Discover: Brewtown Newtown

You wouldn’t be blamed for walking right past Brewtown Newtown, or even not knowing that it existed.

To get there you must pass the eclectic mish-mash that is Newtown. My journey took me towards the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, then along the windows of Elizabeth’s bookstore, and a final left at the sweet-smelling Chocolate Room.

So by the time I got there I was ready to eat.

And I walked straight past it.

The minimalist signage of Brewtown Newtown, accompanied with the floor-to-ceiling windows leaves little warning to the casual onlooker that behind lies some of the best coffee in the city.

Sequestered off the main King Street Brewtown Newtown sits at 6-8 O’Connell Street, and features an ‘artisan’ bakery, coffee roastery and clothing store.

It was as if I’d died and gone to hipster heaven.

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The interior of the café pays homage to the late 19h Century warehouse in which it resides. Dark exposed rafters adorn the ceiling, complimented by the heavy industrial fans that waft the aroma of coffee to every corner.

Despite the dark rafters and exposed brickwork Brewtown Newtown is filled with light; mostly from the huge windows that run the length of the shop front.

The darkness is also expelled by the wait staff.

After taking my seat at one of the table rows that seat only couples I was greeted by the most joy-filled waitress I’ve ever met.

In all appearances, every employee of Brewtown Newtown seemed to genuinely enjoy speaking with me and the other customers, whether it be about their day, or simply the weather. Which overall made the whole experience delightfully memorable.

Now to the important bit; the food.

Brewtown Newtown is renowned for its Elvis burger; a delicious monstrosity filled with ground beef, savory brewnut, Canadian bacon, gruyere and mayo served with chips and relish.

Unfortunately, it was not my day to tackle the beast. The heat of the day and the limited space in my stomach led me to a different tasty dish.

The wood smoked salmon salad with goat’s cheese, caper berries and baby beets is the perfect thing on a warm Australian day.

Doused with a delectable dressing of unknown origin the salmon salad was a lovely companion to my espresso blend flat white, as I was too afraid to attempt any of their four single origin blends.


The ‘steampunk’ of Ethiopia was particularly intimidating, combined with the tortuous looking natural press machine, I was glad for the availability of my elementary caffeinated beverage.

Despite the severity of its coffee machines, for me, Brewtown Newtown, offers a delectable space to chill out amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as a damn fine brew.


Is Sydney the best city to discover new food?

What makes Sydney one of the greatest cities in the world? Is it the beatific harbour views? Or the lovely sunshine? What makes Sydney so special to so many people around the world?

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Well the answer is obvious.

It’s food.

Sydney is home to some of the most delicious, most inspired, and most daring dishes on the planet. So it’s natural for people to fall in love with the harbour city.

There are three reasons why Sydney has such an invigorating culinary industry;

  1. Constant new blood
  2. Endless variety
  3. Revolutionary innovation

Constant New Blood

Sydney’s restaurants are forever redefining themselves. In suburbs such as Newtown and Surrey Hills it’s common to become misled when the Japanese restaurant you went to last week is today an avant-garde Nordic bar.

But it is this constant thirst for originality and freshness that brings new life and new food to Sydney.

  • Hubert
  • Recently opened Hubert is a restaurant like no other. The new addition to Bligh Street, Sydney boasts a retro Parisian theme and menu to match. Dishes such as terrines and blood cakes are mixed with modern styled deserts such as melon en surprise to make a truly inimitable dining experience.
  • Acre
  • A restaurant that delights in the trend of farm-to-table, Acre in Camperdown is a newly made country haven in the middle of the city. Meals such as beef cheek with oxtail with parsnip, raisins and chocolate give the restaurant a high-end menu, but in the comfort of the rustic eatery.


Endless Variety

Australia is renowned as a multicultural country. With people from all over the world gracing our shores with their fascinating culture and delightful food.

  • Kammadhenu
  • A combination of Malaysian, South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, Kammadhenu located in Homebush includes a varied menu that will leave you deciding for hours.
  • Al Aseel
  • This Lebanese restaurant from Lakemba will have you wondering how you’ve lived so long without trying chicken shawarma; a sliced kebab style marinated chicken served on a bed of onions.

Revolutionary Innovation

Even If the restaurant itself isn’t new, Sydney’s eating dens are constantly looking to one-up another, in the ever entertaining challenge of the most bizarre food in the city.

  • El Topo
  • Often cited as ‘the best Mexican food in Sydney’ El Topo has no fear when it comes to creating the latest and weirdest meals around. At the moment they feature ‘chaplines’ also known as roasted crickets, especially imported from Mexico. But don’t scream yet, flavoured with chilli garlic and lime these little insects provide one unique and delicious experience.
  • est.
  • Not one of Sydney’s best kept secrets est. in the CBD features a bountiful menu that will leave you salivating despite the long booking wait. One of their more innovative creations is the venison saddle with salt baked Jerusalem artichoke, boudin noir, prunes and coffee crumbs.

Nordic What?

Take a step into the wild north with Sydney’s latest trend; Nordic dining.

Australia is renowned for its multiculturalism, our music, our fashion, and our food arrive in our country from all corners of the globe. It is easy to step into any of our great cities and experience the taste of many countries and places that you have never visited.

