With its prime location in the heart of Claremont Quarter, Academy is quickly becoming a Claremont institution.
Formally known as Atomic Café, Academy has officially re-launched with Head Chef Jay Tesorero and Sous Chef Gary Blanchio by his side. The menu encompasses Asian, European and American influences to create interesting and emphatic tastes inspired by the travels of Head Chef Jay.
Academy has already proven itself as one of Claremont’s favourite cafes, and its new dinner menu hopes to continue the legacy.
I visited Academy a couple of times before the official launch event and am a huge fan of their breakfast menu. The Avocado Smash and their delicious tea cakes in particular. So I was really excited to see that they had decided on launching a dinner menu.
As nightfall began glasses of wine and champagne started circling the cafe. Not long after the waiter had arrived with an enticing appetiser of Pumpkin Puree with crispy kale on a ciabatta toast. The heartiness of the pumpkin puree was prefect for Winter. And the crispy kale gave it that little bit of textural excitement that had me waiting on the waiter to come back with more.
The next dish to come out was a skewered prawn with an eggplant sauce. The grilled prawn was tender and tasted amazing.
My favourite dish of the night was the Arancini with mushrooms, caper salsa, roasted garlic aioli, and shaved grana padano. The crispy outside with the soft cheesy risotto and mushroom inside was absolutely perfect! Although the only thing wrong with it was I simply didn’t get to try enough of it.
We also tried some a 6 hour Braised Beef Cheek in a meat glaze sauce, which again was amazing. The beef pulled away with such tenderness and was full of flavour and juice. The crispy ciabatta added a next level texture element which contrasted really well with the tenderness of the beef cheeks. My favourite part of the dish were the pineapple squares. I love pineapple anyway, but they really made this dish stand out. The slight sweetness of the pineapple broke through the meatiness of the beef cheeks.
The dish that stood out the most during the night was the Pork riblets with New Orlean cajun BBQ sauce.
Covered in sticky BBQ sauce the ribs were exactly what ribs should be; perfectly tender and full of stickiness and flavour with just the tiniest punch of chilli.
The night finished with a Cookies and Cream Ice-cream Sandwich, which was every bit as delicious as it looks and sounds. The sandwich cookies were really crisp with a hint of ginger and the butterscotch caramel sauce on top was to die for. I would go back to Academy just for this, because it really was exceptional.
The dinner menu at the Academy is available Thursday – Sunday until 10pm. The price range is quite moderate with a meal for two somewhere between $45-60. I think the ambience of the cafe at night makes it a super cute date night cafe.
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited as a guest of Academy Cafe. See disclosure policy for further details.