From Scallops Benedict to Crumpet French Toast: All the Must-Try Dishes at Koul Cafe

Koul Cafe, Marrickville

Koul Cafe is a cafe on Marrickville Road serving up twists on café breakfasts. Eggs benedict is served with scallops, caviar and capsicum dip while crumpets are served with caramelised banana, seasonal berries, maple syrup, roasted pecans and vanilla soft serve. And the namesake Koulouri after which the cafe is named comes in a variety of types from plain sesame seed, cheese and bacon stuffed to crispy cheese topped!

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Cheese Koulouri

The atmosphere is electric walking down Marrickville Road on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe it's the thunderstorm that's threatening to break, maybe it's the music playing from a nearby bar or maybe it's Marrickville's eclectic crowd, a mix of too cool for school and people that have been living there for decades.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville

Koul Cafe has been open for 5 months since December 2022 and is owned by the same family that own Gyradiko, the popular gyros eatery. Kosta Giannakaros grew up in his father's family business, a farm to table style tavern on the small Greek island of Lemnos. After he finished culinary school he headed to Sydney aged 21 arriving in the mid 1980's. He opened several businesses like fresh juice and yogurt bar Sun Sweet Naturally in 1989 at Town Hall and the Souvlaki Bar in Brighton Le Sands in 1994 as well as Gyradiko in Bexley and Earlwood.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville

The focus at Koul Cafe is koulouri, a chewy Greek sesame dough ring, a close cousin or the simit and what is often dubbed as the Greek bagel. Kosta's daughter Alexandra Giannakaros describes them, "Koulouri is a traditional breakfast snack in Greece. It’s a mix between a bagel and a pretzel in taste and texture. It is very common even today to find Koulouri sellers on every main road with their cart selling them all morning while people are on their way to work." For Alexandra there are two things that make a great Koulouri, "One is the correct ratio of sugar to ensure while being savoury bread it still has a sweet note to it. Secondly you must not over bake it so that it's still soft and chewy. All our koulouri weigh the same, the only difference is that we stretch the "crunchy" one a little bit more so that it ends up being crispier on the outside!"

Koul Cafe, Marrickville

At Koul Cafe they come in four different types: crunchy and soft the latter in three types: topped with plenty of cheese, filled with cheese and cheese & bacon. Sadly, they have to break it to us that the cheese and bacon koulouri is sold out. Devastated.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Cheese & Sesame Koulouri $4 each

I am here with Valentina as she is Cypriot Greek and also loves koulouri. We start with a platter full of items most still warm from the pastry counter. Sometimes koulorui can be a bit dry but as these are freshly baked every morning they're still fluffy on the inside and chewy on the outside. The cheese koulouri is a clear favourite with a generous amount of grated cheese on top that caramelises until crisp.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Sausage and Cheese Koulouri $7

But the cheese filled koulouri served as a log rather than a ring is also delicious. This is filled with sausage and cheese so a different flavour profile than the cheese topped koulouri and the thicker shape means more filling to keep it a tad more moist.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Spinach and Cheese Pita $7.50

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Feta Cheese Pie $7.50

We also try two pies wrapped in crunchy filo pastry, one with cheese and a spinach and cheese spiral pita. They're both delicious although the spinach and cheese one is so moreish and I like the ratio of filling to pastry better and I end up polishing it all off later that afternoon.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Fig Me $10 and Freshly squeezed lemonade $7

The menu is more about coffee than tea and the coffee is very good. We start with freshly squeeze lemonades that are tart and puckery as well as the Fig Me smoothie with dried figs soaked in red wine, Greek yogurt, almond milk and rose water which is a substantial drink and almost a meal in itself. It has an unique flavour, I'm not sure if I would order it again.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Scallops Benedict $24

The Scallop Benedict is their signature dish and has four seared scallops, black caviar asparagus, poched eggs, artisan bread with capsicum dip. The eggs are runny yolked and the house made capsicum dip is a nice alternative to bearnaise sauce with a tangy refreshingness that brings the whole dish together.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Spinach & Feta Waffles $21

Valentina isn't a big fan of waffles whereas I am and as a savoury tooth I'm happy to see a savoury waffle on the menu. These are made with feta and spinach with roasted cherry tomatoes, a generous scoop of tzatziki sauce and two fried eggs on top. I love the combination of the crispy edged savoury waffles flavoured with feta and spinach and the tzatziki that has a nice hit of garlic.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Politiki Eggs $22

The Politiki eggs are their version of Turkish baked eggs. It's served with a sesame koulouri, strained Greek yogurt, poached eggs, roasted baby eggplant, squares of fried halloumi, smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil with roasted pine nuts. It's good although I found this the most mildly flavoured dish of all that we tried and perhaps needed a boost of flavour although Valentina really enjoys this.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Crumpet French Toast $21

You know Lessert (lunch dessert) is a thing for me right? And the crumpet French toast is a calling. The "Crumpets by Merna" crumpets are dipped in vanilla bean and cinnamon cream and maple syrup and pan fried with butter. They are served with caramelised banana, seasonal berries, maple syrup, roasted pecans and vanilla soft serve. It's lush and soft and spongey but you also get a lovely crunch from the nuts and toffee banana so it keeps you going back for more and more.

Koul Cafe, Marrickville
Bougatsa $10

And then of course some bougatsa for dessert, that wonderful filo pastry dessert filled wtih custard. It comes out slightly warm, the custard silky and creamy inside and the pastry crisp.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like koulouri? Which breakfast would you have chosen?

NQN and Valentina were guests of Koul cafe but all opinions remain her own.

Koul Cafe

189 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

Open 7am-4pm 6 days a week (closed Monday)

Phone: 0466 343 534

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