Corelli's Cafe is an iconic Newtown landmark cherished by the locals as the archetypal Newtownian eatery, and loved by everyone else for it's ability transport visitors to an inner-city bohemia with gustatory delights.
Situated at 352 king Street Newtown on the ground floor of the St Georges Hall building, a beautiful Victorian Heritage structure that is part of the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, it could not be in a more fitting location, especially because it's operating hours are much like King street's, 7:00am until midnight, 7 days a week.
Now, the food. I recommend sharing most things on the menu and yes they will happily provide two sets of cutlery at no extra charge.
Corelli's has a fantastic breakfast menu, served all day & night. Yep, that means eggs-benedict with cheese, spinach, ham or bacon on Turkish bread at 11:30pm on a Tuesday, and when you see the serving size, you won't believe it's $14.50.
For lunch or dinner, there's wraps, pastas, meat dishes or blackboard specials like beef casserole or lamb shanks if you crave something more substantial. The quintessential Corelli's dish is the Jamaican Chicken Salad for $15.50, a concoction of leaves and tangy chicken covered with a cool minty yogurt, a diverse mix of flavours. However, all Corelli's salads are dressed with an addictive, zesty yet sweet balsamic dressing.
For beverage lovers you can't go past a vanilla/malt milkshake for $5.50 or a pot of their organic loose leaf teas for only $3.50 which gets you around three and a half cups, sweet huh? Speaking of sweet, try the sticky-date cake with caramel sauce served warm at $7.90 & add ice-cream, cream or yogurt for only $1.00 extra... but the sweetest thing? Corelli's staff plonks a little tiny teddy onto your saucer with any tea or coffee beverage.
It's no wonder Corelli's was the winner of City New's 'Best of Sydney Readers Choice 2008'. But the saliva inducing menu is not the only thing that makes this a gem. The bohemian decor, retro to rocking ambient music and groovy, patient staff are what makes this place unique.
Whilst entering the cafe you 're likely to be welcomed by the tunes of Nirvana's 'Heart Shaped Box', and if seated indoors, might find yourself next to any number of interesting individuals like a friendly gay German couple waxing intellectual on German films. Should you choose to sit outdoors under the umbrella tables where you can smoke, you might bum a cigarette from your neighbour, a very groovy elderly woman playing Sudoku.
Should you get bored, you may grab the copy of Scrabble sitting on the cupboard and have a game, but boredom is unlikely when in such diverse surroundings... Mosaics of Greek mythology on the walls, Indigenous art on your coffee table and corrugated industrial iron sheeting covering the face of the kitchen/register bench. Or if you're like me you could just stare off into the view of King street occasionally stopping to return to the view of your book of fiction, although I'm sure the author's imagination is no match for the fantastical world of Corelli's Cafe. See you there this weekend.