But what about the landscapes of Scandinavia?

Amidst the plethora of Thai shops, Chinese restaurants, and Lebanese cuisine a new culture has come to our shores; Nordic dining.

Although still a relatively niche market Nordic restaurants and bars have begun their slow integration into our already overflowing industry of foreign food.

Three of these Scandinavian havens have made their way to Sydney, and all of them are already developing a cult following.

As of today we have Norsk Dor, which is a Viking-themed restaurant and bar on Pitt Street. The low dining-hall styled restaurant sends you back to the time of pillages and seafaring, but with the deliciousness of modern-day Sydney.


As one satisfied customer by the name of Priscilla, put it on ‘’, “Loved this place. Good atmosphere and nice decor. Delicious food full of flavour. Great staff, friendly, knowledgeable and gave us great advice as to how much and what to order. The venison was cooked to perfection and I tried the duck too which was packed with flavours. Delicious! Highly recommend it!”

Then we also have Sven’s Viking Pizza out of Coogee, which is a curious combination of Swedish toppings on the classic Italian dish. The fun of this place comes from its menu; where every dish is named after a god or member of Nordic mythology.




Some interesting bites include, ‘YGGDRASIL- The World Tree’, which features garlic and chilli marinated king prawns, crispy pancetta, roma tomatoes, and chèvre. As well as ‘RAGNAROK- Judgement Day’, but this end-of-the-world slice offers Spanish chorizo, pepperoni, smoked ham, and spicy red chilli crème.

Lastly we have Nordic B, from Newtown, who aren’t kidding when they say, ‘Nordic food and drinks. You name it, we have it!”

This home away from home for the Scandinavian expats of our country boasts the most comphrensive assortment of Nordic drinks you’ve ever seen this far south of the equator.

As Nordic B owner Leif Kivela said, “Most of the food and alcohol we offer is not available anywhere else in Sydney. The only truly Nordic restaurant and bar in Sydney.”

The dimly lit restaurant and bar combination screams its Nordic heritage from the moment you pull open the door.




Exposed plasterboard with green foliage poking through the cracks gives the first impression of a room unfinished. But when combined with the other unadorned white walls, and low hanging lights, Nordic B reveals its charms, and the plasterboard now shows the owner’s Viking-esq connection with the earth.

The ownership of Nordic B is split three ways. “This is a family-company with 3 partners where Leif has most responsibility and myself and Ben less. Ben is not related to us but is a very good friend,” co-owner Mari Jaatinen said.

The little piece of Nordic heaven made its grand opening on the 28th of May this year. Still only a new kid on the busy King Street of Newtown, Kivela and his family fight every day to get more business through their wood-and-glass front doors. As Kivela revealed it took much blood, sweat and tears to get their restaurant open in the first place, and since then has been a rollercoaster of emotions to run.

Of Finnish and Swedish background, Australian born Kivela has always wanted to set up his house of Nordic delights in progressive Newtown.

“I grew up with and love Nordic food and alcohol. I also love Newtown and thought it to be a good spot for something like this as people there are quite sophisticated and open minded to new things,” Kivela said.

And it seems that has proven true for the trio, with many people of Nordic origin or influence coming to taste a little bit of their culture.

“My most favourite thing is to see and chat to people. Almost everyone who comes there has some kind of connection to some of the Nordic countries, either they just love the food and drinks, or they have family from there,” Jaatinen said.

And the food is truly something to be tasted yourself.

The Swedish meatballs are particularly delectable, and lovingly homemade as the menu states: “Grand moms favourite recipe made from a mix of pork and beef. Pick from our three fabulous options, served with rosemary gravy and lingonberry jam.”

The Danish lima beans on rye are also a dish that fills and delights, as even the small entrée portion on dark rye bread beats any hunger pains you may have.

But none of this even compares to the drinks menu at Nordic B, which was meant to be Nordic Bar, but shortened due to council regulation issues. Even if the bar is hidden in the name, it sure isn’t hidden in the restaurant itself.



Particularly memorable was the ‘Lemon Icicle’; a refreshing cocktail made with real lemon juice, Aalborg porse schnapps, vodka and lemonade. This drink will certainly make you feel like you’ve left the warmth of Sydney for the cold delights of Iceland or Norway. Another icy treat is ‘Sex on the Snow’, another cocktail of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice.

Overall Nordic B is a home for people of all cultures to try and taste their piece of the cold north, as well as for those who miss their home.

“Of course I love working in this place, when it’s Nordic, it is like a part of you… [There’s] a lot of stories, and of course I love to spread the knowledge about the rumours and truths about the Nordic’s alcohol consumption and weird habits,” said Jaatinen.

So step out into our great city and grab a piece of authentic Nordic culture wherever you can; they’re ready to welcome you with open arms.

Hot Plates: Addie’s Speciality Tea Room, Sydney

From marshmallow covered tabletops to porcelain bunny rabbits hidden in secret crevices, Addie’s Speciality Tea Room is a dip into Wonderland.

