Opening up quietly on Regent Street in late 2016, Yellow Fever has stood its ground in the local cafe scene, earning a loyal following and holding true to its Vietnamese influence, its point of difference in the crowded Sydney cafe market. Fast becoming a gem of the bustling Redfern cafe scene, Yellow Fever takes your lattes, your bacon & egg rolls and smashed avocados, and ramps up the volume to offer a funky modern Vietnamese twist on some cafe brekky staples (and vice versa too).
Start your day with a Little Marionette coffee, however you like it. They know how to make a coffee here. Then take our advice and bypass the breakfast menu staples, heading straight to the VB (Vietnamese breakfast) Roll - a breakfast banh mi that sees crispy spam and eggs augment the classic banh mi pickled veg base ($12). Yes we did say spam. Don't knock it 'till you try it.
But if you must have your smashed avo - and we are a millennial guide after all - Yellow Fever comes through with its version of Sydney's favourite breakfast. You'll get an addition of feta, coriander, chilli flakes and black sesame ($13, add a fried egg for $3).
The lunch menu centres around 4 key protein options - five-spice pork, Nem Nuong (marinated pork mince), chicken and a vegetarian tofu, tomato and pineapple concoction. The latter involves braising the tofu in a tomato-based sauce ("almost Italian style", the staff say with a smile) before adding in the pineapple for a contrasting hit. It reminds us a bit of pineapple pizza, and yet we rather enjoy it.
Each of these choices can be added to the two lunch staples - banh mi and bowls. Now Redfern has no shortage of banh mi options, with a good handful of Vietnamese bakeries within walking distance of the cafe offering up this typical Vietnamese long roll of meat and salad. So besides the breakfast spam and egg variety, how does Yellow Fever cafe try to stand out? With its meats, mostly. This is where the Sydney cafe influence plays its twist on the Vietnamese classic. There's no deli meat slices here, instead you'll find charcoal grilled chunks of five spiced pork, or the tofu and pineapple option (all $9).
Bowls (all $13) come on your choice of a rice or vermicelli noodle base, served with cabbage, pickled cabbage, cucumber, Vietnamese herbs and nuoc cham dressing. It might be worth asking for extra dressing as these can seem a little blander than the other dishes. Add a fried egg ($3) for sure. The bowls appear to be a popular takeaway option for local workers, again with any choice of the four protein options.
Rice paper "rollies" come in a range of flavours, from standard pork & prawn to an inventive salmon & dill option that is unlike any we've had elsewhere and well worth trying ($3.50-$3.80 each, 3 for $9.50).
Lastly, the drinks. Although a good Little Marionette coffee is hard to resist, dare to read further down the drinks list and try something new. Our number 1 pick is the traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, which serves a solid caffeine kick and isn't too sickly sweet at all. Taro lattes come hot or iced, in a gorgeous shade of purple and do indeed emulate the flavour of sweet taro. Or end a hot day with a homemade iced tea, in classic lemon or deliciously fresh lemongrass flavour. Again, not as sweet as in Vietnam itself, and absolutely divine.
Yellow Fever sits at 133 Regent Street, Redfern and opens Mon - Sat for breakfast and lunch.
Hankering for a Vietnamese fix later in the day? Head down the road to Yen's for a belly warming pho.
|133 Regent Street|
Mon – Fri 6.30am – 3pm
Sat 7am – 3pm