Move over cronuts. The cruffin is in town. Cruffin? That's a croissant crossed with a muffin, the latest baking hybrid to hit the counter at Brewtown, Newtown.
Kees van der Westen espresso machine
Since opening a year ago, Brewtown Newtown has cemented itself as a local favourite. It's more unusual to walk straight in and sit down, than to join the snaking queue. The ex-bookshop (it used to be a Berkelouw Books store) has been converted into a buzzy cafe. Run by the same crew as Gnome, coffee is at the forefront of its priorities. That means a Kees van der Westen espresso machine at the front, and a Steampunk Mod by Alpha Dominiche brewing filter coffee to exact specifications.
Cold brew coffee $6
On a hot summer's day, we went with the cold brew - mellow and rounded with citrus notes - and the iced black coffee. They don't add ice cream to their iced coffee which means you still get the taste of coffee, not sugar, with every mouthful.
Iced black coffee with milk $3.50
90s Nightmare $12
Mediterranean vegetables bruschetta, basil pesto, olives, spicy white bean mash and parmesan
The breakfast and lunch menus are both available all day. That means you can have grilled black sausages or Belgian waffles at 8am or 3pm. Mr Manchego, however, is more than happy to embrace the 90s Nightmare, a cheeky rendition of bruschetta. It's a door-stop sized slab of sourdough toast smothered with a panfried spicy white bean mash and then piled high with grilled mushrooms, red capsicum, fennel and watercress. Drizzles of pesto, dabs of olive tapenade and shavings of parmesan cheese complete the flashback.
Rare sesame crust yellow fin tuna $24
with cucumber and seaweed salad and wasabi mayonnaise
I'm tempted to get the Elvis - a beef patty with Canadian bacon sandwiched between a savoury Brewnut - but end up ordering the rare sesame crust yellow fin tuna instead. I'm so glad I did.
Rare sesame crust yellow fin tuna
It's a masterfully executed dish, two huge slices of rare tuna cooked evenly around its perimeter while the centre remains a soft and silky pink. The bed of cucumber and seaweed salad is sweet and acidic, the fine julienne of cucumber adding a delicate elegance. Everything gets mopped up in a generous drizzle of wasabi mayonnaise. I scrape my plate clean.
With lunch out of the way, I'm scoping out all the desserts. The chocolate muffins on the counter beckon, but it's hard not to be drawn into the army of Brewnuts, their version of the cronut that first appeared at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York.
The Brewnuts are stacked inside and on top of the glass counter at the front. It's extraordinarily hard to choose.
Passionfruit curd brewnut $6
Glazed brewnut $4.50
Candied pineapple, coconut cream, cranberry and pistachio brewnut $6
Cinnamon brewnut $4.50
I go with the classic cinnamon brewnut, the lofty ring dusted in cinnamon sugar.
There's a good cross-section of layers although it's a little heavier than the Dominique Ansel original.
Nutella crunch cruffin $6
And I can't resist the Nutella crunch cruffin either.
Hazelnuts on the Nutella crunch cruffin
The muffin-shaped swirl of croissant dough is crowned with Nutella and a generous crust of crushed hazelnuts.
Inside the cruffin, there's a bounty of oozing Nutella goodness. It's like striking liquid gold. There's much to like here: the flaky croissant edges at the top, the crunch of hazelnuts, and that honeypot of Nutella that makes everything all right with the world.
Egyptian rose ice tea $6
And while the upstairs balcony has been used in the past to host O'Connell Merchants, we hear that Brewtown will soon be expanding to use it as a permanent bakery selling sourdough breads and more. We can't wait. Bring on the carbs.
Diners inside Brewtown
6-8 O'Connell Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9519 2920
Open 7 days 8am-4pm
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
The original cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York
Newtown - Luxe Bakery Cafe
Newtown - The Pie Tin
Surry Hills - Gnome Espresso and Wine Bar
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12/21/2014 03:56:00 am