I knew it would taste good. A few bites in, I thought there may have been a hint of truffle oil, but it could just be the tarragon bringing out the earthy richness of the mushrooms. Great alternative to your usual fry-up!
RonnaEats TASTE: 4 Spoons
Vibe: 4 Spoons
JAVAMAN CAFE: 214 The Strand, Whakatane | Phone: 07 307 0728
Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food we can rave about. We don't ask for free meals or collaborate with our reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, we want to know where to head to for our next food adventure.