Bite-sized Summary: A vibrant neighbourhood favourite known for its seasonal cafe menu alongside a wonderful range of freshly baked cakes and sweet treats. With a new dinner service just around the corner, diners can look forward to hearty winter warmers including the popular lamb ragù pappardelle with a subtle (and delicious!) Asian twist.
Located at the southern end of King Street (far end from Sydney Uni/Broadway), Sydneysiders can soon get their Flour Drum fix for breakfast, lunch AND dinner! All day long, this eclectic cafe will be serving up food that’s straight up good for the soul; think velvety soft and fluffy banoffee pancakes, a treasure trove of baked goods like giant cookies and pavlova cake, and smooth, silky house-made pasta with slow-cooked lamb ragù for dinner.
I was lucky enough to visit Flour Drum over the weekend as part of FCBA (Food Critics & Bloggers Australia) and was one of the first to try some dishes from their upcoming dinner menu. We were also treated to a brunch favourite and sampled lots of freshly baked goodies, which are made fresh on-site every day!
Salt & Pepper Squid
To start, we sampled a winter function canapé of salt and pepper squid. The batter was light, crisp and seasoned well, providing a perfect casing for the delicate and tender squid. A lovely starter and something I would be very happy to nibble on at a function.
Up next, one of the first new creations set to appear on the highly anticipated dinner menu as a special; beef rendang with cardamom and green peppercorn-infused jasmine rice and house-made mango chutney. A deliciously warm and fragrant dish with tender beef, which was rich in flavour from the addition of various spices and fresh herbs. The mango chutney itself was delicious and sweet, which created a whole new taste when eaten together with the meat and aromatic rice.
Potato-top Beef & Guinness Pie
Another dish, which will make an occasional appearance once Flour Drum opens for dinner later this month is their take on an Irish classic, the steak and Guinness pie. We’re told that slow cooked food is one of the chef/co-owner John Ageletos’ specialties, hence why the winter menu puts succulent braised and stewed meats center stage.
Slow-cooked with Guinness to produce a rich, mouth-watering sauce, the filling consists of tender, juicy beef, potatoes, smoked bacon, carrots, onion, and thyme. Instead of the traditional pastry topping, Flour Drum’s version uses steamed potatoes brushed with creamy butter and parmesan, which is then finished off in the oven, giving it a beautiful, crispy and golden top. I had never tried a Guinness pie before but absolutely fell in love with the succulent, tasty filling, which I think is a perfect warming dish for winter.
Lamb Ragù Pappardelle
I was particularly excited about the next offering, a classic Italian pasta dish with a subtle Asian twist. A fantastic representation of the eclectic nature of this cafe and it’s owners’ diverse, multi-cultural backgrounds.
Featuring fresh, house-made pappardelle, 8 hour, slow braised lamb shank ragù with an Asian-style shallot and chilli infused oil and Cyprian volcanic black sea salt ($24.50). Co-owner Victor explained that the shallot oil was inspired by the green sauce that accompanies Hainanese chicken (!!!) That’s right, two of my favourite dishes combined *heavy breathing*
Although this is not new to the menu, I can definitely see why it’s become a permanent resident at Flour Drum. Featuring incredibly smooth and silky ribbons of pasta, which paired beautifully with the gorgeous, rich lamb ragù. The shallot and chilli infused oil imparted a very subtle herbaceous flavour, which elevated the dish with a certain freshness not otherwise found in a ragù pasta dish.
French Lentilles du Puy Soup
Next, a winter soup consisting of blue puy lentils, garlic confit, fresh curry leaves and herbs from the garden, served with sourdough toast. Although I love soup, it’s definitely not something that would normally order at a restaurant or cafe (noodle soup excluded…obviously). Regardless, I think many people would enjoy this hearty winter warmer, which had a delicious aroma and was absolutely packed full of flavour from the spicy, aromatic curry leaves, herbs and slightly peppery lentils.
Sneak peek of the upcoming winter dinner menu!
In addition to the hearty, savoury dishes, we were treated to one of Flour Drum’s most popular breakfast/brunch items along with an incredible spread of desserts, which were anything but ordinary cafe fare.
Banoffee Buttermilk Pancakes
I’m not a huge fan of bananas but I
definitely went bananas for this absolutely loved this perfect stack of pancakes, which had the most amazing, fluffy and light texture. Paired with a grilled, caramelised Cavendish banana, dulce de leche, toffee, whipped pure cream, mascarpone, toasted Anzac biscuit crumble, maple syrup and fresh fruit ($23.50), I was amazed that it still wasn’t sweet despite us pouring the entire glass of maple syrup over the top!
Hands down some of the best pancakes I’ve had in a long time!
I love pancakes but rarely order them for breakfast because I find so often that they’re just too sickly sweet for breakfast. For some unknown reason, despite so many sweet elements, these banoffee pancakes were incredibly moreish and well balanced – hands down some of the best pancakes I’ve had in a long time!
Red Velvet Lamington
If you’re not much of a sweet tooth for breakfast, I’d definitely recommend taking (at least) one of Flour Drum’s incredible, homemade desserts home. On offer this weekend were gorgeous, spongy lamingtons piled high with cream and coconut shavings and in flavours like creme brulee, tiramisu, hazelnut and red velvet. I know, how do you choose??
Flour Drum also does a magnificent and sophisticated version of another Australian classic – pavlova! Their pavlova cake consists of layers of sponge, fresh whipped cream, berries, passionfruit, crushed pistachios and golden, torched meringue. This one was a real crowd pleaser amongst our group; a light, fresh and undeniably delicious dessert, which really showcases premium quality, seasonal ingredients.
Rocky road is one of my all-time favourite confections and something that I very rarely have. Today, Flour Drum had them lined up under big cloches lining the window, which had passersby peering in excitedly like kids in a candy shop! I loved the dark chocolate version with it’s rich, semi-sweet flavour combined with dessicated coconut, pistachios, soft marshmallows and big chunks of gorgeous, sticky rose-flavoured turkish delight.
Although I’m also a big fan of white chocolate, I wasn’t too keen on the white version, which contained a yellow (lemon peel?) flavoured turkish delight. Overall, I personally found it too sweet.
Cookies, cookies, cookies!
Why eat a normal cookie when you can have a GIANT one? I was excited to see a range of these huge, dinner-plate sized cookies scattered across the table. Pictured above (top to bottom) is the giant white chocolate macadamia cookie, ‘smarty pants’ cookie with chocolate chips and M&Ms and the classic chocolate chip.
A beautiful, crumbly and soft kind of cookie packed with chocolate chips all the way through. I can imagine these would be all sorts of amazing when warmed up in the oven but I just don’t have that kind of patience…
Pavlova Cake + ‘Smarty Pants’ Cookie
Being a fairly new resident of Sydney’s Inner West, I’m slowly discovering and falling in love with all the neighbourhood gems that Newtown has to offer! Flour Drum is no exception to that, with it’s warm and friendly atmosphere and food that warms both your heart and belly.
Flour Drum plans to open for dinner later this month, with a range of delicious and hearty dishes, perfect for chilly winter nights with a glass of wine. For brunch, I’d definitely recommend ordering the pancakes, whether you like banana or not! And if you’re simply passing by, then anytime is a good time for cake right?!
Eats with Marie dined as a guest of Flour Drum as part of FCBA. All opinions, comments and photos are 100% honest and my own.
531 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9565 2822