Southside Charmers’s potato and salmon salad tastes like a salty curry in the best possible way. It looks like a regular salad, with fresh green leaves, nuts and cabbage tendrils, but then you take a bite and you’re hit with a salty, spicy whack of flavour. The rice bowl is the same. It’s pretty, looks healthy, but tastes like a delicious nasi goreng.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise – this pastel-pink ’70s Miami-style venue is the newbie by Anne Cooper and Georgia Woodyard, salad and sandwich queens who used to run Redfern cafe Scout’s Honour (which they sold in 2017) and Morris in Paddington, and are still involved in nearby bar, Bart Jr. Southside Charmers is in many ways the opposite of Scout’s Honour. It’s big, there’s restaurant-level service with Ryan Butler on the floor (ex-Hubert) and the umami-packed spice-heavy grub is a step away from the cheap and quick model of Scout.
“We're sort of channelling a bit of Miami and California so it's healthy, fresh and produce-driven but with a nod to South America and Mexico,” says Cooper.
We mean opposite in concept but not in appeal, of course. You’ll find many of the same colourful customers at Southside as you will at Scout’s or Bart’s because all of these venues have the same unpretentious, casual vibe.
“I've lived in Redfern for the last 15 years; we are aware of the neighbourhood, we always try and open places that have the community in mind,” says Cooper.
Southside is now open for lunch and breakfast but in a couple of weeks it’ll trade at night too. For mornings, along with dahl and tacos, there’s granola, smashed avo (with green peas) and BLATs (this one substitutes bacon for guanciale), and in the evenings grilled flatbread topped with charcuterie and grilled peppers. There’s also spiced tomato carpaccio and chicken-liver parfait with lots of garlic.
The cocktails and wine list will have a rough focus on the Americas, reminiscent of the venue’s colourful predecessor, The Eathouse Diner.
“I have really fond memories of drinking tequila out the front [of Eathouse] in the afternoon. It's a beautiful spot, I've always said if this spot comes up I'm jumping on it, I just love it and sometimes you say that and it never comes up but this worked out perfectly,” Cooper says.
306 Charmers Street, Redfern
Tue to Fri 7.30am–3pm
Sat & Sun 9am–3pm