Cuckoo Callay - Bacon Month

Address: 324a King Street, Newtown, New South Wales 2042

Parking:  Public street parking

Opening hours:

Mon to Fri: 6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Phone: (02) 9557 7006

Reservation: None

Price: $$

Payment options: Cash and EFTPOS

In a nutshell… their bacon menu is zany, versatile and over-enthusiastically dorky for pork. We love it when food doesn’t take itself too seriously and Cuckoo serves up quality dishes with zero pretension. Avoid if you are allergic to dad jokes or pork - stick to their seasonal menu!

Value: Cuckoo is generally reasonable for city prices and the portion reflects pricing. I’ve never left Cuckoo hungry.

Service: Attentive and friendly

Positives: Our favourites are the bacon mac daddy, zucchini and feta fritters and devil-ish doughnut.

Negatives: While I admire their commitment to the cause, the bacon influence is pushed a bit too far in some dishes resulting in a meal that can be overpowering if you have a preference for plainer food. We didn’t love the fooled pork burger (we are carnivores hear us ROAR) and at times felt there was too much bacon on the plate. Never thought that would be a problem until I tried 9 bacon dishes in one sitting haha.

Pictured: Bacon All the Rules

Disclaimer: TGWATW were invited to Bacon Brewfest and an unveiling of Cuckoo Callay’s bacon menu by Lauren of Wasamedia PR but all comments and opinions are strictly our own.

Don’t go bacon my heart,
I couldn’t if I fried
Honey I could go meatless
Baby you’re not that kind

Elton John’s lesser known duet “Don’t go bacon my heart”

Whatever ails ye, bacon is the cure (note: this does not apply to dieters and the non-meat-eating faction). At the second annual Bacon Brewfest which took place at Central Park on Saturday 27th Feb, some of the industry’s biggest and brightest influencers came along to play alongside Cuckoo Callay, a Newtown cafe where the event first debuted. If the names Black Star Pastry, Mr Bao, Anna Polyviou and N2 Extreme Gelato don’t mean anything to you, I cry for your soul. Washed down with a tipple of bacon beer, alcoholic concoctions by Ramblin’ Rascals and assorted craft beers from 4 Pines, Two Birds and Feral Brewing Co., I can confirm that we will be giddy until Oktoberfest!

Exclusive to the Bacon Brewfest event, the donuts were supplied by Grumpy Doughnuts, Piggy Cakes by John Ralley from Textbook Boulangerie, macarons by MakMak Macarons.

If you missed out on the fun and unspent calories, there’s no need to get too salty. Cuckoo Callay is serving up a pork-centric menu alongside their seasonal menu and what's more? We have the scoop! TGWATW were recently invited to sample the blasphemously Baconian menu, available for 12 weeks from March 1st. The menu highlights the best of Australian Pork, with pork sourced from multi-award winning Bangalow Sweet Pork, which only uses small locally owned family farms, focusing on animal welfare and sustainable agricultural practices.

But enough chin-wagging from me. You know why you’re reading this post.

I killed Elvis milkshake - spiced pumpkin pie with candied maple bacon, whipped cream, ginger biscuits and peanut butter $12
(Source: The Daily Telegraph)

Let this be a sign of the sweet, sweet hedonism ahead. The I killed Elvis milkshake throws dietary caution well into the wind with its thick rim of peanut butter (an Elvis favourite) and haphazard necklace of ginger cookie, so decadent it may just kill you! It is a ridiculously creamy milkshake that tastes like a cross between a chai latte and eggnog with plenty of ice-cream to thicken it up (not that it really needs it!). A little pricey but calorie to dollar ratio is ON POINT. Ghost of Elvis Presley, if you’re reading this you really need to make Cuckoo Callay your new haunt.

Bacon Mac Daddy - Double smoked bacon, bacon mac n cheese, fried egg and bacony tomato jam in a toasted croissant $16
The bacon mac daddy is unscrupulously good, a velvety ooze of cheesy macaroni, double-smoked bacon and barely set egg swaddled in a buttery croissant. The flakiness and chew on the croissant is unreal, the fattiness undercut by a sweetly porcine tomato jam. It makes us happy as a pig in mud!

