The End of King

Scott Wallace
9th Apr 2016

At first, The End of King doesn’t really look that different to most cafés. It’s light and airy and warm, with a takeaway menu on a blackboard above the counter and customers who seem right at home eating alone or working at a leisurely pace on a laptop while sipping coffee.

But the coffee is really good. It’s so good that you just know regulars must tell their friends how good it is, saying, “Sal makes really good coffee.” Sal is the owner, a friendly and welcoming man who along with his wife Munu has created a menu that doesn’t diverge a huge amount from a traditional café menu, but includes a healthy dose of flavour from their Nepalese heritage.

One of the key dishes on the menu is the momos, which a small blurb tells us “are so popular in Nepal you can get them in every tea house from Kathmandu to base camp.” It also informs us that they are hand-made by Munu, which may be hard to believe when the delicate little dumplings, folded precisely and stuffed with flavour, arrive at your table. Served with Sal’s spicy tomato chutney, the momos are an absolute delight. We tried the chicken, but they also come in a veggie option.

The shakshuka, which seems to be popping up more and more around Sydney lately, is a baked egg dish with lamb. Digging into the rich red and yellow surface and spooning it onto the accompanying toast is like digging for treasure, with egg yolks and lamb kofta standing-in for nuggets of gold. That same lamb kofta can also be ordered on its own, served with a delicious flatbread and salad, as well as a couple of dipping sauces. The yoghurt dip with the lamb is an explosion of beautifully complementary flavours and textures.

One of the best dishes on the menu is the trout nicoise. It may be the most expensive dish on the menu, but it is well worth it for the amazing combination of delicate pink smoked trout, steamed green beans, Wattle Valley goat’s cheese, marinated kalamata olives, soft kipfler potato, runny poached egg and French vinaigrette. Depending on the combination of ingredients you manage to wrangle onto your fork, each mouthful tastes slightly different, but the subtle and nuaced flavour combinations go together seamlessly.

The same is true of the “Fitness Salad,” which Sal explained is one of the café’s most popular dishes. Aside from the poached egg on top, the salad is as raw as they come, with a generous portion of enticingly rough kale dotted with creamy avocado, chia seeds and pepitas. Like everything on the menu, this salad shows a great amount of care and love of food. Every vegetable you are served at The End of King is fresh, crisp and dewy.

Given the generosity of the servings at The End of King, the prices – which range from around $10 and don’t exceed $20 – are outstanding. When you consider the tender, home-style feel of the food and its distinct personality, the prices seem even better.

With its subtle and balanced flavours and its desire to provide something different for its customers, The End of King feels like a café that refuses to blend in. On King Street, at the southern end of which The End of King is located (hence the name), there are a huge number of cafés and coffee shops, but this is one of the rare few that doesn’t fade into the crowd.

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609 - 611 King Street
+61 2 8021 3486

Tue – Sat 6.15am – 4pm

Sun 7.15am – 4pm