We are having the most glorious final burst of summer here in Sydney. I’ve never known May to be so warm. And I’m not complaining either. It’s perfect conditions for going out for lunch and sitting in the sun and feeling those warm rays before reality sets in and it’s all over until next Spring. On one of the days last week when it was 25C (77F), with not a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky, I took advantage of the heavenly conditions and went out to lunch with my friend, Sharon.
We talked about where we might meet and we both agreed we didn’t want to sit indoors, we certainly didn’t want to sit in the shade, we knew we didn’t want to eat pub fare, and that we wanted the location to be central for both of us so our choices were being consistently narrowed. A few days before however, Miss Arabella had insisted I walk her to the pathology lab for a blood test. ‘You know where it is, just get yourself there’.
‘I need you to come with me’.
‘I hate having my blood taken and I’ve been putting it off for ages because I don’t want to go and I don’t want to go on my own so I need you to come with me’. For heaven’s sake; what I don’t understand is how someone can be so excited about going off on their own to get their belly button pierced yet so terrified of having a blood test.
‘Okay; all right; I’ll walk you to pathology’. On our journey, we walked down Avenue Road and I saw a cafe the was busy and bustling and in the full northern sun with plenty of outdoor seating along the footpath. Perfect!
Avenue Road Cafe is a bit of an institution for residents in the area so it’s very surprising that somehow I’d never been there. Our waitress was from the Netherlands and it was her first day on the job. She showed us to an outdoor table where there are cushioned benches and when needed, there are blankets for your knees and overhead heaters. The cafe is licensed and so as both Sharon and I are about to celebrate our birthdays, and as Sharon is about to leave me for three weeks in New York, the occasion called for a glass of sparkling wine.
The menu has a lot of variety with things that aren’t so standard for a cafe which is a pleasant surprise. Sharon wasn’t terribly hungry so she ordered the Tandoori Chicken Wrap. For a wrap, it was well presented and it had very tender chicken with plenty of yoghurt dressing. Sharon loved the pickled daikon that came with it.
My appetite was larger and I ordered one of the specials which was fried soft polenta with seasonal truffle mushrooms, young green asparagus and balsamic reduction. This was fabulous and I loved the variety of mushrooms and the beautifully soft polenta with a crisp outer edge. However, there was no asparagus to be seen. Not a spear! Fortunately, I didn’t feel the dish was lacking in any way.
I thought we should try a couple of the sweet things offered. We ordered the florentine which had lots of nuts but I felt it could have done with some glace goodies.
We also ordered a ‘shortbread man’ which was so cute I wrapped it in a napkin and took it home for Alfie.
Sharon and I had a really enjoyable lunch. It was fabulous to be able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun in the middle of May. The food was innovative and fresh and perfectly prepared and the menu had so many temptations it was difficult to make a selection. Good company and lots of laughs elevated the experience to being one of the best cafe lunches ever. And then sadly, we both went back to work.
Avenue Road Cafe: 185 Avenue Road, Mosman, NSW 2088
Ph: 9969 8999
And, by the way, the pathology unit said they didn’t have time to take Arabella’s blood. We have to go back first thing tomorrow.
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