"Oh I know just the place for us" Queen Viv intoned authoritatively to me. I know she knows exactly what I like so at times like these I'm happy to give up eating location decisions to Queen Viv. When I had told her that I wanted to go to the Berkelouw Books Cafe on Oxford Street in Paddington she told me that an even nicer one existed in Newtown. And when she told me it involved stuffed vintage leather lounges I was even more sold.
We walk through the bookstore (which is always a good place for last minute gifts as they do free gift wrapping - many a time my derriere has been saved by them) and upstairs and stake our claim on a leather lounge. I feel like something savoury as I've missed out on lunch whereas Queen Viv feels like something sweet so we get a bit of each and share it. As I'm ordering an iced coffee comes out and it looks inviting so I order one of those too.
Iced Coffee $5.50
I love the iced coffee, even a decaffeinated one as it's late in the day. It is enthusiastically devoured by yours truly and the ice cream seems to have swirls of caramel in it which always helps matters.
Steak and Onion Confit sandwich $12.50
I was a bit worried about the amount of breadage on the sandwich when it was sitting in the display cabinet but not to worry they buttered the outside and grilled it (the way I like to do grilled cheese sandwiches at home) so that it was fabulously soft and buttery on the tongue. The steak and confit of onions go very well along with the tomato and baby spinach. The whole sandwich is huge and I vow to skip dinner after finishing my share of this.
Frangipane tart $4.80
My over eager but well meaning stylist Queen Viv cuts the cakes into half before realising that I haven't taken a photo and is mortified. I chuckle and tell her that we can do a good patch job where no-one will notice - right? ;) The Frangipane tart is filled with rhubarb and a light almond frangipane. It's not bad but needs an aromatic in it as the taste would be best described as sweet.
Caramel Kiss $3.80
The caramel kiss pastry is quite heavy and would be great if it were a short buttery pastry. The caramel filling is delicious but the chocolate on top is a chocolate mint chocolate which doesn't go very well with the caramel.
A bit of browsing and I pick up a book for a gift (bookstores are always so hard to walk out of empty handed).
So tell me Dear Reader, what was the last book that you bought or read? And would you recommend it?
Berkelouw Bookstore Cafe
6-8 O'Connell St, Newtown NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9557 1777