Youeni Foodstore Castle Hill: Hit and Misses

I'm very excited to write my first post and I felt it was fitting to review the new Youeni store in Castle Hill. I always drove past the place and was struck by how different it was to the regular cafes around there. The huge glass windows showcasing the luscious green plants and wholesale foods made this a place I definitely wanted to visit.

I first went earlier this year with my sister and her friend to try and distract them from the stresses of HSC. 
To keep everyone awake we ordered coffees. I got a decaf skinny cappuccino and it was delicious and smooth. The coffee art of love hearts is adorable too. Thanks barista! 

Decaf Skinny Cappuccino $3.50: Keeping me awake without the heart palpitations

My sister got the French Toast with poached pears and ricotta. I had a taste and thought the combination of pear and honey was a little too sweet and rich as you got to the end which made it unenjoyable.
I had the Jamon, roasted tomato and ricotta on toast which I thought was really tasty. The toast was how I like it... crunchy! The jamon (spanish ham) was salty but was a great combo with the roasted tomatoes. It proved to be difficult to eat because it was hard to cut through the crunchy bread with a knife without the clang of metal and it was too fumbly to pick up with my hands so I ended up doing a shameless combo of the two.

From the back: French Toast $15, Jamon on Toast $13 and the remains of my coffee.

Fast forward to June and I'm stressing out about my first medical exams so I decided to return to Youeni. Their chilled atmosphere would surely calm my nerves! I ordered the Savoury Pate Tart with Rocket. I won't lie, at first, the name put me off a little because I imagined a tart shell filled with pate; however, something that reminded me more of a quiche appeared. It was filled with spinach, leek and other goodies I couldn't figure out, but it was the perfect balance of richness and saltiness.  The almonds and rocket gave it a great crunch and bitterness which made the dish interesting to eat with each bite. The pastry was crumbly but I found it slightly burnt and I felt that it needed a sauce that could tie in the rocket a little more. I would order the dish again and indeed I tried but it seems the menus change quite regularly. 8/10

Savoury Pate Tart $15: Sorry for the cropped photo

It's my uni break and I headed out to Youeni with my boyfriend again a few weeks ago. I decided to give the French Toast from earlier this year a second go. Good thing I did! What I could only call a piece of art was served up to me. You can see it is quite dramatically different from the one my sister got earlier this year so I dub this French Toast II. It may look like its sweeter with the cinnamon sugar coating but I found this version of the french toast lip-smackingly good! Watching the almonds being placed on delicately by my cook only made me fall in love with the dish even more. 
On another note, my sister ordered this same dish only a day later and it looked nothing like mine. It was burnt and the poached pears were mush. As much as I like to tell my sister that the cook liked me better, the inconsistency in dishes was very disappointing. 9/10 (Judged from my own dish) My sister gave hers 5/10

 French Toast with Poached Pears $15: This photo was featured on Youeni's Facebook page YAY

I saw this Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart and knew I had to have it. At first glance, I thought the caramel top was solid like a caramel slice layer however as I soon discovered it is delightfully gooey! I have no complaints about the tart at all, I could eat these all day. Definitely give these a try! 10/10

 Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart $4: Mmmm Gooey! 

Lastly, I ordered this Pie with Home-made Tomato Sauce in June and was surprised to see it was a rectangular prism shape. The pie was hot and tasty especially when combined in a spoonful with the soft buttery spinach. The pastry was just a little too dry. I found the home-made tomato sauce to be too watery (you can see how watery it is in the picture) and it needed a touch more salt. 6/10

Pie $14: Not your usual Aussie Pie

Overall, I would return to Youeni (not too often because I am a poor uni student after all) but the food seems inconsistent to the extent I would think twice about recommending it to my friends.
Rating: 7/10
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