FLOUR DRUM is a sublime little bohemian rustic piece of food awesome in Newtown that I dearly love. I have had the privilege of attending tastings here twice now. Once to check out their breakfast/ brunch offerings and secondly to discover the wonder that was their Christmas treats. As Christmas was a few days ago now I have decided against posting any Christmas treats but take note for next year, it’s the shiz! Their Fruit Mince Tarts and White Christmas is a knockout!
FLOUR DRUM VENUE:
FLOUR DRUM is made up of more than walls and food, it’s the people at this place that make it epic. Three elements are FLOUR DRUM and without one of them it would fall apart. Christopher is the manager, Victor is marketing maestro and Johnny is the alchemist, or more commonly known as head chef. This combo is like the culinary match of Charlie’s Angels. Special mentions to all the happy bubbly youthful staff, most notably barista Dean, too cute not to mention haha.
The venue itself is an old Newtown terrace, more narrow than the epic length. It has a rustic, I don’t think ostentatious is the right word, but stunning showy use of a spray painted wall, antiques and an entire chalkboard wall. That chalkboard wall is a work of genius – they write up the menu on it and can quickly change it if necessary and for Christmas they wrote up the entire recipe for the Christmas pudding – I got pics of the recipe if you need it – amazing pudding from Johnny’s nanna (I think).
It looks and feels welcoming, an Australian nanna kitchen from yesteryear in a warm environment. You want to be here. And don’t get me started on their plates, they are sooooooooooo amazing! And their front display bench is the perfect surface for shooting flatlays on. Bloggers unite!
If you get to know the owners you will also get an invite out into their garden, it is amazing, very kitsch and a place for the staff to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the cafe. They should do that up for an outdoor eating area because it is huge and I wanted to stay outside among the toys and plants everywhere you look.
FLOUR DRUM FOOD:
FLOUR DRUM has next level healthy nuanced cafe food. Chef Johnny (@themoonlightbaker) is an incessant obsessed chef/ cook. He sees stuff and decides on stuff to cook with it. Besides the menu items you will find lots of his latest sauces and pickles around the venue. I just used most of a bottle of a Salted Caramel Pineapple chutney he was selling before Christmas, when I asked him about he advised the pineapples were just so cheap. He bought them all and then worked out something to do with them. And holy crap that sauce was epic. My mum even put it under bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning.
The menu itself is a few levels above your standard cafe food, they don’t just do salmon and eggs for breakfast, they do Moutai (a Chinese liqueur) Cured Salmon and eggs. We had a massive feastage and the venue did something I have never seen before for food bloggers, writers and photographers. They served us a meal that they insisted we eat first, the meal was basically everything. They wanted us to enjoy the eating part first. Then they brought it all out again for photography – it was exceptional and I was in heaven.
We kicked it off with a delightfully healthy and photogenic Green Juice paired with their Iced Tea. I would normally balk at a green juice but this made me as healthy as a raw vegan paleo freak for a week. The Iced Tea I did not try but my dining guests loved it.
Following on from this everything was brought out. The first dish we photographed was the Mushroom Medley. This uses Shimaji, Swiss Brown, Enoki, Button, Field & Shitake Mushrooms on toasted sourdough with a spiced pumpkin spread. There are no words at how phenomenal this dish tastes. If you are a mushroom lover this will jump to your number one mushy dish.
THE OTHER DISHES WE INHALED:
Below is the correct display serves of the brunches we all tried. Clockwise from top left is the Cod and Potato Croquette – this was my favourite dish, the balance and texture of cod and spuds was perfectly partnered with the crunch on the outside. And it had pomegranate rubies throughout the salad and a sesame dipping sauce to bring it all home. I will return for this dish alone.
Next to that is the zucchini and lentil fritters, basically a vegetarian’s wet dream. These are partnered with toasted coconut, orange and pepita salad, it’s the perfect treat for any vegetarian/ vegan. If you are a vegan double check the ingredients, it may contain something non kosher, I did not follow up on that one.
Bottom left and the last picture of the article is the Moutai Cured Salmon and eggs. It was like a dark tea cured salmon and the flavours were divine. I would choose the cod over the salmon but this is just a personal choice, both epic. The bottom right dish is the Mushroom Medley.
Besides the title photograph I have only really talked about the savoury brunch dishes. But their desserts are possibly even better. I think I left this place about a kilogram heavier than when I entered. Their cakes, friands, short breads, cookies, biscuits, pastries, baklava, trifles, puddings and more are all cooked in-house daily. I think Johnny just stays up 24/7 smoking ganja, drinking cake brandy and churning out meal after meal aft treat after meal.
Their blueberry cheesecake gave me a culinary woody and their oversized lamination cake slice made me foodgasm. For December Johnny made Peach and Rosemary lamington cakes and it was insane!! A combination I would never imagine but which had ten foodstagrammers fighting over the next slice. The first lamington I ate there was a creme brûlée lamington and it made me Flour Drum’s bitch, so much drool and food love in one little cake. Another cake they made that had me prostrate in worship was their Persian Love Cake. This cake is infused with rose water and topped with edible rose petals. If you wanna propose to someone or just turn me on serve this cake.
Out of my top ten venues for 2016 Flour Drum Newtown is one of only two cafes that makes the cut. The food is unique and healthy and Flour Drum is an impressive and intriguing venue with staff and plating that elevate it above the standard cafe society of Sydney. If I lived in Newtown I would have my own tab at this place.
Huge thanks to FCBA for introducing me to this wonder and even more thanks to Victor, Johnny, Chris and the crew – love your work!
Flour Drum Deets:
PH: (02) 9565 2822
BOOKINGS: Not essential
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
Mon – Sat: 7am – 4pm
Sun: 8am – 4pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.