Coffee enthusiasts tend to have varying opinions about what makes a good brew. But they would usually agree that instant coffee is usually only pulled out in times of desperation. Soul Deli, a contemporary Korean cafe in Surry Hills, has helped improve instant coffee’s cred, with its signature twist on Maxim coffee (a well-known Korean instant coffee brand) that’s become one of its best-sellers.
Originally on Campbell Street, Soul Deli now lives down the road at the Adge Hotel on Riley. (Owners Daero Lee and Illa Kim have installed an all-day Korean wine bar, Soul Bar, at the Campbell Street site.)
You won’t find the white walls and timber furnishings that were at the old digs. Instead, slide into cushy mustard-coloured booths with pink-tiled tabletops in a room splashed with abstract markings and lit up with pendant lights. The walls are adorned with large playful paintings, including a giant blue tiger, all by Korean artists. Soul Deli 2.0 also offers more space, with room for up to 60 punters inside.
Thankfully the menu remains largely unchanged. Go for toasties filled with kimchi, pulled pork and cheese, and the cafe’s signature Korean fried chicken hotcakes.Or K-street toast (a Korean breakfast classic served with omelette, ham, cheese, jam and mayo) and yukhoe bibimbap. For something sweet, there are Korean cinnamon doughnuts made fresh daily.
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