Jennifer Shin manages the Devon Cafe, not much more than a hop, skip and a jump from Central Station. This Asian fusion cafe maintains an entirely unassuming frontage, while its ingredients within take you by surprise. The unorthodox food and drink menu complete with unique cuisine and classics with quirky twists, is juxtaposed with the wood panelled interior and funky, graffiti-scrawled courtyard.
While being a foodie at heart, Jennifer hasn’t always managed the Devon Cafe. In a previous working life she ran a travel agency for over twelve years, organising events, trips and holidays for more than 3,000 people at a time. She then ventured into cafe ownership, but it didn’t go exactly to plan. “I love food, wine and coffee. That’s why I opened my own business. It was a very steep learning curve. I didn’t know how hard it would be physically and mentally!”
After selling her business, Jennifer was keen to continue learning more about the industry. A quick Gumtree job search took her to the Devon Cafe, where she found her new hospo home. Her favourite part of the Devon Cafe are the amazing creations from renowned chef Zachary Tan. With dishes like the signature ‘Breakfast With The Sakumas’ (made with Miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63’ egg, radish petit salad, kewpi mayonnaise and furikake). “I love sampling the dishes. Who wouldn’t!”
Jennifer also admits “My biggest learning curve has been about food trends. Taking lots of classical dishes and adding interesting Asian fusion twists.” And this is where Devon Cafe’s forte lies, having found fame for its experimental cuisine and amassing a cult following. The cafe has plans to expand across state lines and country borders into the Asian market in Jakarta and Singapore.