Ten years and going strong, Café Ism resides in one of the quieter streets of Newtown, away from the bustle of King Street. The sunny corner spot is a haven for those looking for a café with that friendly ‘local’ vibe.
It’s fairly close-quarters inside but not unbearable and note that you need to order and pay at the counter. The menu is very large so I feel that I need to return with a larger crowd to sample more dishes.
There’s a roaring takeaway coffee trade and for good reason. While there was nothing outstanding in its appearance, my coffee ($3.50) certainly delivered.
While there’s no freshly squeezed juice or smoothies, you’ll find milkshakes ($5), iced coffee or chocolate with cream and ice cream ($5.50), tea ($4) and affogato ($4.50) to name a few!
The organic toasted granola muesli ($12.50) is served with sliced banana, yoghurt and honey. The clusters were crunchy but there was also some chewiness thanks to the fruit. I wouldn’t hesitate to order this again, it was delicious. Muesli ($10) (untoasted) and porridge with dates, banana and honey ($11) are also available.
Somehow, making my way through the various sections of the menu, I managed to decide on the feta & pesto scrambled eggs ($15). It’s served with roasted tomatoes, mixed leaves and organic sourdough toast. I added bacon for $4. This was all very reasonable for the quality and amount of food. The eggs had plenty of pesto but I would have liked to see more feta.
The grilled haloumi stack ($16) is quite a large serving and offers a great flavour combination for vegetarians. Above the organic sourdough, you’ll find fresh baby spinach, grilled haloumi and two poached eggs. This is all flavoured with a touch of aioli which I don’t think was entirely necessary. My guest added mushrooms which the kitchen built into the stack. They were sauteed and seasoned well. For those looking for something slightly different, the salmon stack ($16) comes with mashed avocado, spinach, smoked salmon, red onion, two poached eggs, baby capers and a yoghurt dressing.
There’s so much more though from banana pancakes with ricotta and honey ($15), French toast (brioche, bacon, maple syrup and blueberries, $16) and pancakes ($13.50) to croque madame/monsieur ($15.50/$14), corn fritters with avocado, tomato salsa and either crispy bacon or two poached eggs ($15), omelettes ($15) and sandwiches.
There’s no doubt that if you’re in the area, you need to do yourself a favour and drop in to Café Ism.
Overall Rating: 18/25
Phone: 9519 1166
Address: 187 Wilson Street, Newtown
Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash