CH James, Fairfield

12/23/2015 , 0 Comments

CH James is one of the many cafes in the Fairfield shopping strip on Station St, close to the Fairfield train station. It prides itself on a place to relax, with a great menu compiled of dishes using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

We went around 11:30am and luckily didn't have to wait at all for a table. There's plenty of room inside and in the garden courtyard, and we decided to sit outside as it was a nice day. The design in the interior is quite simple, except for the cool decorations on one of the walls, in particular the farming tools such as the huge pitchfork and baskets. The decor of the garden courtyard was also quite simple but with a summery feel, with lots of plants, flowers and big umbrellas over the tables. The atmosphere was very relaxed and laid back, and didn't have the busy hustle and bustle of some cafes I've been to, even though it was quite filled with people when we were there.

The seasonal menu is made up of a good range of brunch and lunch dishes, though we all went with ones from the brunch menu . Two of my friends ordered the Ricotta and Smoked Trout ($17.50), another the Scrambled Chilli Eggs ($15.50), and I got the Zucchini Chilli Corn Cakes ($18). We also got fresh orange juice ($5), and my friend ordered a dirty chai latte. The orange juice was refreshing with a good flavour, especially to balance out the strong brunch flavours, though there were quite a lot of ice cubes in it so it became quite watered down by the end. A dirty chai latte is essentially the same as a chai latte, just with a shot of espresso in it. My friend though this was quite good; it had a good amount of spice and wasn't too sweet.

The ricotta and smoked trout was served with soft scrambled eggs and a chive coriander pesto, and toast. We thought that the smoked trout would be a whole piece, but instead it was just small pieces here and there as if to compliment the scrambled eggs. This was a bit disappointing as given the description of the menu and the fact they emphasised the smoked trout, but overall it was still quite an enjoyable dish. The flavours worked together harmoniously, and the salad was nicely dressed with the chive coriander pesto, and not too dry or acidic. The scrambled eggs themselves were cooked perfectly, though overall this wasn't a particularly filling dish; there was only one slice of toast to go with the dish.

The chilli scrambled eggs came with feta on toast, and actually looked quite similar to the ricotta and smoked trout dish above. The salad was a nice touch to balance out the creamy and fluffy flavours and textures of the eggs, with a range of greens used. The chilli was good as it gave a small hit of heat but wasn't too overpowering, and again, this dish was enough to leave you content, but definitely not very full.

The zucchini chilli corn cakes came with a fried egg and salad on the side, though again wasn't an extremely filling dish. The corn cakes were really delicious and flavoursome, and the fried egg was perfectly done, albeit a little salty. There was a good range of salad and the multi grain toast was toasted just right, though perhaps another slice would've been better; there was only one that was cut in half. I couldn't taste any chilli in the corn cakes and it was predominantly the corn flavours coming through, but nonetheless it was still a good dish. The dip that the corn cake was sitting on really complimented the dish well and brought it all together, though I couldn't exactly tell what flavours were in it.

Overall it was good experience here at CH James with friendly staff and a good atmosphere. There was a bit of a wait for our food, and our drinks didn't actually come until after our dishes came; the staff explained there was an issue with the coffee machine which was understandable, but two of us ordered fresh orange juice which should be relatively quick to serve.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 7.5/10
Price: 7.5/10

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