Fooled Pork Burger - Fooled pork, Gruyere cheese and Asian slaw on a toasted brioche $16
Not one of us are fooled by the jackfruit which replaces pulled pork in Cuckoo’s sole vegetarian number. Unripe jackfruit has a sinewy, meat-like texture and mild taste that while inoffensive, lacked heartiness. Still, the asian slaw rumbles on with slow-burning acidity, combining julienned carrots, coriander, capsicum, cucumbers and chilli. It is a deft little burg which carries the lingering notes of south-east asia, quite good in its own right but I fear it may need bacon.

Pig Deal Fritter - Double smoked bacon, feta and zucchini fritters, bacon jam, jalapeño, avocado corn salsa and a poached egg $21

Crispy, piping-hot and two shades beyond golden-brown, the zucchini fritters are airy puffs of herb green notched with pools of feta. Brunch meets mexican in this gutsy little dish, the jalapeño and creamy avocado corn salsa packing a heat that has some (weaker) individuals reaching for their water glasses. Bacon jam and a poached egg bring this meal back into basic bitch brunch territory but whoa, a siesta is in order after all this food.

Pig in a Box - A bacon box with pork and camembert filling, roasted truss tomatoes, spinach puree and tomato jam served with a poached egg $22
When a box is made of bacon rashers and filled with pork and camembert, you can safely assume that no one will be telling you to think outside the box. With a little elbow grease, the cheese is released from its porcine holding pen, a voluptuous ooze that quietly cradles its breakfast companions. An unassuming moss-green swipe, the spinach puree is the unsung hero of the dish - creamy, herbaceous, the stuff of Popeye’s fantasies.

Bacon all the Rules - Bacon steak, bacon sausage, maple bacon, double smoked bacon and bacony tomato jam served with 2 poached eggs on sourdough $24
Arguably the baconiest of all the dishes, Bacon all the Rules brings a new meaning to what it means to pig out with five counts of bacon to its name. The bacon steak is juicy and tender and while somewhat overwhelming, this big pig tasting plate allows us to recognise the subtle differences in flavour and preparation. Bacony tomato jam is a sweet and tangy wonderbalm to be applied liberally. Take with two doses of egg poached to gooey perfection and remember to balance the sodium with massive amounts of fluid.

Cherry Good Belly - Glazed pork belly, bacon potato rosti, sour cherry sauce and chargrilled brocollini $22
Slick, sophisticated and rib-stickingly sumptuous, the Cherry Good Belly is a tasty little number that would look more at place at a fine dining restaurant than at quirky Cuckoo. The pork belly shimmers like a desert mirage, its caramelised glaze sweetly puddling onto a crisp rosti base. The matter-of-fact tartness of sour cherry sauce and  refreshing crunch of brocollini make this extravagant affair a little easier to digest.

My Sweet Valenswine - Carrot cake waffle, house-made bacon and cinnamon ice cream, maple bacon, caramelised walnuts, fresh blueberries and freeze-dried mandarin $20
Having squirrelled away much of my savoury stomach to squander freely on dessert, I awaited My Sweet Valenswine with lovestruck eyes and a belly full of hope (and bacon). I confess however, with tail in between legs, that I don’t remember much about this dish but that the waffle was spongy and not overwhelmingly sweet, mopping up the fragrant cinnamon ice cream with aplomb. The flavour combination of cinnamon, bacon, maple and walnut worked wonders but we found the scattered blueberries and freeze-dried mandarin somewhat unnecessary.

Devil-ish Doughnut - House-made bacon and caramel ice cream, double smoked bacon, peanut butter mousse and salted peanut caramel served in a Milk Bar by Cafe Ish cinnamon doughnut  $18
In contrast, the Devil-ish Doughnut is a nonchalantly American-inspired creation hell-bent on bringing out the sinner within (before swiftly killing you!). If Snickers is your drug of choice, the siren call of peanut butter mousse and salted peanut caramel will leave you jittery and delirious like a junkie twitching for your next hit. Best administered orally with a side of double smoked bacon and a million spoonfuls of sugar (in the form of bacon-carramel ice cream and a Milk Bar cinnamon doughnut), you’ll die sooner but gosh darnit you’ll die happy.

We had a great deal of fun at Cuckoo and it was exciting to see their creative spirit reflected in the fun-loving dishes that don’t break the piggy bank. There was a real mindfulness to plating and we left feeling as swollen as a Christmas ham. 

Angela LiuComment