Cuckoo Callay Winter Menu
Disclaimer: TGWATW were invited to sample the new winter menu at Cuckoo Callay but all our opinions are purely our own.
Cuckoo Callay is the eccentric aunt that concocts surreal dishes in her tiny kitchen, turning the most modest of brunches into something quite marvellous. She's never cooked a bad egg in her life, loves cats more than Professor Umbridge and keeps the television at a constant blare to stay up to date with her daytime soaps and cooking shows. She's the cool aunt living in Newtown, smoking a ciggie as she takes a drag from her green juice because ... because it's not of your business and you ain't fam.
We girls have been longtime adorers of this alcove cafe a convenient stones throw from Newtown Station and so we were excited to sample their new menu - necessary because Winter is coming . Our verdict? Just because the night is dark and full of terrors doesn't mean the treachery of an over-cooked egg or soggy chips need blight the day.
We felt like Christmas had come early when asked if we wanted mulled wine with our meal. Is the answer ever no?, we thought to ourselves while shouting out cries of YES! Infused with whole cinnamon quills, star anise and orange, a deeply maroon and still-misting jug of vintage red wine was the perfect beginning to our meal. Delightfully warming, aromatic but not too boozy mmm...
Feeling a little #basic, I ordered a soy chai latte - not sickly sweet, not too milky - and gave it the 'juuust right' Goldilocks tick of approval.
A dangerously addictive dish, Magic Mushrooms was greeted with a warm ooooh as it was set upon our table. A belly-warming huddle of creamy mushrooms and wilted spinach on a bed of rustic sourdough. the crowning glory was the impeccable crumbed egg with its oozy core. Cherry tomatoes were vividly sweet and provided a nice pop against a rich and heady dish. Truffle flavour possessed more bark than bite. More would have given the dish oomph and earthiness.
Our budding vegan in training, Stayc can’t help but munch on a well-seasoned bean lifted from the plate as Ange focuses her lens on the lush greenery-laden dish. The avocado smash is ripe and slightly acidic and the dish overflows with a verdant heaping of kale, broccolini and green beans. I felt the green-eyed monster stir within me as this dish was placed at the opposite end of the table (such are the perils of sharing food!). Nevertheless, when my turn to dig in came, I relished every nutrient-dense dukkah-smothered bite gleefully.
And my favourite dish of the day? While it's hard to choose, the Holy Grail lived up to its (somewhat sacrilegious but delicious) promise and was a perfect winter-warmer. Lusciously fall-apart beef brisket, a pleasingly robust hash, gritty earthen sweetness from shredded carrot, cabbage and leek....mmm heaven! I shovelled in tender mouthfuls with the provided olive-scented sourdough, each bite anointed by tangy beetroot hollandaise.
Bacon Mac Daddy again was a crowd pleaser, a beamingly golden dish with creamy oodles of mac n' cheese and a lazy tongue of bacon swaddled in a fat lil' croissant. A poached egg provided the proverbial cherry on top, the runny yolk soaking into every crispy crevice of flaky pastry.
The Sugar Coma
Sometimes people that are frosty on the surface end up being the sweetest and most warming of friends - you just gotta break the ice first. This too applied to our Breaking the Rice dish - under a rosy sorbet facade existing a fragrant huddle of creamy rice pudding. Rhubarb sorbet and freeze-dried raspberries provided measured acidity to match the sweetly velvet rosewater mascarpone, with nutty crumble thrown in for texture. Very filling and quite sweet, it is best served as a dessert between friends.
Umm so holy crap, bring your fat pants because this baby could have you bursting at the seams. As if the rice pudding wasn't enough already, we ordered The Lost Cookie of Pompeii after our waitress described it as a big cube of cookie filled with molten chocolate (she said other stuff too but I stopped listening...).
It is a testament to how sturdy the cookie walls are that it took a few cracks to dissect but upon doing so, the chocolate erupted in molten glory smothering everything in its wake. Goodbye meticulous floral garnish! The combination of peanut butter mascarpone, bruleed bananas, creme anglaise, buttery cookie and chocolate lava were crazily indulgent. Chocolate-covered pop rocks felt like miniature explosions in the mouth. A good dessert but you'd be well advised to share!
Cuckoo, you've done it again and this is why we keep coming back for more! A huge thank you to the manager Ibby, who organised for us to visit and sample the winter menu. We visited almost a month ago and I think I'm still full!
324 King St, Newtown