Cafe Review: Talulah Cafe at The Junction

Talulah Cafe exterior

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Talulah Cafe is a cosy, charming cafe with its finger on the pulse of the community it serves and one that brings warmth to the city and its suburbs. 

The much-loved cafe was founded in 2009 by Garth Ashford, who wanted to cultivate a unique restaurant experience at the heart of The Junction – an inner-city suburb of Newcastle that got its name due to its position as the junction point for trains from the coal mines. Fast-forward to 2020, and the baton of running the beloved cafe was passed on to Newy locals Jack and Kahlea Scheeren and their son Myles, who have since grown the cafe into a local gem that is often visited by locals and visitors alike. 

The cafe is surrounded by beautiful heritage buildings, aesthetically pleasing homeware stores, and many more restaurants and cafes. 

Corner of Talulah Cafe

Every weekend, my family and I strive to go out and immerse ourselves in our community. Working from home, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is life outside our confined spaces and adult responsibilities. My husband and I try to keep each other accountable come weekend, because we truly want to see everything our charming city has to offer. 

Last saturday, we decided on going to The Junction and explore the suburb more, which includes window shopping for some niche and unique homewares and lifestyle stores, peeking into newly opened bars and restaurants, and going to some cute cafes where we can dine in. Talulah has always been at the top of our list for cafes to try, and we’re so glad we did!

Talulah Cafe Exterior
Talulah Hallway
Beautiful open space in the cafe
The Junction, Newcastle

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we were greeted by some of the friendliest servers I’ve ever encountered. It was welcoming, to say the least – a great start to our day, I thought. 

As we entered, we were greeted by a light, lush, and open space that was filled with sunlight and art. Groups of people seated, enjoying their food and drinks, adults and children alike. We were immediately seated and taken cared of, with the server asking if we wanted a high chair for our toddler, to which we said a resounding yes. To our delight, she also offered some crayons and a colouring paper – which I didn’t see were on the tables on the way in – so it was a nice touch to an already outstanding service. 

On to the food: they have a varied list of all-day brunch / lunch food and the menu isn’t that extensive, so it was easy to choose from. Because it was still early, I wanted something “traditional” for breakky, so I went with their bacon and egg roll. I’m curious to see how different cafes do their version, and I’m keen to find out where the best one is! My husband wanted something lighter so he went for a Moroccan chicken salad and we ordered a ham and cheese toastie for our daughter. Pro tip: look for cafes with kids menu! It’s so beneficial for families with young children because it can get expensive eating out! Always good to have this option.

Bacon and egg roll

the breakfast (bacon and egg) roll – 20 AUD

moroccan chicken salad

moroccan chicken salad – 26 AUD

ham and cheese toastie

ham and cheese toastie – 12 AUD

Their breakfast roll was delicious, although for the price I could have had more meat and eggs to it. To compare, breakky rolls are usually within the 9-12 AUD range and this one was much higher, so I also expected a larger serving. While the quality of meat and the additions were good, it still felt like I bought it from a takeaway place. Nothing wrong with that, but for 20 AUD I would have loved something heftier. 

The moroccan chicken had a unique flavour profile and was also tasty. However, we have the same complaint as the above – the serving could have been heftier for the price point it’s at. We would have appreciated more variety in the greens/veggies, instead of just the lettuce. 

The surprise winner amongst our grub would be the toastie. Our daughter very much enjoyed this one! The sourdough was soft, and the portions of meat to cheese inside were good. We – I mean, she – really loved it! 

Overall, the food was appetizing and delicious, but the servings could have been better for its price point. No worries, we’ll have a bigger spread next time and try out their avo smash and pancakes, specifically. Excited! 

After we had our food, and because I’m also on the lookout for the best Chai latte this city has to offer, I also ordered this drink to satiate my craving. 

Okay – this one was a winner! I’m always skeptical of chai lattes because they usually cut corners and go for the powdered route, so I was so happy when I drank this and immediately knew they used real spices / tea for this one. You can really taste the difference! This was a fantastic chai. 

Talulah Cafe interiors

Art-filled walls

Talulah Cafe open kitchen

The open kitchen

Talulah Cafe dessert bar

Yummy dessert bar

Should you eat here?

To cut to the chase, YES, I think you’ll love it here. This is a classic case of service and hospitality being so impeccable that it overshadows some of the tiny complaints we had about the food. Goes to show that being kind and friendly goes a long way! 

It’s no wonder Talulah Cafe’s values are grounded in community  – to offer their customers the kind of service that will leave them happier than when they arrived. I think, for us, that’s a job well done from them! We left feeling happy and ready to conquer the day 🙂 

Quick fun facts and fyi:

1. Remote workers, hurrah! Talulah welcomes WFH foodies who want an ambience while working. They have wifi you can connect to and a buzz that only a good cafe can bring. 

2. Talulah means “Running Water” in Native American. 

3. They host events and intimate gatherings! Just contact their webpage 🙂 

4. They fill their walls with local artists’ work, and you can buy them off the wall with all proceeds going to the artist. How good! 

Open Monday through Sunday at 6:30 AM – 2:30 PM 



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