Years back, Orto Trading Co. was a staple for my friends and I. With its concealed location (advantageous for facilitating private conversations, when people-watching is off the menu), its frontage is anything but – and its al fresco garden area – comfortable for any lunchtime configuration.
On this occasion I noticed an ever-so-slight dip in the quality of our meals. The stalwart Southern Fried Chicken Benni ($18) felt all-too lathered, with a hollandaise I remembered more fondly than I enjoyed this time around. The bun was on the doughy side of my palate preference, but perhaps its my patale that has changed. The chicken was good.
My lunch liaison ordered the Orto’s Breakfast ($16) adding Smoked Salmon ($6). While the spinach, mushrooms and toast were sound, the chorizo was chewier than one would ideally hope for. And while the salmon was of decent quality, nobody was winning any awards for culinary innovation.
On a personal note, my memories of Orto were that of Surry Hills’ most well presented cafe foods. I didn’t experience that this time around, but maybe that helps in warding off the droves of insufferable instagram foodies who once roamed these tables.
Nonetheless there are things that haven’t changed about Orto. The staff, who are as welcoming and attentive as they ever have been, and probably the best cup of coffee you’ll get here on up the hill.
Not all bad news.