The tiny tea room located in a quiet suburb of South West Sydney does not boast a full menu of exotic mains, but rather features a small selection of home-baked scones, slices, and cakes, all lovingly prepared by its owner, Caroline Kourlouris.

“I bake whatever I feel like, anything out the front is not a given… it’s just what I feel like baking,” Caroline said, adding that Addie’s is “basically a pancake parlour that sells some toasted sandwiches and bacon and eggs,”


This unpredictability gives Addie’s its unique sample of daily treats, which keep its customers coming from all over Sydney.

“The other day we had women from Mona Vale, which is huge.”

Found opposite St. Anne’s Church in Hammondville, Addie’s Speciality Tea Room is a picturesque setting; completed by the candy-striped walls and delicate artwork.

Nicole Panetta, a local mother and an employee of Caroline since February 2016, adores the tranquillity that Addie’s and its surrounds gives her after 33 years in the travel industry.

“It’s very welcoming…and just lovely.”

Yet the reality of getting Addie’s Speciality Tea Room off the ground has not been the dream that Caroline once thought it would be.

Initially Caroline Kourlouris wanted something very different from the Wonderland-themed tea room that now poses between a residential area and a carpark. In 2007 Caroline and her sister began their original adventure as children party stylists, under the name Addie and Me. From Mosman to Canberra the pair would travel, when the strain of such distance just grew too much.

Thus Caroline began looking for a permanent place to house her parties of wonder and delight for children. In 2010 a block of shops was set to be developed only a few minutes away from Caroline’s front door. Caroline signed for the premise of Addie’s that year, but it was another three years before the she was able to move in.

Addie and Me came to Hammondville in 2013, however at this point it was not a tea room, but a children’s party parlour; a set and local location to Caroline’s established business as a party host. The newly designed Addie’s boasted floral décor and handmade dolls that lined the shelves; a true children’s Wonderland.

“Why sometimes I’ve believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” This quote from Lewis Carroll adorns the wall above the marshmallow tables.


And it seemed, briefly, like Caroline’s Wonderland had truly come to fruition. But it was not the end of trials and tribulations that Addie’s would have to overcome to be the delightful spot for local chit chat and coffee that it is today.

“[Addie and Me] didn’t work as a children’s party place, we found the room was too small. We tried to make it as big as we could, within what we had…we decided that the children’s events just weren’t going to work so we decided to make it a tea room, which works a little better than that, except that the kitchen is not equipped… but here we are.”

Despite this struggle of theme and space, Caroline forges ahead, and gives her food everything she can.

“I love baking, and I love it when someone loves what I bake.”

From the delectable three stack of pancakes, served with ice cream, chocolate sauce and strawberries to the locally-famous BRAT sandwich, made up of bacon, rocket, avocado and tomato on toasted sourdough, it seems that despite the difficulties Addie’s Speciality Tea Room is serving up some gourmet food, for homemade prices.

This deliciousness has not gone completely unawares in the community either.  Only the second café to sprout in the rapidly redeveloping area of Hammondville, Addie’s Speciality Tea Room has provided a magical place for the residents of the area, especially for the parents of children who attend Hammondville Primary School, located across the road from Addie’s.

“I think [Addie’s] brought a wonderful meeting place to the community,” Said Nicole of the impact of Addie’s on the local community.

“Mum’s can catch up for a quick coffee…I think it’s added a lot to the community.”

And yet, despite this relative success, Caroline is not out of the woods yet. The battle to run her business single-handedly, and raise four children is one she is not winning. As she describes it, “It’s difficult, difficult. I’m in trouble with everyone. Everyday, everyday I’m in the poop with someone.”

The harmony of Caroline’s life in Wonderland has steadily faded.

“Whether it’s a customer that is pissed off that my avocadoes are not soft enough, or my kids that didn’t get what they wanted in their lunches.”

This strain between business and family is evident at Addie’s; which is not open on Sunday or Monday and only opens at 9am on other days.

“I’m not equipped as a single owner of this, to put the hours in of a normal coffee shop, because I’ve got four kids.” This teetering balance has had a huge impact on the success of Addie’s Speciality Tea Room; whose local rival is able to snatch up those early morning coffee customers.

Location is also playing a role in the overall success of Caroline’s venture.

“A normal day is hit and miss, it’s never predictable. We are not in a great location for a tea room.”

Despite the lovely views of the neighbouring church, Addie’s location on the outer edge of the local Hammondville shops prevents the usual foot traffic that could boost the tea room’s customer base.

“A lot of people don’t know what we are. A lot of people, local people have never been in…”


Yet even all the odds in the world won’t stop Caroline from pursuing her greatest passion; baking. “[Addie’s] allows you to be creative with food… I love baking.”

And people love her baking, as Nicole Panetta describes her favourite treats from Addie’s display, “The scones… oh no that’s hard, the lemon syrup…both.”

Although, according to Caroline, the most popular item on the menu is one of Sydney’s greatest trends of 2016, the avocado smash. Made at Addie’s with homemade chilli jam, avocado, and sourdough, this one might actually be the best in Sydney.

Hopefully one day soon the rest of the world will see Addie’s Speciality Tea Room for the Wonderland that it truly is.

As Lewis Carroll put it: “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”