Tram Stop Diner in Newtown's King Street brings an eclectic group of people ranging from hippies, yuppies, artists, musicians, students and the older generation - of which refuse to move. This is just one of the many reasons why I love this area. Itís so alive and fresh, and makes you feel like the world is your oyster. And most of all, thereís no doubt that something will make you giggle just walking up King Street.
Tram Stop Diner is located on the south end of King Street - a part that doesnít have the hectic hustle and bustle of the northern half of this strip of culinary paradise. This end of King Street goes through a number of short lived cafes and bars - due to the competition of the well grounded cafes and restaurants that have fed the loyal customers of the area for many years.
Shoulder Pork Wrap
This new addition to King Street has a friendly and historic appeal, with pictures of the old tramline that commuted through the once industrial area of the Inner West.
Tram Stop Diner is a very spacious cafe that offers food, coffee and other beverages as well as good service.
Tram Burger. Found it moist and flavoursome.
The seating is plentiful with dark wooden furniture, of which adds to the olden day charm.
The cashier, coffee machine and self-serve fridge is located on your right upon the entrance. Herein is a large bain marie fridge with house made cakes, which was unfortunately empty the day I visited.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a friendly smile and hello by the lovely waitress who presented us with menus followed with water for the table. This is a big tick.
The menu wasnít big but had all the necessities: burger, wraps, pasta, salads and mains. Everything sounded creative and seasonal.
It was a hard decision to make in the end, but we opted for Shoulder Pork Wrap ($12), a Tram Burger ($12) and Calamari Salad ($14).
Shortly after we ordered, the very diligent waitress plates our table with napkins, knives and forks. We were all impressed with the service, as a lot of other cafes in the area seemed to have lost that touch.
The food is prepared quickly. Serving sizes were not very impressive though, especially for an area where many artists and students reside. Everyone wants the most for their money right, however the food is tasty.
The shoulder pork wrap comes with pear chutney, red cabbage, rocket and carrot - and is dressed with a handful of English spinach on the side. The red cabbage and carrot gives the wrap a wonderful crunch with every bite. The pork was quite tender.
The tram burger was the largest meal ordered on this occasion. The patty is thick and topped with melted cheddar. Also rather moist and flavoursome.
It reminds me of the burgers you used to get from milk bars, which these days is so hard to come by. The bread was thick, crisp on the out side and blissfully soft on the inside.
The calamari salad was divine. I find it risky when I order calamari in case its over cooked, and youíre left with some white rubbery taste less food product on your plate.
Luckily this isnít the case at the Tram Stop Diner. The calamari was cooked perfectly. Definitely a wonderful treat, especially with the fresh mango slices and coriander. This could be the most perfect spring salad; the type of salad that gets you excited for dinner parties and summer BBQís.
The meals were all reasonably priced, however it was an extra $3 for chips when you order any burger, sandwich or wrap. This is unfavourable for tram stop - especially as most cafes on King Street do provide the side of chips and salad with the payment of those types of dishes.
Overall, we were all satisfied with the taste of the food ordered and the lovely service.
Itís a shame that tram stop doesnít offer an outdoor section. As much as the owners have attempted to have natural light infiltrate the room, it is quite dark and seems cold.
I feel like the place isnít complete yet. There could be a specials board to keep it exciting, and could bring more attention to the place. Food in the glass fridge would be a good improvement to suggest freshly made sandwiches that can be taken away, and/or stock some freshly squeezed juice.
I rate this place a 7/10. It's good but could be better; especially with the tough competition around the area.
Where: 609 King St Newtown NSW
Why: For easy and tasty lunch
Cost: $12-18 for most dishes
Good for kids: Yes, lots of seating.
Take away: Only coffee and drinks.