(Website at http://www.cuckoo-callay.com.au/)
Disembark from the train station in Newtown and you’ll literally find yourself face to face with this local icon. Set in a certified heritage building, the place is perpetually bustling and filled with the aroma of deliciously rich coffee (among other mouth-watering things).
The Cuckoo Callay recently celebrated its annual Bacon Festival, with the following offerings:
Bourbon Bacon Cuckootail: Bacon-infused bourbon with freshly pureed green apple juice, garnished with a skewer of sliced dill pickles. Smoky bacon aroma with the sweet tartness of apple– intriguing, and refreshing.
Drizzle Sticks: Light and crispy sticks of smoky bourbon bacon, smeared with dark chocolate and dusted with finely chopped hazelnuts. This took candy bars to a whole new porky level (with surprisingly minimal greasiness). These sweet-and-salty bites disappeared all too soon.
Bacon All the Rules: A mega-whammy of bacon awesomeness: maple bacon, bourbon bacon, a bacon-cured pork steak, bacon sausage, and bacon-crumbed poached eggs! Lots of punchy, heady, meaty and aromatic tastes and textures, rounded out by the comforting gooeyness of the poached eggs.
What a Croque of Bacon: Vintage cheddar and bacon croquettes, bourbon bacon, poached eggs, and pea purée. The croquettes were meltingly soft on the inside, with a delightfully light, crisp coating and a well balanced bite from the cheddar. The bacon was tender and crisp at the same time, with just the right amount of salty and sweet. And the poached eggs and pea purée’s delicate flavors and smooth, silky textures gave the heavier, solid components an extra hit of richness.
Ya Bacon Me Crazy: Thick buttermilk waffle with bacon, cinnamon and caramel ice cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, strips of maple bacon, and CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON!!! The waffle was wonderfully light, the bacon strips were amazingly crunchy and chewy at the same time, and the ice cream had an incredible balance of sweet creaminess and fragrant cinnamon. Plus, how can you go wrong with chocolate covered bacon!
For the non-bacon inclined, here are some items from Cuckoo Callay’s regular menu:
No More #Hashtags: Vintage cheddar and basil potato croquette, tomato braised kale and broad beans, parmesan crisp and 63° egg. I particularly enjoyed the heady cheese flavor in the croquette, and the parmesan crisp was delicately textured but big on sharp, savory flavor.
Purple Rain: Beetroot cured salmon, organic quinoa, chargrilled broccolini, sugar snap peas, avocado, kale, a tiny hint of chilli, feta cheese, toasted almonds and 63°poached egg. My friends and I all loved the pleasantly firm crunch of the veggies and almonds– they elevated the softer ingredients. We couldn’t detect any hint of chilli, but enjoyed the tart, briny tang of the feta. The beetroot-cured salmon was surprisingly sweet, in a good way.
Cold-Drip Coffee: Exactly as the name says, instead of extracting the coffee flavor by heating the coffee beans, this is done by steeping the beans overnight in cold water. The result is a rich brew with next to no bitterness– fragrant, almost flowery, with strong notes of dark chocolate.
This is just a small sample of Cuckoo Callay’s many tastebud-pleasers. We’ll definitely be back for more sometime– we’d be cuckoo not to!