Beware of the zombies – Grub & Tucker Newtown

7 Jul

It’s Saturday morning and my head is pounding from too many lemonades last night. I have an itch in the form of a nasty hangover which needs some serious scratching by a satisfying morning brunch.

Off we venture to the other side of the tracks and up to King Street, but the wrong end, or so we have been told. We haven’t even scratched the surface as far as Newtown breakfast spots are concerned. After rejecting three cafes because of either: only accepting cash, too many kids or really average looking menus, the hunger is kicking in, we spot a sign in front of a cafe, ‘Hungry? Hungover? so we decide to jump in.

This is a strange-looking little place, the tiled floor, painted squirrels in the jungle mural on one wall, wicker seats and African wood tables, make for a confused style. The mis-matched feature lamps suggest this place is trying to pull off ‘street’, but we feel more like we are in a West African colonial outpost and a massive fail on the ‘street’ look. The scene is really set off by the sound of the Spice Girls, hammering out in full squeal.

We find a table easily, which should have been our first warning sign for Newtown at 10am on a Saturday. The tables appear to be covered in slime, on closer inspection, it’s just the varnish on the wood tables, but it looks a bit unclean, or is that just because this place is called Grub?

The waitress gets off to a great start, she is straight over with water and menus – tick (unfortunately the one and only tick they will get).

We have worked up a thirst from walking and want to get straight into coffees before looking at the menu. We are not asked, so try to order a couple of drinks. The waitress looks at us baffled, like we have broken some sacred breakfast convention by ordering coffees before the food. She hurries away for a few mins to return with her pen and paper to take down our extensive drinks order for 2 people – 2 flat whites. I am not sure why she needed to write that down, she appears to be semi-conscious or was she reviewing us?

Nature calls, I pop to the bathroom and it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years – now I understand why the word grub is in their name. I keep this to myself until after we have left to save her from causing a scene.

The longer we are left waiting for our food, the more we can taste the fail, even before any food has passed our lips. After 40 long hangover fuelled minutes, the food finally arrives, we swap plates after our zombie waitress plonks down our dishes mixed up. No pepper is offered, no cutlery and our side orders don’t arrive until part way through eating. Pepper arrives once we ask, it is surprising how much these little touches really set a place from the rest.

I have never seen an Eggs Benedict look like that before, it was poached eggs on toast with deep fried fatty bacon and a vinegary milk sauce sloshing about in the bottom of the dish. One poached egg decided that it had suffered enough, it showed its protest by leaking into the disgusting, milky matter below. I thought the food tasted bad due to the poor service and the wait, but no, this meal gains that title single-handedly. I eat just a few mouthfuls and leave the rest – unsatisfied.
She orders the Vegy Lady with poached eggs, mushrooms, fried tomato and toast with a side of avocado. This was fried, bland and underwhelming, much as I had feared. A little touch of balsamic or basil could have resuscitated this dish.

We pay our bill and remind ourselves that this cost the same as the mighty Bitton – and simply does not compare. I finally scratch that itch at the Bugerfuel over the road – finally, satisfaction.

Grub and Tucker get a 2/10


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