In Arabic, ‘talulah’ translates to ‘gift’ or ‘abundance’. At Newcastle’s Talulah you’ll find an abundance of local produce being crafted into dishes that are gifts to your palate, making it the perfect moniker for the all-day space.
Situated in the bustling Junction precinct, Talulah looks after the culinary needs of locals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. It’s the latest venture from Garth and Suzanna Ashford, who threw generations of experience into this dining destination.
Garth’s grandfather Clem pioneered upmarket fast food in the early ’60s and ’70s, while his mother and father ran an iconic upmarket restaurant for 21 years. He started washing dishes at the age of 14, before owning and operating a Mexican restaurant for 30 years, as well as opening his own upmarket restaurant, LIME. Talulah marks the third adventure for Garth, presenting a chance to provide exceptional food in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Cooper Thomas joined the team in 2014 as commis chef, before working his way up to head chef in 2016. He places an emphasis on seasonal produce, believing that it’s impossible for a dish to be better than the produce it’s created with. Therefore, he enforces a farm-to-plate movement, developing close relationships with many farmers and suppliers in the region. This dedication results in an ever-evolving menu that inspires a simple, sustainable way of eating. Cooper takes inspiration from Noma’s Rene Redzepi, who stated “sustainability is about processes that do not undermine the integrity of the planet in which they depend.”
At the start of the day, take a seat in the alfresco dining area for breakfast with a side of sunshine. You’ll find anything from quinoa and coconut bircher muesli, served with market produce, to the Big Breakfast, including eggs, crispy bacon, local chipolatas, roasted vine tomatoes, mushrooms, a quinoa and potato rosti and sourdough toast. Whatever you eat, pair it with a drink – there’s a sumptuous selection of shakes, juices and smoothies on offer.
Come lunch, sample any number of the local dishes on offer. The spiced eggplant Israeli couscous is the perfect midday meal, featuring pistachios, currants, fried halloumi and yoghurt. If your stomach is really rumbling, turn to one of the rustic-style burgers, served on large crusty buns and stuffed with only the best local produce.
When the sun sets, grab a group of friends and stop by for the evening menu, or sneak out by yourself for an escape from the everyday. The industrial lights are kept low, emitting a glow that slowly and calmly carries you through each course. As with the entire Talulah menu, dishes are presented to showcase the season’s best produce. For example, local pumpkin is served charred, letting the full sweet flavour of the root vegetable speak for itself.
Night time adventures mean night time concoctions, so order yourself one of the carefully crafted cocktails on the diverse drinks list. Continue the sharing theme by choosing a pitcher or bottle of wine, with drops from all over Australia, France and Spain.
The next day, return for a refreshing breakfast once more. No matter the time of day, Talulah’s dedication to seasonal produce results in dishes that let local ingredients shine.