Review: South End Cafe (Newtown)

I love *my* side of King Street. The few hundred metres that separates it from Newtown Station makes a huge difference when it comes to eater density. Meaning that cafes and restaurants on this side are usually as packed as the ones that are closer to the heart of Newtown.

I’ve bought takeaway coffee a few times from South End Cafe, every time has been a positive experience. But I kept reading reviews everywhere, and the perfect excuse to eat there didn’t manifest until last Saturday.

As you may remember, it was pouring down all day long, and I had decided not to leave the house. That resolution was only valid for my workout: instead of going to the park for a run, I stayed home and did an interval bodyweight workout. Then I couldn’t help it and convinced Alvaro to join me in grocery shopping. First we went to the Eveleigh markets for a trolley-load of vegetables and fruits. We took those home and I started chopping up my stock veggies.

Then we headed to Faros Bros to get a few weeks’ worth of fish and seafood. We had lunch at South End on our way to the station. Staff, as usual, was super nice. The kitchen took its time to deliver our food but it was fine, we weren’t in a rush. We have a shitload of Foodworks receipts with vouchers for free coffees at South End (buy one, get one free), so we used one of those to get a couple of chai lattes. Good choice in such a horrible weather.

South End Cafe - Chai latte

Chai latte ($3.20)

I’m also blaming the weather for the fact that I didn’t get a salad. Or, more precisely, not just a salad. I’ve been craving a burger for some time know and the one in the bottom of the small list of choices, the lamb kofta burger, was the one who got my attention. Offered with caramelised onion, tomato, lettuce & minted yogurt, it sounded worth a try.

I asked if it came with a side salad and the waiter said yes but in effect sold me a salad on the side. I kinda suspected that when he took the order and then confirmed my suspicion when another waiter came asking whether we had ordered a side salad. Interestingly, I didn’t yell at him. Australia has changed me.

Alvaro ordered the grilled chicken toasted sandwich with tomato, roasted capsicum and homemade aioli on Turkish bread. As I said before, food took a while to arrive, but our teas kept us well nourished while that happened. On the bright side, all dishes came at once and both sandwiches were pre-cut in half, which made the sharing business extra easy.

The burger was amazing, with a huge patty and the flavours working exactly the way I had imagined. My only gripe was that the bun was toasted, which made cutting portions (yes, I ate it with the provided knife and fork) a bit difficult.

South End Cafe - Lamb kofta burger

Lamb kofta burger, caramelised onion, tomato, lettuce & minted yogurt ($12.50)

Alvaro’s sandwich was very good, too. The aioli worked wonders not only in the flavour department but also for keeping everything moist.

South End Cafe - Grilled chicken toasted sandwich

Grilled chicken, tomato, roasted capsicum, homemade aioli ($8.90)

The only average item in the meal was the side salad. The typical combo of mixed leaves, tomato and cucumber was completely under-dressed and tasted like salad straight from the bag.

South End Cafe - Side salad

Side salad ($6.00)

Off we went to Faros Bros and bought four kinds of fish, octopus, calamari and black mussels. We returned home and I made two pots of stock (fish and vegetable) and a chocolate/coconut cake. Then we went out for the last time, got some movies at Civic and more groceries at Foodworks. By the time we got home the day was almost over but I managed to cook a quick dinner (beans, rainbow chard and wild mushroom stew) and we watched a movie before bedtime. And I thought it’d be a lazy day.

South End Cafe
655 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9517 1344


9 comments

  1. That burger sounds delish! I hate it when waiters do dodgy things, like charging you for an extra salad when you asked if the burger came with a side of salad. I always avoid Newtown for the fact that it’s always so crowded, perhaps I might try the south end next time ;)

  2. I love the south end of Newtown (or SoKi {south King Street} as my friend calls it}). It’s just so much more interesting them the top end of Newtown. I ‘think’ I’ve been to South End before, but my memory is failing me. I’d be annoyed at the salad bizo though – I’d have sent it back. Hurmph.

  3. Nice to see someone else reviewing a place in “my” end of King Street as well. I’ve been here many times and am yet to write about it. I even have all the photo’s I’ve taken each time I’ve been. Last time I was there I also had the kofta burger but found it a little on the everage side


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