This south King Street gem is serving up banoffee pancakes and slow-cooked lamb ragu with heaps of hospitality.
Since opening its doors in 2015, Flour Drum has established itself as a Newtown hub for great food and exceptional service. Victor Li, Christopher Heaps and Chef John Ageletos have focused their different restaurant skills to create a space that embodies what a neighbourhood cafe should be.
Flour Drum doesn't attribute dishes to just one cuisine. Instead, fare showcases flavours from around the world, especially the Greek, Chinese, and New Zealand cuisines the owners grew up with. "Being my mother's son, I always cook to make everyone happy," says Ageletos on the source of his inspiration. He also recalls how his mother would whip up fusion dishes, like Indian curry fried rice that the three still make during Christmas.
Surrounded by secondhand stores and street murals, Flour Drum stands apart from other eateries with a charming vintage decor and personable staff. From the front room — which is perfect for afternoon lamingtons — to a dining room for long lunches on weekends, its imaginative vision shines through via walls filled with quotes, art displays and a large Outback mural among other ornaments. There's also a garden area where Heaps has pulled together garden tables, an antique Buddha head, a collage of paintings and other treasures hidden by foliage.
For breakfast, Flour Drum goes beyond the realm of typical toasties and morning pastries. Its South American-esque corn fritters topped with a poached egg, avocado, tomato jam and feta balances the sweet of the fritters with the spicy kick of the tomato jam. The must-try dish is the fluffy banoffee pancakes coated in dulce de leche and Anzac biscuit crumbles with a grilled banana and mountains of whipped cream.
Flour Drum's fusion-focused menu continues through to lunch. Barbecue duck ravioli dumplings accompanied by egg noodles and a sweet shiitake broth craftily combines Asian flavours with the textures of Italian pasta. If you want a heartier meal, the eight-hour braised lamb shank ragu with house-made pappardelle is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And, if you beat the eager crowds, indulge in the best-selling beef rendang.
Whatever you eat, don't leave without a slice (or more) of the ever-changing assortment of lamingtons. Dive into the Black Forest covered in coconut shreds or go for something citrus — such as the gluten-free ricotta, raspberry and white chocolate cake. And trust me when I say you'll probably walk out with one of Flour Drum's massive cookies in hand, too.
Flour Drum dances to its own beat and provides an interesting dining experience each time you visit. It'll soon become an all-day eatery, with dinner services starting in August featuring dishes like duck ragu and baked bombe alaska.
Images: Jenna Manto