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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Brewtown Newtown

Nutella crunch cruffin at Brewtown Newtown

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 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 at Brewtown Newtown
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 at Brewtown Newtown
Iced black coffee with milk $3.50

90s Nightmare vegetable bruschetta at Brewtown Newtown
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 at Brewtown Newtown
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 at Brewtown Newtown
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.

Chocolate muffins at Brewtown Newtown
Chocolate muffins

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.

Brewnut menu at Brewtown Newtown
Brewnut menu

The Brewnuts are stacked inside and on top of the glass counter at the front. It's extraordinarily hard to choose.

Passionfruit curd brewnut cronut at Brewtown Newtown
Passionfruit curd brewnut $6

Glazed brewnut cronut at Brewtown Newtown
Glazed brewnut $4.50

Glazed brewnut cronut at Brewtown Newtown
Glazed brewnut 

Candied pineapple brewnut cronut at Brewtown Newtown
Candied pineapple, coconut cream, cranberry and pistachio brewnut $6

Cinnamon brewnut cronut at Brewtown Newtown
Cinnamon brewnut $4.50

I go with the classic cinnamon brewnut, the lofty ring dusted in cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon brewnut cronut layers at Brewtown Newtown
Brewnut cross-section

There's a good cross-section of layers although it's a little heavier than the Dominique Ansel original.

Nutella crunch cruffin at Brewtown Newtown
Nutella crunch cruffin $6

And I can't resist the Nutella crunch cruffin either.

Hazelnuts on the Nutella crunch cruffin at Brewtown Newtown
Hazelnuts on the Nutella crunch cruffin 

The muffin-shaped swirl of croissant dough is crowned with Nutella and a generous crust of crushed hazelnuts.

Nutella crunch cruffin at Brewtown Newtown
Nutella innards

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 at Brewtown Newtown
Egyptian rose ice tea $6

Looking for a counter balance to all that sweetness? The Egyptian rose ice tea works wonders, not overly strong on the rose front, but a welcome respite from the sugar rush.

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 Newtown
Diners inside Brewtown

Brewnut and cruffin counter at Brewtown Newtown

Brewtown Newtown on Urbanspoon

Brewtown Newtown
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
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/21/2014 03:56:00 am


  • At 12/21/2014 7:06 am, Anonymous john | heneedsfood said…

    Great news about the upcoming bakery upstairs. I haven't been back to Brewtown since visiting a couple of times after they opened. That queue can be a joke sometimes. And amazing how the Brewnut/cruffin thing has taken off. Talk about perpetuating a craze!

  • At 12/21/2014 7:52 am, Anonymous ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    I love the name 90s Nightmare and it looks pretty good too though I'm happy to preserve my virginity for cronuts and cruffins.

  • At 12/21/2014 5:37 pm, Anonymous missklicious said…

    you can't go wrong with nutella!

  • At 12/21/2014 8:49 pm, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    I have never had a cruffin or a cronut or should I be keeping that to myself? I do love these cafes/bakeries in Newtown - my son is forever fond of them and I'm surprised you didn't bump into him xx

  • At 12/21/2014 9:55 pm, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    I need to visit Brewtown again soon for them cruffins! I do much prefer the cold brew to taste and savour the coffee's flavour notes.

  • At 12/22/2014 4:17 am, Anonymous Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    I feel like I'm the only person who's never been to Brewtown! Luckily I have The Baron at close proximity to help with any brewnut cravings but I guess I should pay homage to the original one day :)

  • At 12/22/2014 7:56 am, Anonymous Cindy (a foodie's joy) said…

    Hi Helen, would you believe me if I said I have yet to check it out? It just shows how slow off the mark I am!

  • At 12/22/2014 8:11 am, Blogger MAB vs Food said…

    How awesome is the nutella cruffin right? I like them better than the cronuts as i found it less oily.

  • At 12/22/2014 12:36 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    I've had a few cronuts now, but no cruffins as yet...I'll need to trek back to Newtown soon to try it!

  • At 12/23/2014 7:52 am, Blogger Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said…

    I adore the cronuts there, so delicious :D
    Got to head back again!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • At 12/23/2014 9:00 am, Anonymous Amanda @lambsearsandhoney said…

    Wow, that tuna looks just amazing and a sensibly light start to leave room for all those wonderful baked goods. I suspect the cruffin would have been my choice - I can't go past chocolate ever.

  • At 12/23/2014 9:23 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    they have a tuna salad? whoa.. this is the first time i've seen something healthy ish at brewtown or should i say besides the cronuts lol

  • At 12/23/2014 11:05 pm, Anonymous Felicia @ Next Stop: Food said…

    OMG. How good does the tuna look! And yes please to Nutella cruffin!

  • At 12/26/2014 1:07 pm, Anonymous DroolWorthyWorld said…

    Cronuts, cruffins! What will they think of next! I've been to Brewtown Newtown but only tried their savoury Elvis inspired cronut. Still yet to try their sweet cronuts and now have the cruffin to add to the list!

  • At 1/08/2015 9:57 pm, Anonymous Sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    I will admit I'm not really a fan of cronuts, or brewnuts in the case. The cruffin does look like it may have some potential, will have to give them a go.

  • At 2/04/2015 6:36 pm, Anonymous Kate @ foodiesagenda said…

    Those cruffins look immense...in a good way. Will have to give them a whirl

  • At 11/23/2015 7:43 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Have to come back for brekkie/lunch next time<3 I went here for cronuts last time.


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