As a food and culture hub, few suburbs can pull it off better than Newtown. With an eclectic mix of Thai & Chinese cuisine, backed up by a café culture as strong as that of Surry Hills, it’s no wonder that people will travel just to spend a few hours here. I myself require two trains and 40min of travel time to get to Newtown, yet I am willing to do so frequently, even if it’s for something like a slice of cake.
Even if I lived in Newtown, I would be hard-pressed to keep up with all the change that’s going on. The place is abuzz with activity; wouldn’t have it any other way.
Though it’s been around for a few months now, Brewtown Newtown is a newer addition to Newtown’s café scene. The downside of rapid change is that places can get left behind and close too quickly, so you know the places that survive are the good ones.
Brewtown is likely going to stay – read on to see why!
Date Last Visited: 24/1/14
Address: 6-8 O’Connell Street Newtown, NSW 2042
Recommended Dish(es): beetroot-cured trout, Elvis burger
Depending on how fast you walk, Brewtown’s around 8-10 minutes away, slightly off King St on O’Connell St. You may have to do a double take to find the place. Then again, given that there’s a crowd outside a lot of the time, you may only have to spot the throng of people:
Well, that’s a good (and at the same time, terrible) sign!
Oh by the way, the pictures in this post are based on two visits, so you may find some inconsistencies (“but there was a crowd outside just then! Where did it go?).
Brewtown continues the naked brick scheme that so many restaurants have adopted. It’s a most routine sight now, though nothing wrong with that – saves money from fancy tiling while managing to look good. Can’t argue with that.
Pictured above is the breakfast menu.
Another trend that Brewtown is in on is that of the infamous cronut.
Cronut = croissant & donut (doughnut *ahem* that English).
An ideal cronut would be have the texture of a croissant (flaky, layered pastry) with the form and taste of a donut (sugary, fatty goodness).
You just know we were going to grab one of these for our breakfast “dessert”.
But first, a coffee for the day. As it was a warmish day (yeah, this was “back then”), I opted for the cold, strong stuff. A cold drip really hits the spot. It’s super bitter, with a bittersweet aftertaste, as cold drip often is.
Let’s just say I didn’t sleep well that night; I should really lay off the cold drip now that I think about it.
My love for hash is all-encompassing, so if I see it on the menu, it’s mine! Brewtown’s version is a corned beef hash. It’s great stuff, albeit not the best I’ve had (that would have to belong to Booth St Bistro). A bit too oily, and the beef a tad less flavoursome than I’d have liked.
That said, the eggporn below makes things alright 😀
Call me un-Australian, but I’m not a big fan of beetroot. Thus it’s pretty stunning that I would label the beetroot cured ocean trout as a favourite, and a signature dish of Brewtown.
Seems like that while I may not be much of a beetroot fan, I’m a sucker for the vegetable used as a curing agent. The flavour it brings to the trout is amaze, and well worth it. The fact that the trout is a stunner does its part in escalating this dish to signature status.
Oh, and who can fault the timeless combo of avo smash on toast? Easy seller.
Going down a far guiltier path, we have the Elvis burger, which is quite possibly one of the tastiest café dishes I’ve had in a long time. This is just great – a cronut burger? Seriously? Give it to me now!
It’s oily, which may be off-putting, but boy is it delicious. The flakiness of the cronut pastry, but kept under control by the copious amount of fanciful gruyere is only the start. Pile on the beef ‘n’ bacon combo and finish off with some huge chips and it’s an instant winner.
I wonder how many hours of treadmill I would need to burn this baby off. Worth every minute of the exercise.
On the other end of the health spectrum, we’ve got a poached chicken salad w/quinoa. So I suppose you could order this and share it with the Elvis burger, if that makes you feel any better.
It’s a good salad, with plenty of textural elements (I LOVE roasted cauliflower), but as I always feel: “needs more chicken”.
Still, I’m actually a big fan of quinoa, so it wouldn’t be remiss of me to order this salad for myself, but the reality is, I’d probably default to the fattier stuff. Such is me!
I haven’t tasted this dish personally, but there’s been plenty of social media and blogs on it. I’m personally unsure how to take the baked polenta w/mushrooms. Some people loved it, others have found it too heavy, too “much”. Shouldn’t be a hard choice to make if you’re a polenta fan though.
I’ll spare the hype relating to the cronuts, since if you’re reading this you’re probably aware of it all already, and perhaps have even tried a few.
Brewtown’s cronuts are decent, but I really feel that cronuts should be served warm. When cold, there’s a more rigidity in the pastry, thus the flakiness of the pastry is muted, and the result is a denser-tasting, more donut-like texture.
So nothing really that great, but not all bad either if you’re into this craze.
Brewtown offers several variants of cronut – for something more adventurous, try the strawberry glaze! Then again, they do change all the time so check in on the day.
Alternatively, there are plenty of other sweet baked goods to try from – you’re not left wanting.
Brewtown’s venue has an upper level which is leased out to a different business – O’Connell Street Merchants.
As expected of eclectic Newtown, the place sells a mix of accessories and clothing.
The place is worth browsing through, but there’s something else on this level for the food lovers as well…
Well how about that? Certainly the only place I know of that offers a cronut affogato. Using Brewtown’s cronuts and gelato from the much-vaunted Cow and the Moon, this has been the talk of the town.
We were fairly lucky, because the gelato is only restocked once a week on the Monday, and we came on a Sunday. As such, there was very little gelato left, perhaps enough for only two more affogatos. Unfortunately, this also meant that there was only the coconut gelato flavour left. We were eyeing the rum & raisin! Still, we did our duty and snapped them up.
With a shot of espresso, it makes for a mean second dessert. If you don’t manage to get some ice cream with every spoonful, you’ll be punished with the bitterness of a pure espresso shot. Be warned there – not even the sugary cronut will save you.
Overall, an interesting combo, though I wouldn’t try it again, simply because it’s a bit rich for me. Worth one try though, for the novelty more than anything.
Brewtown, with its second-level mini-mart is a solid package. There’s great food on offer, breaking ground with a savoury cronut offering shining amongst a solid bedrock of durable café fare. Newtown residents will have a new haunt for the months to come.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀
- Unique menu offerings with wide variety
- Savoury cronut is a winner
Not so Awesome:
- Overall quality of food is decent, not fantastic